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Australians are increasingly seeking to make a difference by buying local

13 October 2020

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In response to the adversity of 2020, bushfires, floods, a pandemic, and economic downturn, Australians are seeking to do their bit at the grocery store. A recent study by Mintel, the experts in what consumers want and why, shows Australians’ desire to buy locally grown food is gaining momentum. According to Mintel’s Megan Stanton, Senior Analyst, Purchase Intelligence,  “In July of 2019 Forty four percent of consumers said they try to buy locally grown food, this rose to forty eight percent after the December 2019 bushfires and rose again to fifty two percent during the COVID-19 crisis.”

There are many reasons for this marked shift in attitudes. Many consumers believe Australian products deliver on taste, quality and trustworthiness, and are seen as better value than imported products, however it depends on the food or drink category as well. “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.

For instance, frozen fruit grown and packaged in Australia significantly outperformed overseas products when it came to both instant reaction and purchase intent. Fifty-four percent of respondents were more likely to buy the Australian product despite its higher price tag.”

Safety, however, wasn’t the only reason respondents gave for choosing Australian made over imported brands. They also believe Australian products taste better and see the value in providing more opportunities to the local economy by supporting Australian jobs and farmers.

Transparency was an important factor for respondents. Many respondents to the Mintel survey expressed dismay that products they believe should be made in Australia, especially those sold under supermarket own-brand labels, are actually imported from as far away as Europe and the Middle East.

These findings align with the Mintel Trend Locavore which highlights the seismic shift in why, where and how we consume food and the consumer desire for transparency from companies.

“They 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.”

This report was contributed by knowledge partner: