The story behind the product has always been an important factor in marketing, but consumers are demanding more now – they want to know the story of where it comes from too.
Tasmanian producers are drawing on place of origin when branding their products for local and international markets and are reaping the rewards.
Mt Direction Olives owners Sean and Chrissie Ahern started branding their 2016 olive oil harvest bottles with a QR code, so interested customers could scan the code with their smartphone and watch a short video on where the olives are grown and how they are prepared.
“We do have a QR code on our bottle. We’re probably the only one in the state,” Mr Ahern said.
The QR (quick response) code was produced mainly for the Chinese market, which is looking for high value imported products, but also appeals to those who visit the producer’s stall at Harvest Launceston, he said.
“The QR code started with the idea of selling into China. [Customers scan the code or] click on the video on our website and see where the olive oil comes from,” Mr Ahern said.
“It talks about the grove, then follows up with footage from the shed with processing and oil going into tanks,” he said.
The Aherns set up Mt Direction Olives in 1999 and sell around 800 litres of olive oil each year.
QR codes have been added to the 100mL and 250mL bottles and 1L olive oil box.
Mike Buckby, the man behind Montagu business Cape Grim Water, agrees provenance helps sell agricultural produce.
The self-professed rain farmer encourages Tasmanian farmers to sell the “romance of the product”.
“Whether it’s beef, dairy or bottled water, tell people the story of how you do it and why you do it,” Mr Buckby said.
“What is the passion behind it? [Consumers] want to know the story of why [producers] have done it,” he said.
The Cape Grim Water Company has collected rainwater for human consumption from Tasmania’s North-Western tip for almost 20 years.
Cape Grim Water uses its location in marketing, explaining “when icy winds collide with warm air rising up and over the Cape Grim cliffs, the heavens open up and spill forth – and we’re there to capture it”.