#4 Overcoming the Availability Bias with Aussie Sweet Potatoes

It’s our tendency to give disproportionate importance to information that comes to mind quickly and easily when making decisions.

That is as true of holiday choices as it is of the vegetables we put in our trolleys.
So when we ‘popped the cork’ on sweet potato shopping behaviour we found two prevailing experiences jumping to mind for most people.

At one end of the taste spectrum is over-boiled mash, at the other, glistening, salty, deep-fried pub grub.

This was a problem for sales of Aussie Sweet Potatoes as both ‘experiences’ were proving a turn-off for shoppers.

Its once held top spot in the pantheon of ‘healthier’ options has been eroded by a wider shift to ‘healthiest’ options.

In stores, these healthiest options abound.
And it’s not just the rise of ‘vitamin rich’ and ‘free from’ variants grabbing our attention. Aisles are full of ‘natural’ products pre-packed for our convenience. So convenient in the fact that we skip past the humble sweet potato.

Once a regular on Aussie plates, it has become misunderstood, underappreciated and for some, forgotten.

When push came to shove these rather unflattering associations meant the nutritional value and great taste of the versatile sweet potato was being left on the shelf more and making it onto plates less.

Yet, when it comes to carbs, there is nothing that delivers the vitamins, minerals, fibre and flavour like a sweet potato.

But who has got time to look up the nutritional value of a potato. We needed a shortcut for shoppers.

Thanks to our friends at TBWA and Hort Innovation, the Aussie Sweet Potato has stepped up from playing the support act to being the main attraction on our plates again, taking its rightful place on the throne.

Behold, the King of Carbs.

Framing the sweet potato in regal power helps breakthrough our preconceptions and reassess our most noble of veggies.

In store, we’ve taken the framing effect further still by presenting them in all their mouth-watering glory in different dishes. Helping shoppers see how great the plate looks with their cooked sweet potatoes. So along with priming techniques that ensure the King and key assets from the campaign (like the font, tonality and backdrops) create cut-through at the shelf, we’re inspiring shoppers with meals they can give a little royal treatment to by including sweet potato.

After all, the King of Carbs reigns over all dishes.

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Ian Foulds
Ian Foulds

As The Zoo Republic's Strategy Director, Ian is often found surrounded by post-it notes, research findings, and reports looking for the connections that help us understand what makes people tick. Ian uses his own innovative interpretation of Behavioural Economics principles to help businesses identify what is holding consumers back, and to discover the levers we can pull to inspire behavioural change.