Younger Australians not so sold on Australian-made products

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 22nd January 2014
Younger Australians less committed to buying Australian made

Despite a healthy majority (71 per cent) of the Australian population agreeing that they try to buy Australian-made as often as possible, it is not always easy for them to put their money where their mouth is, as locally produced items become less widespread, according to market research organisation Roy Morgan Research.

The most die-hard, patriotic consumers are the older generations such as Pre- and Baby Boomers, with more than eight out of ten saying they try to buy Australian-made products. The younger generations are less likely to agree, however, with under half of Generation Z agreeing they try to buy Australian made (49 per cent).

“Over the last decade we’ve seen many Australian-owned brands close their doors, or be sold to overseas companies,” said Warren Reid, Group Account Manager Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research. “Even manufacturing from local heritage brand Holden (ironically enough, owned by US company General Motors for 80-plus years) is soon to disappear entirely overseas,” he said.

Marketplace has changed

Roy Morgan Research said in an increasingly globalised society, the classic “True-Blue Aussie spirit” was not as pervasive or influential as it once was, particularly among the younger generations who had grown up accustomed to a marketplace where Australian-made was just one of many options.

“Whether it’s mobile phones, clothing or household items, most are labelled as being made overseas,” Mr Reid said. “Far from consciously deciding to avoid buying Australian-made, younger generations are often given no choice: the type of products they buy just aren’t manufactured here (or if they are, they’re more expensive),” he said.

“The segments of the population most likely to buy Australian-made wherever possible not only tend to be older, but often live in rural areas,” Mr Reid said.

According to Roy Morgan Research’s findings, 61 per cent of Generation Y respondents agreed they try to buy Australian-made products as often as possible, 71 per cent of Generation X respondents, 82 per cent of Baby Boomers and 86 per cent of Pre-Boomers.

“With Australia Day around the corner, it’s a good time for all of us to think about the products we’re buying: where they’re manufactured, and whether there’s a locally made alternative,” Mr Reid said. “The ‘Australian made’ logo is always a good indicator; their website is also a useful reference for consumers keen to buy local goods,” he said.