The increase in ethnic-Australians is predicted to continue with the biggest growth coming from Asia (overtaking Europe in terms of population share as of 2015).
NSW is home to about half of all of Australia’s 500,000 Chinese-born residents. Looking at Sydney, in Hurstville 40% of people are Chinese and in Parramatta 35% of the population are South Asian.
According to Nielsen:
There are some notable differences in shopping behaviours and preferences...
- High demand for health and beauty products. This is demonstrated by ‘the daigou effect’ (check out our blog HERE to find out how to leverage the Chinese daigou shopper trend)
- Linked to the previous point around daigou shoppers, they are also willing to spend more on big brands that they trust
- A desire to have their needs properly understood and catered for means they will choose a retailer based on the availability of international products
- ike to do their grocery shopping all in one supermarket and their children influence food purchasing decisions
The changing retail landscape
European foods are generally catered to much better than Asian foods in the major supermarkets.
This is partly because many trends align with Australian demand, such as consumers becoming more environmentally conscious and 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 - 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 and the introduction of fresh sushi counters, for example. 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. In liquor, manufacturers and retailers operating in Australia need to understand and be relevant to this growing part of the market.
According to Jennifer Spark (Ready Set Go China - Sydney based digital marketing agency), luxury brands in Australia are now maximising this opportunity by working with wealthy Chinese micro-influencers within the community who can influence their friends’ shopping behaviours.
Concierge and customer service staff at bigger city stores in Australia are often now 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
Introduce more product variety, information and promotions
Personalise and tailor content
Tap into daigou shoppers
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.
Over to you
PLAY specialises in consumer research for FMCG, retail and lifestyle brands, so if you are looking to get a better understanding of the changing Australian population and market - we're here to help.
Get in touch on 02 8097 0200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org any time.
And as always, if you've got any research or consumer insight questions you'd like to chat about - we're happy to share our veteran advice!