Grocery shoppers seek authentic brands

One in three Australian consumers would consider choosing an authentic brand in key grocery categories, recent Nielsen research has shown.

Authentic Italian grocery brands, in particular, present a big dollar opportunity for marketers and retailers. According to Nielsen Homescan Insights, more than two thirds of Australian households bought authentic Italian brands in the past 12 months, up by 149,000 households on the previous year.

Nielsen Director Sarah McKee says Australian consumers have developed a more sophisticated palate and are more discerning about where products are sourced.

“Authentic Italian brands in dry pasta, bottled sauce and tinned tomatoes are already attracting a majority of Australian households,” she said.

“Authentic Italian brands can capitalise on this trend, with particular focus on the categories where their penetration is low, including cheese, vinegar, biscuits, water, olive oil and coffee. In fact, if the number of households buying authentic Italian brands across the top 10 categories increased by just one per cent in the next year, this would equate to an almost $2 million opportunity.”

Insights showed that across 10 grocery categories, dollar sales for authentic Italian brands increased by 7.4 per cent in 2017 compared with the previous year – outperforming the combined growth of these categories (1.4 per cent) and total grocery including fresh (2.5 per cent). Ms McKee says engaging with consumers whose first language isn’t English is also critical to driving continued growth for brands.

“Australians as a whole are buying more international foods and are looking to source these products from authentic brands,” she said. “To capitalise on this opportunity, brands need to understand the diversity of Australian consumers, and products should be activated in a way that amplifies the product’s unique proposition.”

There are now close to two million Chinese tourists visiting Australia and New Zealand every year, and Asian vegetables can be found in one in three Australian homes.

“Expanding distribution within the major supermarket chains as well as exploring opportunities across other retail channels is also fundamental to ensuring brands are continually reaching a wider audience,” Ms McKee said.

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