Aussie retailers should embrace ‘multicultural consumers’

Catering to “multicultural consumers” could bring huge opportunities to Aussie fruit and veg retailers, says Nielsen.

It defines “multicultural” (or “ethnic”) shoppers as those from non-English-speaking households.

Nielsen says this demographic will become even more important over the next few years – for two reasons. First, immigration to Australia is rising. Second, multicultural consumers are having a growing influence on Australian cuisine.

“Adapting to the traditions, attitudes and shopping behaviour of multicultural consumers is a sizeable growth opportunity for Australian fruit and vegetable growers and retailers,” Nielsen said in a statement.

A fresh attitude

Ethnic households shop differently, Nielsen says, particularly when it comes to fresh produce:

  • They allocate 21.2 per cent of their total grocery basket volume to fresh fruits and vegetables. This share compares with 16.6 per cent for non-ethnic households.
  • Over the past year, ethnic households bought on average 14.6 per cent more kilograms of fruit and vegetables (and spending an additional $45.60) compared with non-ethnic households.
  • Ethnic households are thriftier, however, and spend $0.34 less per kilogram on fresh produce.

Herbs, lychees, fresh leafy greens

According to Nielsen, ethnic households bought significantly more of the following items over the past year, both in volume and dollar terms:

  • Leafy Asian vegetables
  • Lychees
  • Mangoes
  • Eggplants (aubergines); and
  • Herbs.

A preference for specialty stores

All households buy most of their fresh fruit and vegetables in major supermarkets, Nielsen found. But ethnic households allocate significantly more of their fresh-produce spend to specialty stores such as Asian grocers, greengrocers and markets. Ethnic households also shop more frequently for fresh produce at speciality stores compared with non-ethnic households.

Opportunity knocks for Australian growers and retailers

According to Nielsen, savvy Aussie retailers should start factoring Asian-Australians into their retail strategies.

“When thinking about our culturally diverse mix, we should no longer be focusing solely on European cultures,” Nielsen said. “Today, Asian-born Australians represent more than 10 per cent of the overall population. Their footprint has more than doubled over the past 20 years and this will continue to increase. Asian-born consumers are growing in importance and engaging with them requires a change in mindset.

“It’s also important to remember that ethnic households are more cost-conscious than non-ethnic households. Therefore, any new product developments targeting ethnic shoppers should be supplied at a competitive price point.”

Check Also

Food science, customised technology and wholesomeness set to shape food industry

Health and sustainability, smart diets and food science are trends that will shape the global …