Do Australian shoppers really care about buying Australian brands?

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The Local Brand Loyalty Myth
This year we’ve had the pleasure of hooking-up with the very smart guys at BrandHook. They have a great eNewsletter called The Hook which recently featured an article on the launch of Ozemite and asked the particularly pointy question; Do Australian shoppers really care about buying Australian?

Recently Australian entrepreneur, Dick Smith launched Ozemite in retaliation to the now American owned Vegemite.  He admits that it doesn’t quite taste the same but believes that buying Australian products and keeping Australian workers in work is more important to Australian shoppers. Some sources say that there are 85 – 90 % of all supermarket products are foreign owned.

But do Australian shoppers really care about buying Australian?

We recently spoke to Australian families and women regarding Australian products.  They told us that yes they do want to buy Australian and that when choosing between two similar products, the Australian one will win hands down. Today’s financial uncertainty – a destroyed high street, manufacturing job losses and personal experiences seem to be driving this sentiment.  With few products and services being made in Australia, our families wanted to hang onto what they could. Roy Morgan found similar results in their 2010 study.   In excess of two thirds of Australian consumers consciously buy Australian made ‘whenever possible’ or ‘often’. Furthermore, their research shows that the Australian consumer wants to buy Australian made.  A ‘super’ majority of Australians (90%) are ‘more likely to buy products labeled Made in Australia’.

According to The Green Times  if every Australian spent just $50 a week on wholly owned Australian companies instead of wholly owned foreign companies then we can have a significant impact on the Australia Balance of Trade. This increased local demand will increase productivity and reduce demand on imports – then we can reduce the crippling debt Australia owes by $50 billion a year according to Ausbuy data.

So,  it would appear that both the need and desire is there – but will Ozemite deliver against both and an existing brand that for most Australians, will still appear to be Australian?

Pip Stocks, Founder & Director BrandHook.
Pip’s not only a creative and confident strategic thinker and brand developer, but also an entrepreneur.
She is the founder of BrandHook and names SBS, GlaxoSmithKline, CSL and The Just Group in her client list.

BrandHook are a Melbourne-based brand research and insights agency, working with clients to understand their customers and drive innovation.
You can check out BrandHook and subscribe to their newsletter here: www.brandhook

Dick Smith has set-up a website called What a Con to highlight ‘foreign multi-national companies exploiting Australian consumers’:


  1. promotes the buy Australian philosophy..while many Aussies prefer Australian Made products it’s somewhat difficult to find them (the products that is). It’s important that products be physically displayed to enable customers to “smell the roses”..Made Australian addresses the problem. As a consequence (and with support from suppliers) Australian made producers will obtain product exposure & increased sales volumes.

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