Nielsen research finds authentic Italian brands present big opportunity for retailers

One in three Australian consumers would consider choosing an authentic brand in key grocery categories, recent Nielsen research has shown.

Nielsen Homescan Insights, which monitors shopper behaviour across a panel of 10,00 households, has highlighted that in particular, authentic Italian grocery brands are rapidly growing in popularity, presenting a big dollar opportunity for marketers and retailers to target these consumers.

In the past 12 months, more than two thirds (5.7 million) of Australian households purchased authentic Italian brands, up by 149,000 households on the previous year.

“Australian consumers have developed a more sophisticated palate and are more discerning about where products are sourced. Authentic Italian brands in dry pasta, bottled sauce and tinned tomatoes are already attracting a majority of Australian households,” says Sarah McKee, Director at Nielsen.

“Authentic Italian brands can capitalise on this trend, with particular focus on the categories where their penetration is low, including cheese, vinegar, biscuits, water, olive oil and coffee.”

Sarah adds that if the number of households purchasing authentic Italian brands across the top 10 categories increased by just 1 per cent in the next year, this would equate to an almost $2 million opportunity.

Nielsen insights showed that across 10 grocery categories, dollar sales for authentic Italian brands[ increased by 7.4 per cent in 2017 compared to the previous year, outperforming the combined growth of these categories (1.4 per cent) and total grocery including fresh (2.5 per cent).

Sarah says that engaging with non-English speaking consumers is also critical to driving continued growth for brands.

“Australians as a whole are buying more international foods and are looking to source these products from authentic brands. To capitalise on this opportunity, brands need to understand the diversity of Australian consumers and products should be activated in a way that amplifies the product’s unique proposition,” she says.

There are now close to 2 million Chinese tourists visiting Australia and New Zealand every year and Asian vegetables can be found in one-in-three (34.5 per cent) of Australian homes.

“Expanding distribution within the major supermarket chains as well as exploring opportunities across other retail channels is also fundamental in ensuring brands are continually reaching a wider audience,” Sarah says.

Nielsen Holdings is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy.

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