72% of Australians prefer locally sourced products

By Nichola Murphy
Tuesday, 03 October, 2017

With safety concerns over food and drink becoming more prevalent, brand trust has become important in influencing consumer choices. According to research from Mintel, 28% of urban Australian consumers prefer to buy food and drink products that have the Australian Made/Grown logo as it assures them of health and safety.

The research found that 72% of metro Australians make the effort to buy food or drink with an Australian Made/Grown logo, and 17% always do so. When looking at the motivation behind these choices, Mintel found that three in 10 suggest the logo instills trust, while one in four believe that it builds the authenticity of a product.

Six in 10 urban Australians also suggest that the new percentage bar on the logo has furthered their trust in the product. The changes to the logo was deemed to have a positive impact on consumers due to the fact that it clearly demonstrates the proportion of ingredients that are either local or imported.

However, there are generational differences when it comes to homegrown products. Mintel’s research found that Australia’s iGeneration (post-millennial) consumers are less likely to buy a product purely due to its origins. Only 19% of urban Australian consumers aged 18–24 are influenced to purchase locally made or grown products compared to older generations; 39% of consumers aged 45–54 and 56% aged 55 and above are more inclined to feel strongly about local products or services.

Alternatively, Australia’s iGens are more influenced by products or services that provide convenience (40%) or are from their favourite brand (34%).

“Deteriorating faith in institutions of government, businesses, non-governmental organisations and the media has created doubt and confusion among many, weakening consumer trust worldwide. On top of that, the sheer number of safety scares that have been reported is enough to spur people to put more thought and care into what they are consuming.

“Our research indicates that local products or services that come with the Australian Made/Grown logo are likely to resonate well with Australian consumers, especially those featuring the newly revamped logo, which now provides an overall heightened understanding of the provenance of a product. What’s more, older generations are more likely to purchase locally made or grown products or services than their younger counterparts — consumers who are generally more attuned to the digital world, more aware and open-minded, and perhaps have higher levels of distrust for official bodies,” Mintel Trend & Innovation Consultant, ANZ Shelley McMillan said.

The research suggested that companies can win the trust of younger consumers by pursuing progressive policies such as gender equality, and being transparent with their mistakes.

“With nowhere to hide, it’s best that a brand holds its hands up and approach the situation head on in times of crisis,” Mintel Head of Insights, South Asia Pacific Jane Barnett explained. “Essentially, it’s important for brands to be honest, be human and be positive, all to build that level of ‘friendship’ and trust with consumers.”

Purchasing locally sourced food and drink has been growing in popularity over the last few years, and the knowledge of a product’s origins is one crucial way of building trust with Australian consumers.

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