In the face of adversity, Australians go local

In response to the adversity of 2020 – from bushfires and floods to the pandemic and economic downturn – Australians are seeking to do their bit by buying local at the grocery store, according to research conducted by Mintel. The firm said Australians' desire to purchase homegrown food products is gaining momentum.
The recent bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic spurred more buying of local food said Megan Stanton, senior analyst, Mintel Purchase Intelligence.
“Mintel’s research reveals that 44% of consumers said they tried to buy locally grown food in July 2019, but this rose to 48% after the December 2019 bushfires and to 52% during the COVID-19 crisis,” Stanton said.
She added that there were other reasons for this marked shift in attitudes. Many consumers believed Australian products delivered on taste, quality and trustworthiness, and were seen as better value than imported products. However it depended on the food or drink category as well, Stanton explained.
“In categories where safety is an issue most respondents said they would buy a product locally made in Australia over a less expensive imported product,” she said.
For instance, frozen fruit that was grown and packaged in Australia significantly outperformed overseas products when it came to both instant reaction and purchase intent. Findings reveal 54% of respondents are more likely to buy the Australian product despite its higher price tag.

Helping the local economy

Data also showed that safety wasn’t the only reason respondents gave for choosing Australian-made products over imported brands. More Australians believe local products taste better. They also see the value in providing more opportunities to the local economy by supporting Australian jobs and farmers.
Stanton said: “Australian consumers want to know who makes their products and how. They want to feel as though they are somehow helping their community by buying locally produced goods.”
Lastly, transparency was another critical factor for Mintel’s survey respondents. Many were dismayed to discover that some products such as those sold under supermarket own-brand labels are not Australian-made. These goods are from Europe or the Middle East, Stanton concluded. (Image from Mintel)



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