Survey finds Kiwis prefer to buy local

About 52 per cent of New Zealanders prefer to buy New Zealand made products as often as possible, according to a survey conducted by Nielsen Brand Origin.

The study shows Kiwis prefer to purchase local brands for fresh produce and packaged foods and snacks, and for durables and electronics, most of them prefer to purchase global brands. The new research asked consumers whether they prefer goods produced by global or multinational brands, or by local players, based on responses from 500 New Zealand online respondents, spanning 40 categories.

For fresh foods, Kiwis prefer local brands. Buying local vegetables rather than global produce is preferred by seven out of 10 New Zealanders, while a similar number of people prefer local meat. 69 per cent prefer to purchase local fruit and 69 per cent prefer local milk. These categories are followed by seafood (59 per cent) and yoghurt (53 per cent) for local preference when shoppers consider a purchase.

“It’s all about local for fresh,” said Lance Dobson, director for retail, Nielsen. “Increasingly consumers are more interested in the provenance of their food and New Zealand suppliers are perfectly placed to deliver to this need.”

For packaged foods and snacks, local taste preferences dominate. Among New Zealand respondents who purchase the category, local brands are preferred to global brands for ice-cream for 51 per cent). 46 per cent prefer local breakfast cereals; 41 per cent prefer local canned vegetables; 39 per cent prefer local biscuits; 37 per cent prefer local confectionary/chocolate and 35 per cent prefer crisps and crackers.

“Succeeding in the packaged food and snack categories is all about understanding consumer tastes in the local market. Local brands often cater best to local preferences due to their agility and ability to innovate. This contrasts to global brands that capitalise on economies of scale and offer more homogenous products across markets,” said Dobson.

Preferences are mixed for beverages. New Zealand respondents, 45 per cent, prefer local brands for juice and water, 35 per cent. Opinions are split, however, when it comes to alcoholic beverages, 17 per cent, carbonated soft drinks, 20 per cent, coffee and tea, 26 per cent. But the largest percentage of people, about 37 per cent, said brand origin is not important to them.

“Traditional definitions of country of origin have become blurred,” said Lance Dobson, director for retail, Nielsen. “Some iconic ‘local’ brands are actually manufactured abroad, while some foreign brands have built a manufacturing presence here. And some global brands have been in the market for so long consumers perceive them to be local. Whichever way, brand origin can be a valuable asset for both global and local companies.”

With high product development costs for durables and electronic goods and the need for economies of scale, it’s no surprise that there’s a clear preference for global brands such as computers, 48 per cent, mobile phones, 46 per cent, and cars, 39 per cent.

When asked the top decision factors for choosing either global or local, New Zealanders place most importance on price, previous good experience, promotions and better product benefits such as flavour. Only 14 per cent of New Zealanders say national pride is one of the most important reasons for choosing local brands but 59 per cent strongly or somewhat agree they prefer buying local brands because they support local businesses.


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