Bord Bia campaign to target 33m Chinese online shoppers

Bord Bia today launched a major new digital campaign to directly promote Irish dairy products to China’s online shoppers and influencers.

This is the first consumer-facing campaign undertaken by Bord Bia in China, while a new website has also been developed to support the campaign.

In its initial phase, through a series of online ads, promotions and targeted blogger engagement, Bord Bia expects to reach in excess of 33m Chinese consumers.

Over 200 Chinese food buyers, trade partners and local media attended a Bord Bia event in Shanghai today, hosted by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed, to launch the campaign.

The launch of the campaign took place on the final day of the agri-food industry’s Asia trade mission, which spanned four countries in six days.

The new digital campaign is focused on building awareness of Ireland as a source of safe and sustainable food, according to Bord Bia.

While the initial focus will be Irish dairy products, early next year Bord Bia plan to expand the campaign to include Irish meat and seafood.

In order to expand food exports to China, Ireland must communicate the differences between Irish produce and products originating in other countries, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed said.

Bord Bia’s Origin Green provides us with a competitive edge as the only national sustainability programme providing verifiable safe, secure and sustainably produced food.

“Chinese consumers have been enjoying quality Irish dairy product for many years without necessarily making the link with its origin and what makes it so unique,” Minister Creed said.

The new digital campaign by Bord Bia will communicate direct to the consumer, promoting Irish exports and their unique qualities to an audience that could never have been reached otherwise, the Minister said.

Extensive research was carried out in China ahead of the campaign launch, including over 300 hours in-field research across three cities, 14 brand clinics, 36 store visits and 48 home visits to monitor consumer cooking and shopping habits, according to Bord Bia.

Speaking in Shanghai at the launch, Aidan Cotter, Chief Executive of Bord Bia said, it is estimated that of the 1.38 billion people living in China 680m are active internet users.

Close to 50% of China’s population use social media, while over 60% of Chinese consumers shop online each week, compared to less than 20% globally, Bord Bia said.

“The strong influence of social media in China is ideal for reaching our core target audience and following our consumer insight and research work.

“Ireland’s reputation in China as a producer of quality, safe and sustainably produced food is gaining traction thanks to the success of our dairy and pigmeat exports,” Cotter said.

Bord Bia believes that this online campaign will drive Irish food and drink exports to China amounted to over €650m last year, an increase of 16% on 2014.