More than half say they are making more of an effort to buy New Zealand made products and brands since coronavirus swept the world.
A survey of 1048 New Zealanders has revealed that we are throwing our support behind Kiwi businesses more than ever before. The nationwide poll, which was run by OOBY Magazine shows that 62 percent of us are now going out of our way to buy New Zealand made products. Read on for more highlights.
“We are a small nation with a huge capacity for creativity, drive and forward focused thinking. We need to support local enterprises - and assist in increasing nationally supported and produced products for here and overseas.”
Jane M, survey participant
SHOPPING HABITS HAVE CHANGED
Fifty-five percent of Kiwis report that their shopping habits have changed since coronavirus, and that they're now making more of an effort to seek out locally made brands.
This is also evident in the growing popularity of dedicated groups on Facebook, where Kiwis are getting together to share and promote their favourite brands and businesses. It'll be interesting to see whether this becomes a permanent trend once lockdown is over.
Of the remaining participants, the majority (38 percent) said that their habits haven't changed. The reasons seem to be split. Some Kiwis have always supported local brands, so coronavirus has made no difference to them. Others point out that it's too difficult at the moment, but that they will make more of an effort once the restrictions have eased.
"It's an existing habit but this has been an extra reminder," said one shopper.
"I'm just in and out of the shops right now as I'm worried about the virus," explained another. "When I have more time and if it's visible on the label, I will support New Zealand brands as much as possible."
NEW ZEALAND OWNED MATTERS
Kiwis don't just want the products they buy to be made in New Zealand. They want the companies behind them to be New Zealand owned as well. A whopping 78 percent said that it's something that matters to them.
"We need to look after our own first," said one participant. "It's the Kiwi way."
"I own a business and I know how hard it can be," shared another. "If Kiwis can support New Zealand brands through this nightmare, our economy will bounce back, Kiwis will thrive and there will be more employment opportunities."
LABELLING COULD BE BETTER
Country of origin labelling is a sore point for many Kiwi producers. For years, it has been voluntary and we don't like it!
Sixty-four percent of us think that labelling doesn't provide enough information, and would like to know whether or not it was made in New Zealand.
"It might say that it's a product of New Zealand but then you read that it was packaged in China!" lamented one respondent.
"Often, it's a bit misleading and you have to read the very small print...only to discover that it isn't New Zealand made at all," agreed another.
Fortunately, we are getting ever closer to having some decent country of origin labelling requirements. In December 2019, the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) announced that the government would be creating a simple, mandatory system in New Zealand that provides consumers with accurate information about the country or place of origin of certain foods. You can find the details here. Feedback was open until February 2020. Of course, plans have probably been delayed due to the pandemic but keep your eyes peeled for an announcement once things have calmed down.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?