Buy West Eat Best celebrates 10 years
Buy West Eat Best, the State’s unique local food branding program, is celebrating 10 years of promoting and supporting Western Australia’s local food and beverage industry.
The program, which features the iconic Buy West Eat Best green State logo, was born out of consumer frustration about being unable to identify and purchase local food products.
While the food industry has changed significantly since the program was launched in 2008, its mission remains the same – to identify, support and promote locally grown, farmed, fished and processed produce.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development continues to manage the program, hand-in-hand with businesses, industry and regional communities.
Buy West Eat Best is more than a State-of-origin labelling system, it is a partnership with agribusinesses throughout Western Australia that continues to strengthen year-by-year.
The department and Buy West Eat Best members are committed to expanding consumer brand recognition via co-invested promotion and marketing activities, backed by market research and evaluation.
Membership has grown from 38 founding partners to more than 150, including major retailers, small growers, artisan producers, large scale processors, restaurant and food service providers.
The first few years were spent establishing the brand and increasing membership, as consumer awareness of the program grew.
Research backed promotion
In 2010 the first advertising campaign, Get vocal about eating local, was launched with co-contributions from members, building on brand awareness from the logo and in-store promotions.
Since then, consumer interest in food providence has soared, alongside evolution of social media and television cooking programs.
Buy West Eat Best has capitalised on this interest and new promotional channels creating strong integrated marketing campaigns, such as the high-profile WA Signature Dish cooking competition that promoted regional produce and communities.
Campaign reports from the inaugural event in 2014 showed more than 500,000 social media users were engaged during the three month campaign, via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Several influential food bloggers were engaged in the program, while traditional media monitoring revealed more than $1 million worth of exposure for the WA Signature Dish was generated.
More recent independent market research undertaken in March 2018 demonstrated strong Buy West Eat Best brand awareness, with 71 per cent of survey respondents recognising the brand, and 90 per cent of respondents more likely to consider buying a product with the logo.
When retailers applied the Buy West Eat Best logo to a shelf sticker in store, research showed a sales increase of 10 per cent, with one-in-four consumers actively looking for the logo when grocery shopping.
The 2018 marketing program features the Taste of WA campaign at Yagan Square in central Perth, to showcase the best produce from the Peel, Gascoyne, Swan Valley and surrounds and the South West region.
Each partner region champions local chefs, farmers, producers and community leaders, who cook and create conversations with consumers – bringing the country to the city.
The campaign complements other State Government endeavours to attract gourmet travellers to enjoy WA’s outstanding produce.
The Good Choice television and marketing initiative is another current high-profile campaign, featuring a young man followed by a group of farmers, producers and chefs applauding his ‘good choice’ at selecting WA produce.
Preliminary research has already shown increased brand awareness from the advertising campaign while 33 new members have signed up to Buy West Eat Best since the campaign began in July 2017.
All WA agrifood businesses, regardless of their size, can leverage from the Buy West Eat Best campaign by simply applying the logo, while even non-members benefit from the call to action for consumers to seek out and purchase local products.
Consumers also benefit from being more aware of the range of locally grown, farmed, fished and processed produce, which is fresher, tastier and has lower food miles.
Buy West Eat Best has more celebrations planned in the coming months to champion local produce and continue to build on its achievements over the past decade.