shopper trends: the changing face of Australia
The latest census found that slightly more than half of Australia’s residents today have two Australian-born parents and
Ultimately, a different approach is required for manufacturers and retailers to be successful in this evolving market.
So, how can brands deliver for Australia's changing population? What are the opportunities for FMCGs and retailers?
The increase in overseas-born Australians is predicted to continue with the biggest growth coming from Asia (overtaking Europe in terms of population share as of 2015). NSW alone is home to about half of all of Australia’s 500,000 Chinese-born residents.
According to Nielsen:
The changing retail landscape.
European preferences are generally catered to more so than Asian foods in major supermarkets.
This is partly because many SKUs are driven by Australian demand, such as consumers looking for unprocessed foods, with healthier alternatives such as wholegrain foods.
However, there are more similarities than we think. Both European and Asian-born consumers are looking for healthy ingredients, although perhaps just slightly different types.
Changes have been made in an effort to better connect with international consumers, with sections of supermarket aisles now dedicated to food from various cultures such as the introduction of fresh sushi counters. But more could be done.
Food trends are moving towards fresh Asian ingredients, vegetables and treats, such as dumplings and dim sum. Asian-fusion restaurant cuisine is also becoming increasingly popular in Australia, suggesting that Australian and European-born consumers would respond well to an increased Asian food selection in supermarkets.
Culture has a big impact on attitudes towards alcohol. There are obvious and clear differences between Australian cultural attitudes and Asian cultural attitudes and tastes.
3. Luxury retail.
In the Australian market, Chinese shoppers are estimated to be responsible for at least two-thirds of sales.
According to Jennifer Spark from Ready Set Go China, a Sydney based digital marketing agency, luxury brands in Australia are now maximising this opportunity by working with wealthy Chinese micro-influencers who can influence shopping behaviours.
Concierge and customer service staff at bigger city stores in Australia are often Mandarin speakers in order to better connect with this group of consumers.
Dior stores in Melbourne have also introduced a rate card which compares the prices of their popular products in Australia with China, to show the savings.
Opportunities to connect.
First, show commitment.
Be authentic in your commitment to Asian and international shoppers. Think longer term than just cultural holidays such as Chinese New Year. These sporadic promotions aren't enough to change behaviour and store preference.
Georgina Lionatos, MultiConnexions client services director, agrees:
Work with trusted influencers.
Connect with Asian-born consumers by leveraging cultural ambassadors (for example, Blackmores partnership with tennis star Li Na) or by targeting older consumers.
Masheila Pillay, Dentsu Mitchell's multicultural director, says it's important to figure out why certain messages aren't getting across:
Tap into daigou shoppers.
One way to target the Asian market is by using a network of daigou shoppers who buy in Australia and send back to the mainland. However, this strategy is not without its pitfalls.
The bottom line.
The traditions, behaviours, beliefs, wants and needs of an increasingly multicultural Australia provide an opportunity to explore new flavours, ingredients and products.
Businesses that make a conscious effort to connect with multicultural Australians have a real opportunity to benefit due to the increased spending power of these 'new Australians'.
The shift also benefits Australian consumers who get to experience more diversity and options, conveniently aligning with the current trend to be more creative with cooking and food choices.
Australian kids are already eating sushi in their lunch boxes (a far cry from our school lunches!) and Asian salads, Japanese-influenced poke bowls, matcha and yum cha restaurants are everywhere.
With this market constantly growing, it's time to find a way for your brand to leverage this opportunity.
Tap into this market today.
PLAY specialises in consumer research for FMCG, retail and lifestyle brands, so if you're looking to get a better understanding of the changing Australian population and market, we're here to help.
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