Dirafrost Taps Chinese Social Media to Boost PRC Sales

Dirafrost, the Herk-de-Stad, Belgium-based frozen fruit company, has shared details of a successful marketing effort with its distributor in China. Together they combined a digital campaign and a masterclass for a limited number of Chinese chefs to increase demand for fruit puree ingredients used to make high-end pastries.

China is a mobile-first market, so mobile digital presence was in the forefront of the campaign. It outperformed the benchmarks on the two social media platforms that were tested.

dirafrost china 300First, Dirafrost arranged to have an article published at China’s renowned WeChat messaging channel targeting professional pastry chefs. Within 12 hours the article generated approximately 8,000 clicks. The number rose to 10,000 within one week, and in the process 177 readers took part in a contest to win admission to an exclusive masterclass. This represented an engagement rate of 1.77%, which is well above the average European engagement rate on social media platforms such as Facebook (0.5 to 1% engagement).

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Second, Dirafrost ran three campaigns on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, and achieved 310,000 views – of which more than 42,000 read the content. Here again, a high engagement rate resulted – 13.6%, compared to just 1% on average in Europe.

The winners of the contest were invited to join a masterclass presented by a top Belgian pastry chef, hosted by Dirafrost’s distributor in the PRC. In an intense training day, the Chinese chefs learned how to make five special pastry recipes with fruit puree.

dirafrost china 03“The result was a win-win for all parties,” reported Liesbeth Buffels, marketing and communications manager. “Happy chefs, full of fresh ideas to develop new desserts; a happy distributor with the incentive for prospects and customers, and a 17% increase in sales volume of fruit puree; and a happy supplier with increased brand awareness and increased sales.”

Dirafrost is a member of the Austrian Agrana Group. It operates production plants in Serbia and Morocco, as well as in Belgium, and is a major supplier of frozen red fruit, including raspberries, to European and other foodservice, retail and industrial markets. The company’s vast sourcing area of 96,580 hectares of fertile fields typically harvests enough fruit to yield 28,000 tons of finished product per annum.