What comes to mind when you hear the words ‘Australian-made’? For many of us, it is synonymous with quality, trust and pride.
Data from research firm Mintel shows that Australian consumers have become increasingly interested in ‘Australian-made’ products. The overarching trend towards buying local is one part of this, but the bushfire crisis of 2019-2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have been possibly even more influential.
The bushfires that devastated many parts of Australia during the summer of 2019 also devastated many small businesses. Watching the destruction unfold on TV and social media, many consumers decided to offer support through their purchasing powder. The ‘Buy from the Bush’ campaign, for example, saw a 300% increase in sales for some regional businesses. Then when COVID-19 struck, people again wanted to come to the aid of local businesses. As well as this, in a time of crisis, most people gravitate towards what is known and trusted, which are both found in local products. These two defining events of 2020 have initiated a new and intense interest in buying local among Australian consumers. The data backs this up, with consumer research showing that intent to purchase ‘mostly local’ goods and services increased by roughly 20% between July 2019 and July 2020!
What is the opportunity for Australian brands?
Australian consumers are ready and willing to support local businesses. The good news is that while ‘Australian-made’ items are often sold at a higher price point, consumers are generally happy to pay this difference. Partly, this is because the ‘Australian-made’ brand represents value beyond dollar value. It also represents a high standard of product safety, a lower environmental footprint and a sense of nostalgia. Similarly, there is a high level of trust in the ‘Australian-made’ official logo, with 88% of consumers linking it to Aussie production and local job creation.
Even if your product is not made in Australia, the components of your product that are Australian should be highlighted. For example, ‘made with Australian oats’ or ‘with Victorian cherries’. Some products that are doing a great job at amplifying their ‘Aussie-ness’ are Arnott’s Shapes, Darrell Lea Chocolate and SPC Baked Beans.
Adding imagery or wording that refers back to Australia is a great way to leverage the broader interest in buying local. However, brands need to ensure they are being 100% transparent when making claims or positioning their products in this way. Consumers always want honesty from their brands, but this is particularly important for ‘Australian-made’ brands since trust is one of the key selling points.
Locally made products are in high demand, and this demand doesn’t look set to disappear anytime soon. As such, brands should be calling out their Aussie credentials, as well as demonstrating their value beyond their price point.
Source: Mintel Webinar: ‘How important is ‘Australian-Made’ in Food & Drink?’ September 2020.
Images: Arnott’s public website, Mintel GNPD.