Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, is the most important traditional Chinese festival of the year, celebrated by billions of people in many countries. The 4,000-year-old tradition is characterised by family reunions, paying tribute to ancestors, time spent at home and banquets of abundant tasty food. In China, most people take at least one week off work, with many taking two. The first day of the Chinese calendar falls on the new moon between 21 January and 20 February and this year, the auspicious day occurred on 28 January, marking the start of the Year of the Rooster.
Peak season for nut consumption
Preparing and enjoying delicious food and giving food as gifts are strong cultural traditions for Chinese New Year. Consumers will typically begin their food shopping well in advance of the festival, purchasing gifts and stocking up for in-home consumption.
Food manufacturers capitalise on this opportunity, with limited edition Lunar New Year products in abundance in stores throughout China, both online and offline. During the 2017 Chinese New Year period, sales of retail food and beverages reached 840 billion RMB in just seven days, up 11.4% on 2016.
Nut consumption in China peaks during the festival period. Nuts and snacks combined represented 53% of this year’s Chinese New Year food sales for online retail giant Alibaba, while e-commerce platform JD.com reported 22% of Chinese New Year sales from nuts alone. Meanwhile Chinese snack brand Bai Cao Wei sold a staggering 20 million nut items over the period.
Macadamias form part of the Chinese New Year gift-giving landscape, featuring in premium gift pack offerings of China’s major retail nut brands.
Making Australian Macadamias part of the celebratory conversation
Cultural occasions and celebrations are an important content pillar for Australian Macadamias consumer campaigns in all markets, and Chinese New Year is no exception, with the festival guiding a host of engaging content in both China and Taiwan. Our social media content created specifically for this important celebration ensured Australian grown macadamias were part of the celebratory conversation.
Beauty influencer promotion sees in New Year in China
The Australian Macadamias China consumer campaign shifted into top gear in the lead up to Chinese New Year, with the launch of a powerful 3-minute online TV video starring beauty influencer Vivian Xu.
Also featuring on our Chinese campaign website, and Chinese social media platforms Weibo and WeChat, the video brings core macadamia messaging to life, promoting the message of ‘5 macadamias per day’, as Vivian shows how macadamias nourish her from the inside out as a convenient snack and a potent skincare ingredient.
The beauty narrative is overlaid with the growing story, spectacularly showcasing Australia’s pristine macadamia growing regions – the natural home of the world’s best macadamias – and how the nuts are farmed, harvested and turned into ready-to-eat product.
The video has been viewed over 344,000 times and is attracting excellent engagement. Vivian’s substantial social media following is achieving additional leverage, with the video also featuring on her Weibo and WeChat channels, exposing our core messaging to a wider audience and driving additional reach.
To create extra engagement and awareness throughout January, the launch was accompanied by a consumer promotion on the Australian Macadamias Weibo channel. Promoted concurrently on WeChat, the activity offered fans the chance to win an iPad 4 mini by following the Australian Macadamias Weibo account and posting a beauty-related comment about ‘5 macadamias per day’.
The promotion achieved outstanding results, attracting 27,000 entries and almost 24,000 new Weibo followers, more than doubling the total following which now exceeds 42,600.
Beauty blog posts, display ads on mobile apps and topic discussions on popular women’s app Meiyou also helped to drive awareness throughout the Chinese New Year period.
Fans share macadamia greetings in Taiwan
The Australian Macadamias Facebook community in Taiwan engaged enthusiastically with our Chinese New Year activity that occurred in two phases throughout January and early February.
Taiwanese people follow a number of Chinese New Year customs, including sending auspicious greetings to family and friends, and eating fruit that is associated with good fortune. Pineapples are traditionally linked to prosperity, apples signify peace, while oranges represent luck.
The first phase of our Taiwan 2017 Chinese New Year activity tapped into these local customs with a Facebook game that invited fans to choose their favourite New Year macadamia-fruit combination and send this as a greeting to their friends. This ensured our brand was part of the Chinese New Year festivities, and also linked our product with food that brings good luck! Everyone who played the game had the chance to win a prize. The activity generated 3,670 engagements, and impressive reach of nearly 19,500.
This was followed by a second phase of Facebook activity that tied in with another Chinese New Year tradition: the giving of red
envelopes containing money. This time fans were invited to choose a red envelope that revealed a New Year blessing, and then share the lucky blessing by tagging a friend for the chance to win a macadamia prize.
This highly engaging and innovative activity generated nearly 22,000 engagements and achieved reach of more than 163,000.
We wish all our Chinese and Taiwanese friends the very best for The Year of the Rooster. May it be healthy and prosperous!