Assorted Chinese food set. Chinese noodles, fried rice, dumplings, peking duck, dim sum, spring rolls. Famous Chinese cuisine dishes on table. Top view. Chinese restaurant concept. Asian style banquet

"Ethnic-Australians’ spend on FMCG retailing is growing at a faster rate than their Australian-born counterparts. In the next five years, this important group of consumers will contribute a total of $18.7 billion (or 28%) in sales for the grocery sector. This represents an increase of $4.4 billion in incremental revenue, with Asian-born consumers making up 57% of this growth.

Findings from Nielsen’s Ethnic-Australian Consumer Report reveal that the origin of the ethnic-Australian consumer is altering dramatically. When thinking about our culturally diverse mix, we should no longer be focusing solely on European cultures. Today, Asian-born Australians now represent more than 10% 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 that very few Australian manufacturers have embraced to date. For example, Asians’ food preferences are very different. They devote almost a third (32%) of their grocery spend to fresh food (compared to Australian-born consumers who allocate 26% of their spend on fresh); and they also have a strong skew toward seafood, fresh herbs and healthier food options in general.

While some brands and retailers are already working to better cater to the needs of Asian-born consumers, there is still a sizeable gap and opportunity to be addressed, as per the following key findings from the report:

  • 75% of Asian-born Australians say they would shop more at mainstream supermarkets if there was a greater international selection.
  • Almost half (48%) of Asian-born Australians say their purchasing decisions are influenced by retailer catalogues and brochures.
  • 31% of Asian-born Australians say their food choices are influenced by their children.
  • Asian-born consumers are more likely to read product labels, are more inclined to purchase healthier ingredients, are influenced by comments and reviews posted online, and are willing to pay extra for well-known brands.

The traditions, attitudes and shopping behaviours of multicultural consumers are influencing mainstream consumers and expanding the market opportunity. The multicultural selling proposition for marketers and advertisers benefits all Australian consumers seeking unique flavours and products. Meeting the needs of Asian-Australians will be key in uncovering the growth opportunity that exists, and marketers looking to connect with them will need to re-examine short and long-term strategies and consider messaging that appeals to this segment of the population."

By Justin Sargent, CEO, Nielsen Pacific

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