Aussie shoppers much more likely to buy local products ahead of Chinese options: Survey


Businesses that are worried about China’s influence on their Australian customers can rest a little easier after a recent Roy Morgan survey showed Australian shoppers are patriotic when it comes to making buying decisions.

The survey gathered responses from over 14,000 shoppers, who were asked if they were more likely to buy a product if it was made in Australia or China. A massive 89% declared they were more likely to buy Australian-made products, with only 30% saying they were more likely to buy Chinese-made products. Additionally, 48% of shoppers said they were less likely to buy a product if it is made in China.

Read more: What China’s e-commerce changes mean for Australian businesses—and why the opportunity remains strong

Across different product categories, confidence in Australian products stayed high, with 89% of respondents stating they’d prefer to purchase Australian-made food products, and 77% and 73% stating they prefer Aussie clothes and wine, respectively.

However, the prevalence of the “Made in China” tag on so many items of clothing may have influenced some consumers, with shoppers who prefer to buy Chinese-made clothing coming in at the highest percentage across all sectors at 33%. Similarly, 27% said they would prefer to purchase electrical goods that are made in China.

The lowest sector for Australian=made product preference was unsurprisingly the motor industry, with only 53% of respondents saying they’d rather buy car that was made locally.

Per age group, respondents aged between 14-17 were found to be the most open to buying products from China, coming in at 37%.

“With a new country-of-origin food labelling system currently being rolled out across the nation, it will be much easier for Aussie consumers to stick with home-grown comestibles should they so desire,” Roy Morgan Research chief executive Michele Levine said in a statement.

“A consumer’s age has some bearing on their interest in a product’s country of manufacture, but only the youngest bracket shows any noteworthy variation from the population average. Among the 50+ age group is almost bang on average, with 90% saying they’d be more likely to buy a product if it was manufactured in Australia, and 29% reporting they’d be more likely to buy goods made in China.”

The strong reputation of Australian-made products also works the other way, with Chinese consumers continuing to show strong demand for local goods—including breakfast staple Weet-bix, the price of which jumped to $50 per box online thanks to Chinese demand in June last year. 

At the time, Nick Henderson, head of partnerships and development at Asialink Business, told SmartCompany the popularity of products like Weetbix in China is due to a “number of factors.”

“The ‘daigou’ phenomenon is a key driving point for the popularity of these sorts of products, as sellers promote them in their own personal networks, which brings implied trust,” Henderson says.

“There is also a growing recognition of the safety and the ‘clean and green’ nature of Australian products, which is becoming desirable amongst the growing upper-middle class.”

Never miss a story: sign up to SmartCompany’s free daily newsletter and find our best stories on TwitterFacebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.


Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Susan Steel
Susan Steel
5 years ago

What people say and what they do are completely different. WE offer Australian Made alternatives in our store and price (of overseas made items) wins almost everytime

SmartCompany Plus

Sign in

To connect a sign in method the email must match the one on your SmartCompany Plus account.
Or use your email
Forgot your password?

Want some assistance?

Contact us on: or call the hotline: +61 (03) 8623 9900.