What platforms and content are most popular on horticultural and fruit social media?

The Icarus Q1 2018 Panel analyses the activity of several FMCG brands.

Alimarket Mass Market


The current situation of the fruit and vegetable sector is marked by its brisk pace of development. In recent years it has become one of the most dynamic mass consumption markets, encompassing multiple perspectives. As well as factors such as the improved treatment and positioning of these products in terms of distribution, greater specialisation, and the wider ranges available, we can now add better brand channels and the increasingly positive consumer evaluation reflecting current health trends. This development is also reflected by its operators, who are being proactive in areas such as awareness of the importance of fruit and vegetable consumption, collaboration in charity and sports events, promotional actions and social media activity, among other initiatives.

Indeed, if we analyse the progress made in this last area, there are many active brands, and it seems that social media activity will only continue to expand. This should come as no surprise – although the horticultural and fruit sector still only accounts for a small percentage of the mass consumption group, it is growing exponentially.

A report by the Icarus Q1 2018 Monitoring Panel on social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, commissioned by Epsilon Technologies and carried out by Alimarket, analysed the activity (over 3,340 posts) of 18 fruit and vegetable brands with a total of 56 profiles within an overall context of more than 400 FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) brands. The key information gleaned from this research makes the growth and development potential absolutely clear. Although these 18 brands moved only 3% of total consumer interaction (which exceeded 8.7 million) and 2% of global virality (1.34 million), they evidenced between 80% and 95% growth in virality and interaction, contrasted against the decline of the overall FMCG context, which fell more than 30% in both cases. These brands also grew in number of followers, approaching 1.12 million in total.

Instagram leads while emotional potential grows


But what platforms and content are leading social media activity in the 18 analysed brands? In the first case, over the first three months of 2018, and in comparison with the same period in 2017, Instagram is the main player. This is not only due to its evolution (+480%), the logical result of a 13% share and a high growth margin, but also because it generates the highest level of consumer engagement, with a rate of over 30% ( compared to 7% with Facebook and 4% with Twitter). In terms of percentage of participation, Facebook holds the lead in terms of interaction, with 82%, and also in terms of growth in the first quarter (+75%). In third place is Twitter, with an evolution of nearly 50%.

If leadership in terms of platforms is clear, there is also no doubt as to the content types with the highest interaction rates. From a total of ten categories (recipes, prize draws, emotional, commemorative, tips, motivational, survey, product, tagging and exhibition), recipes generated more than 35%, compared to 23% for prize draws. A relevant fact to be taken into account here from the Icarus Panel is related to the emotional factor. Of the three posts with most interaction in the period analysed, two are related to the emotional content and another to the commemorative, also with an emotional tone. There is also great potential in the development of this type of content associated with motivation, friendship and family.


Florette, in the Top 20 of the FMCG market


Among the 18 brands analysed, Florette led the market in interactions during the first quarter of the year, with more than 42%. In fact, it was among the 20 best brands in the FMCG market, according to the Icarus Panel ranking. Its main movers were video recipes on Instagram and prize draws made across its platforms. Overall, its Instagram profile generated more than 95% of the brand’s interactions (9% of the total interaction of the brands analysed), meaning that this specialist in the ready-to-eat segment has contributed to the growth of the platform.

Florette is followed in the interaction ranking by Zespri and Pink Lady, exceeding 12% in both cases. Kiwi was mainly moved by motivational content (27% of interactions), as well as prize draws and recipes, in line with the global content trend, while the club apple brand registered more than 50% of its activity through commemorative content and, after that, recipes. As we can see, the three leading brands in terms of interaction accounted for practically 67% of the total.

Within the Top 10 social media interactions based on Icarus Panel data, we find the apple specialists Val Venosta and Marlene, the berry brands Fresón de Palos and Cuna de Platero, the vegetable distributor of the pre-cooked Huercasa range, the melon and citrus brand Bollo, and the banana brand Plátano de Canarias.