A study by Roy Morgan Research has revealed that the proportion of Australians who say they would be more likely to buy items made in Australia has increased over the last two years, from 85.6% in 2013 to 89.2% last year.
But while Australia remains consumers’ hands-down preference, several other countries of origin found increased favour over the same time period.
Growing numbers of consumers said they’d be more likely to buy goods made in Canada (51.5%, up from 42.6% in 2013), Sweden (44.1%, from 36.3%), France (40.9%, from 32.5%) and Spain (27.8%, from 21.3%).
While these nations saw the biggest growth in public approval, traditionally less well-regarded nations such as India (15.8%, up from 12.8%), South Africa (21.1%, from 16.5%) and Chile (13.5%, from 9.6%) are also being seen in a more positive light by Australian shoppers.
Meanwhile, the United States (58.7%, up from 53.9%), the United Kingdom (57.6%, from 51.8%) and New Zealand (56.9%, from 50.3%) bounced back from temporary dips in popularity during 2013, to reach their highest approval ratings in years.
However, the nation’s top trading partner, China, was one of the few countries to lose support over the last couple of years years; likewise Japan, even though Tokyo signed a free-trade agreement with Australia in 2014.
Australians’ redoubled preference for home-grown shopping is even more striking when specific product categories are assessed.
Compared with with 2013, increased proportions of the population say they’d be more likely to buy clothes, food, electrical goods, sporting goods and wine if they were labelled “Made in Australia”.
“Alongside our renewed enthusiasm for Australian-made goods, we are becoming increasingly open to, and comfortable with, the idea of buying foreign-made products,” said Michele Levine, chief executive of Roy Morgan Research.
“Online shopping has broadened our retail horizons, enabling us to purchase items made in all corners of the globe, though it’s worth remembering that the majority of online shoppers in most product categories still buy from local sites.
“International retailers with a bricks-and-mortar presence in Australia have also boosted our perception of foreign-made products.”