Why is the jury still arguing over NZTE’s ‘Made with Care’ campaign?

The ‘Made with Care’ campaign was launched in 2020 by New Zealand’s trade and Enterprise and aims to showcase the country’s commitment to being a trusted, sustainable global food source.

It targeted key markets such as Australia, China, Japan, the USA, and the UK. So far it has reached over 79 million consumers around the world*.

Made with Care: Japan version

New Zealand is famous for its agricultural produce, like apples, as well as delicious wines.

In 2021 exports of NZ’s apples were $602m up 1.1% on 2020, although volumes shrunk -11%.

Wines tell a similar story. Exports were $1.37b in 2021, up 5% but volumes slid 10%.

Is that positive growth?

Perhaps the biggest challenge for the campaign is its target. Is ‘Made with Care’ intended for consumers and shoppers or rather trade customers?

Complicating matters further, according to NZTE’s own Craig Armstrong (lead for Food & Beverage), the needs of shoppers around the world are diverse.

“China is influenced by health and safety; Japan by health, taste and freshness; Singapore contains a broader spread of drivers; while Western markets are more driven by affordability, taste and trusted brand.” 

Craig Armstrong, NZTE

This week, John Cathcart, Weben’s Consulting Director in Vietnam took several photos of fruit displays, looking for the ‘Made with Care’ campaign at the point of sale. In the stores he visited it wasn’t in use.

It feels like the fruit category has at least doubled in terms of shelf space. The idea of building brands in the fruit category has really exploded but I don’t believe it’s really working. Shoppers may be able to remember brand names in-store but I doubt they are top of mind. Type of fruit and variety perhaps and source of origin.

John Cathcart

Coming up with one campaign to address these varied needs is not an easy task. The danger is that trying to appeal to everyone, the message fails to resonate and land a killer punch.

As John Cathcart also pointed out, using social media metrics to measure the campaign’s success is debatable. How do you know if we’ve reached the right 76m?

The other factor is consistency. Shoppers are bombarded with so many messages, the brand’s message has to be repeated time and time again, not just on social media but also at the point of sale.

(*source: NZTE as at 31 March 2022)