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Australian supermarket Coles has launched a new education-based campaign as part of its famous collectables range. 

The latest assortment of collectables for kids features pocket-sized books by Andy Griffiths, the author of the New York Times–bestselling Treehouse book series, and illustrator Terry Denton. From Wednesday, every customer who spends $30 or more at any Coles supermarket will be presented with one of the Coles Little Treehouse books. 

There are 24 thrilling miniature books to be collected. 

The books, including Jill’s Little Big Book of Animals and Elephant on a Bicycle, will have entirely new storylines but centre around the adored characters synonymous with the Treehouse series. 

Coles Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Ronson said the “world first” campaign aims to foster a love of reading in Australian kids. 

"We wanted to find an engaging and sustainable way to bring joy and hours of entertainment to Aussie households,” she said in a media release. “As a supermarket, we know we can reach millions of our customers every week with these fantastic little books to read and enjoy with their kids.”

A 2017 survey showed 83% of Australian households encourage children to read, but just 22% bought books for their kids. 

Just under 10% of surveyed respondents never read to their children. 

Griffiths says expanding upon the Treehouse series — which has been published in over 35 countries and is widely regarded as one of Australia’s most successful book series — was an “easy choice” for the campaign. 

"We have always been committed to creating books that capture the hearts, minds and funny bones of children in order to foster a life-long love of reading,” Griffiths said in a media release. “This partnership with Coles means children across the country will be able to collect a miniature library of books aimed specifically at encouraging them to read. It’s an unprecedented literacy initiative, and we’re delighted to be working with Coles to deliver such a significant and tangible benefit to the kids of Australia."

On Wednesday, Coles will also launch its first picture storybook competition.  

The competition, which calls on Australian children to produce a fictional novel, forms part of Coles’ partnership with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Alongside a variety of prizes available to students and schools across the country, each entry into the contest will see one new book donated to a rural Indigenous community with no local bookstore or library.

The Little Treehouse collection follows on from a range of previous collectables by Coles, including the Little Shop series — which saw customers collect miniature plastic versions of popular grocery products. 

The Little Shop series, which launched in mid-2018, resulted in the supermarket’s best-ever single-quarter sales results but received significant backlash over the unnecessary environmental impact of the single-use plastic items. 

The paper and other materials used in the Little Treehouse collectables are all responsibly sourced and can be recycled. 


Demand Equity

Supermarket Giant Coles Launches New Collectables Campaign Featuring Children’s Books

By Madeleine Keck