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Increasing consumption of WA citrusBY NOELENE SWAIN FRESH FINESSE
WA Citrus embraced a promotional strategy for 2022 with an element of flexibility to respond to the unknown impacts from COVID. As the season evolved, the community impact of COVID was limited to wearing of masks, which allowed activities to proceed as planned.The season kicked off with a TV segment on Channel 9’s local lifestyle program — Our State on a Plate. Filming took place in Harvey in May, with particular thanks to Richard Eckersley for hosting the film crew at short notice due to unexpected COVID impacts.
The 3-minute segment aired Sunday 5 June and featured the value of the local citrus season. This tied in nicely with WA Day festivities and themes.
FRESH fruit was provided at the kids’ marathon.
The annual launch of the season at Market City in Canning Vale on 23 June again provided an opportunity to distribute Point of Sale Material to wholesalers and secondary wholesalers to share with their retail clients.
Production of Retail Point of Sale Material has been a key element of the promotional strategy in recent years. Research has shown that shoppers use these visual cues in the retail environment to understand what is in peak season and to adjust their shopping choices. A range of Shelf Wobblers, Pin Point displays and Posters (A4 and A3) were compiled into Retailer Packs for easy distribution to retailers supplied through Market City.
Retailers were also supported with sampling of WA citrus fruit through June and July. This included 30 independent retail stores in the metro area. The spread of COVID in the community at this time and the mandate of wearing masks in shopping areas restricted the success of this initiative compared with previous years.
Integrating with the social media community was possible being involved at the State of Social Event. This annual Social Media marketing conference in August at Optus Stadium is attended by 700 social media professionals.
Harvey grower Richard Eckersley featured on Our state on a plate. Carnarvon growers Dudley and Susan Maslen with Justin Parsons from LaManna Premier Group.
Organic posting on WACitrus through Facebook and Instragram (@WACitrus) achieved a steady social media presence, seeing an increase in followers and engagement proportionate to the posting level. Analysis of the posting metrics indicate posts involving industry people continue to be the most popular with highest engagement.
Strong community involvement was possible through the season. This included support of a range of sporting and community events, particularly through the Perth Marathon Club and Healthways sponsorship of sporting events across the metro area. This included WA Netball, WA Football Commission, AFL Junior competitions, Touch Rugby, WA Golf and WA Hockey. Alignment with WA netball associations with support of major competition weekends and holiday clinics continued in a reduced capacity. Fruit supply was reduced to regular games, as it seems the impact of COVID has reduced the shared fruit trend.