Younger Australians more likely to buy food ‘Made in China’

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 8th April 2015
Younger Australians more likely to buy food ‘Made in China’
Younger Australians more likely to buy food ‘Made in China’

Australians aged under-35 years were dramatically more likely than their older counterparts to buy a food product if it was labelled ‘Made in China’, according to the latest findings from market research organisation Roy Morgan Research.

Australian Food News reported earlier this week that an announcement from the Australian Government of further consultation with stakeholders and consumers into its proposal to introduce a mandatory ‘Australian content’ symbol for all locally produced food products had been welcomed by the Australian Made Campaign.

Amid the current call for improved country-of-origin food labelling, the proportion of Australians aged 14 years and older who are more likely to buy food if it is labelled ‘Made in Australia’ has increased from 85 per cent to 88 per cent over the last two years.

Australians who agreed that they would be more likely to buy products manufactured in China tended generally to be aged at the younger end of the spectrum. According to Roy Morgan Research, this trend was strikingly evident when it came to food.

However, Roy Morgan Research said it was worth remembering that even among the under-35s, food labelled Australian-made was far more popular overall, with its popularity rising among people aged 35 and older.

‘Made in China’ food consumers are less fussy

Roy Morgan research found that in contrast to the increase in people who said they would be more likely to buy Australian-made food, 6 per cent of Australians said they would be more likely to buy food labelled ‘Made in China’ (almost unchanged from 5 per cent in 2013). According to Roy Morgan Research this minority group tended to have quite distinct attitudes to food, especially when compared to the much larger, Australian-made brigade.

Compared to people who are more likely to buy food labelled ‘Made in Australia’, those who were more likely to purchase Chinese-made food products were less likely to be concerned about whether food was fattening, genetically modified, or additive-free. They were also more likely to buy frozen or chilled ready-made meals, takeaway food, and to avoid dairy products when possible.

“Among the small percentage of Australians who are more likely to buy food if it’s labelled ‘Made in China’, certain attitudes towards food stand out,” said Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research. “These same attitudes – from ‘I often buy takeaway food to eat at home’ to ‘I avoid dairy foods wherever possible’ – are also more widespread among Aussies aged under 35 than those aged 35 and older,” she said.

Place of birth influences attitudes to where food is manufactured

Ms Levine said Roy Morgan’s Research’s findings had also shown that where someone is born has “some bearing on their attitudes to goods manufactured in different countries”. She said data showed that Australians who were born in Asia were more likely than those born in Australia to buy food products labelled ‘Made in China’.

“However, the vast majority of Asian-born Australians are still more likely to buy food made in Australia,” Ms Levine said.