An increasing proportion of Australian consumers are more likely to buy a product if it’s made in Australia, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal.
In the 12 months to September 2015, 89.2 per cent of Australians aged 14 and over said they would be more likely to buy products made in Australia — an improvement on 2013, when it was 85.6 per cent.
But while Australia remains the population’s hands-down number one preference, several other countries of origin found increased favour over the same time period.
Growing numbers of consumers say they would be more likely to buy goods made in Canada (51.5 per cent, up from 42.6 per cent in 2013), Sweden (44.1 per cent, up from 36.3 per cent), France (40.9 per cent, up from 32.5 per cent) and Spain (27.8 per cent, up from 21.3 per cent).
While these countries saw the biggest improvement in public approval, traditionally less well regarded nations such as India (15.8 per cent, up from 12.8 per cent), South Africa (21.1 per cent, up from 16.5 per cent) and Chile (13.5 per cent, up from 9.6 per cent) are also being seen in a more positive light by Australian shoppers.
Australians’ renewed preference for ‘home-grown’ shopping is even more striking when we look at specific product categories. Compared with the same time in 2013, increased proportions of the population say they would be more likely to buy food, clothes, electrical goods, sporting goods and wine if they were labelled ‘Made in Australia’.
Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, said the growth is encouraging news for the country’s manufacturing sector.
“The love affair between Australians and Aussie-made products shows no sign of fading. In fact, it’s the healthiest it’s been for two years, with nine in every 10 Australians saying they’re more likely to buy products made in Australia,” Levine said.
Meanwhile, heavy-hitters the US (58.7 per cent, up from 53.9 per cent), the UK (57.6 per cent, up from 51.8 per cent) and New Zealand (56.9 per cent, up from 50.3 per cent) bounced back from temporary dips in popularity during 2013, hitting their highest approval ratings in years. The nation’s top trading partner, China, was one of the few countries that lost support over the last few years.
“Curiously, despite signing a Free Trade Agreement with Australia in 2014, Japan has slipped from fifth to sixth-most popular country of origin for products we’re more likely to buy. The popularity of Chinese-made products has also slipped over the last 12 months, resulting in China dipping from tenth to eleventh place. This makes Japan the only Asian country of manufacture in the top 10, so it will be interesting to see whether this slump is temporary or indicative of a wider shift in Australians’ shopping attitudes.”
This story first appeared in Community and Impulse Retailing.