Australia’s long-standing love-affair with Asian cuisine has only intensified over the years. With Indonesia and Thailand becoming increasingly popular holiday destinations, and rice and noodles replacing potato as Australians’ side dish of choice, it’s clear that the Asian influence on Australia’s palate isn’t just a passing trend.

Recognizing the increasing popularity of Asian food in Australia, leading Australian food manufacturer, Simplot Australia, saw a gap in the market for Australians who wanted to learn to cook Asian recipes at home. Susan Foley, Marketing Communications and Branding Manager at Simplot, explains, “Our research revealed that many Australians come back from visiting exciting Asian countries, having discovered a whole range of new flavors, but then struggle to recreate these new meals at home. To solve this challenge, we created the Five Tastes brand; a range of meal kits, pastes and sauces that make it easy to cook authentic, modern Asian at home.”


Already the home of some of Australia’s favorite brands, including Birdseye, Leggo’s, Lean Cuisine and John West, Five Tastes was the first brand Simplot developed from scratch. While Simplot’s existing brands were hugely successful, the company decided to try a new approach for the Five Tastes brand. “It took us about 18 months to develop the Five Tastes brand and, when we came to planning the website, we took a step back to better understand who our audience was and how they’d use the brand site.”

The decision to review the website experience, for their brand launch, proved well-timed. In 2010, Simplot had engaged web development agency, IE, to help them to transfer their major brand websites onto the Sitecore solution. By 2013, when the Five Tastes brand was due to launch, these projects had been completed and, for the first time, Simplot had the chance to launch an entirely new site using the solution’s leading-edge functionality. 


As Foley explains, “The brand’s purpose is to teach consumers how to cook authentic Asian meals at home, so the site had to reflect this and had to be inspirational and educational, easy to follow and simple to navigate; on the other hand, it also had to keep them inspired and wanting to learn more. We wanted users to really experience the brand. Supermarkets, nowadays, are a minefield of brands and logos; for us, it was crucial that Five Tastes stood outboth in the shopping aisle and online.”

To help Simplot achieve their goal of closely matching the website to the brand, IE formulated a clear strategy. Berry Driessen, General Manager of Marketing & Enterprise at IE, explains, “We took a lot of time to fully understand Simplot’s ambitions for the brand; it soon became clear that their underlying goal was to provide Five Tastes customers with a 360⁰ Asian cuisine meal-experience. In order to achieve this, we suggested designing the site as ‘mobile first’.” Patterns in user behavior were the key driver behind the decision to go ‘mobile first’. “We worked off the assumption that, as a recipe site, most users would be accessing content ‘on the go’- whether that’s on the way to the supermarket from work, at the supermarket or quickly browsing instructions while cooking”, recalls Foley.

A growing trend, ‘mobile first’ refers to websites that design the online experience for a mobile device before designing it for a desktop or other device. “This approach removes the need to re-establish priorities in content, between desktop and mobile perspectives, in terms of what is shown on a page. We’ve also found that, for brands such as Five Tastes, where users are more likely to be accessing the site ‘on the go’, it simply makes for a better user experience,” explains Driessen.

It soon became clear that ‘mobile first’ would also strongly influence the type of content displayed on the website. “Once we’d committed to the idea that most of our users would be accessing the site on their mobile devices, we started thinking about what content we could produce that would  complement a mobile user’s activity. For example, if someone picks up an ingredient in a supermarket and wants to know what meals they can make with it, they can scan a QR code on the packet which will bring up that information immediately on their phone.”

With the new site requiring a robust mobile solution, as well as the ability to publish and manage a diverse range of mobile content, the Sitecore solution was, according to Driessen, the best possible choice. “With multiple existing brand sites to manage, as well as the Five Tastes launch, Sitecore enabled Simplot to optimize efficiency by having all websites housed within the one CMS.”

Foley agrees, “As a marketing manager, it’s important to me that the CMS is easy to use; both for myself and my team. Not only is the Sitecore solution extremely user-friendly, but it has enabled us to really complement the brand idea and bring it to life. IE’s expertise was crucial as they were able to show us just how much was possible, using Sitecore.” 


Taking a risk on the ‘mobile first’ approach, and using social channels to single-handedly build the brand, paid off almost instantly. Launching in June 2013, the Five Tastes website generated over 15,000 Facebook fans within six months and, of its 18,000 monthly visitors, over 50% access the site from a mobile device- a percentage that’s still growing.

“We’re seeing more interaction between our social pages and the website than with any of our other brands,” remarks Foley. “We were never chasing metrics to prove success of the site. For us, success isn’t measured in web traffic volumes or social followers- it’s in how engaged people are, and Five Tastes is our most engaged site.”

Driessen agrees, “It’s more than just a website. By launching a fully mobile site, that’s easy to navigate and contains truly useful and engaging content, Simplot has created an online tool to help people plan, purchase and cook healthier, tastier meals.” 

Technical Description

  • Sitecore CMS (Sitecore Experience Platform™)
  • Multi Site Implementation
  • Lucene Search
  • 51 Degrees Mobile device detection
  • Twitter bootstrap with Responsive design
  • jQuery
  • Sharepoint Integration
  • Continuous Integration