Australian Pears

Five different pear varieties were marketed under a singular Australian Pears brand in Indonesia as part of a pilot aimed at assessing opportunities to expand exports.

Goulburn Valley-based Fruition Marketing and Plunkett Orchards, and Indonesia-based Morelink Asia Pacific, worked with Indonesian importer Mulia Raya in April and May to implement the marketing campaign.

A multi-variety offering, backed by promotions, drew good interest from retailers and customers alike demonstrating commercial opportunities exist.

Five European-style pear varieties grown in Australia – Packham’s Triumph, Beurre Bosc, Red Sensation, Corella and Josephine – were promoted in key Indonesian retailers Hypermart and SuperIndo, backed by a programme of in-store samplings, store promotions and a social media campaign.

The pilot was funded by Hort Innovation using the pear marketing levy.

Owen Carter, manager of Fruition Marketing, said offering a mix of green, brown and red pears under one brand had broadened the appeal to both retailers and consumers. Staggered promotions had ensured Australian pears were given shelf space for a longer period.

“Indonesia is one of our best opportunity for pears, It is our closest market, there is a well-established European pear market and Australia is known for quality,” Carter said.

“The challenge is competing with cheaper product from other Southern Hemisphere producers. One of our advantages is their shipping time is longer so we can get pears to market in top condition a couple of weeks before them.”

“We need to play to the positives, and price is not one of them.”

Carter said brands were relatively unknown in the Asian market and a single ‘Australian’ brand offered the chance to both strengthen awareness of Australian pears and introduce new varieties.

“We wanted to do something different by offering a branded product, but keeping it relatively broad, rather than just Packham,” he said.

While Packham is the best-known variety and accounted for 60 per cent of sales, Carter said, where in-store sampling was offered, sales of Beurre Bosc came close to matching those of Packham.

Carted said the pilot had received very positive feedback from Hypermart and the campaign had also attracted interest from other retailers keen to participate next year.