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The global (shopping) village: Aussies more receptive to foreign-made products than they used to be

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2005 – March 2006 (n=55,436) and April 2013 – March 2014 (n=48,059).
In further evidence the world is becoming one big global village, the latest data from Roy Morgan Research reveals that Australians are gradually becoming more receptive to the idea of buying products made in countries they might not have considered just under a decade ago. Goods from nations such as Canada, Germany, Japan, Sweden and the US have all risen in our estimation — but Australian-made still leads the way…

In the year to March 2006, 34% of Australians 14+ said they’d be more likely to buy products made in Canada. By March 2014, this had risen to 44%. Swedish-made products also experienced a popularity boom, with 38% of the population saying they’d be more likely to buy them, up from 27% in 2006.

Australian consumers are also much more likely to buy products manufactured in Japan (up from 37% to 48%), Germany (32% to 47%) and the US (42% to 55%) than they were in 2006.

% of people more likely to buy products depending on country of origin, 2006 vs 2014

country-of-origin

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2005 – March 2006 (n=55,436) and April 2013 – March 2014 (n=48,059). Respondents were asked to indicate whether they would be more likely or less likely to buy products made in each of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, UK, USA.

Of course, while we may be embracing foreign-made goods more than we once did, they’ve got a long way to go before they challenge Australian-made products for top place in our hearts (and wallets). No less than 87% of us say we are more likely to buy a product if it’s made in Australia.

Chinese-made: making the grade (just)

And what of Australia’s top trading partner, China? In the year to March 2006, 33% of Aussies said they’d be more likely to buy products made in China; since then, there has been a marginal increase to 35%.

This modest growth is reflected in categories such as Clothes (up from 30% to 33%), Electrical Goods (24% to 28%) and Sporting Goods (16% to 17%). Motor vehicles and wine remained steady at 9% and 3% respectively, while the proportion more likely to buy food produced in China declined (7% to 5%).

More interesting is the willingness (or lack thereof) of different age groups to buy products manufactured in China, with Australians aged 14-24 noticeably more willing to buy Chinese-made Clothes, Food, Electrical Goods, Motor Vehicles, Sporting Goods and Wine than their older counterparts (particularly those aged 50+).

% of people more likely to buy products made in China – by age group

chinese-made

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2013 – March 2014 (n=48,059). Respondents were asked to indicate whether they would be more likely or less likely to buy each type of product made in China.

When it comes to Australian-made Clothes, Food, Electrical Goods, Motor Vehicles, Sporting Goods and Wine, the trend is reversed, with Aussies aged 35 and older being more likely than younger sectors of the population to buy them. However, despite their more global outlook, younger Australians are also more inclined to purchase Aussie-made goods than Chinese.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Australian-made products remain at the heart of most Aussies’ shopping preferences. A vast majority say they’d be more likely to buy goods made here, while seven in 10 say they ‘try to buy Australian-made products as often as possible’.

“However, we’re gradually becoming more receptive to foreign-made goods, and a growing number of us agree that we’d be more likely to buy products made in countries as diverse as Canada and Japan, China and the US. Younger Aussies are especially open to goods from other countries, having grown up with the international marketplace provided by online shopping.

“It will be interesting to see how the Australian government’s recent Free Trade Agreement with Japan affects our attitude to buying products made in Japan. Currently, Japan is the fifth-most popular country of origin for products we’re more likely to buy, but with the FTA sure to result in less expensive electronic goods and household appliances, the Land of the Rising Sun may soon become the Land of Shopping Fun!”

For comments or more information please contact:

Michele Levine,  CEO
Office: +61 (3) 9224 5215
Mobile: +61 411 129 093
Michele.Levine@roymorgan.com

Related research findings

View our extensive range of Shopping and Retail profiles, including our profile for shoppers who try to buy Australian-made products as often as possible. These profiles provide a broad understanding of the target audience, in terms of demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage in Australia.

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2