Path to global opportunities start with consumer

15 December 2017

Population is one way to gauge potential demand, but there are more indicators to comprehensively grasp global market opportunities for the Australian red meat industry – and the key word is ‘consumer’.

‘Consumer-first’ thinking leads global businesses

In the fast changing world of consumers, the supply-driven, ‘product-first’ thinking is no longer viable. An increasing number of companies and industries, including the Australian red meat industry, are now driving ‘consumer-first’ thinking, using various sources of data and consumer insights to better understand demand, set objectives and develop strategy.

Identifying its critical influence to our trade, MLA is on a journey to enhance our consumer knowledge via quantitative research. Conducted annually in numerous markets, insights from the tracker summarise the current protein landscape, perceptions and strengths/weakness of our and competitor products, by market.

In these charts from the tracker results, we selected the top 30% of the population, by income, as a proxy for potential buyers of premium beef in various markets. By comparing this group to the average, we can profile our target audience and better understand their drivers and needs.

Australian beef in households

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Beef as a premium

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Identify opportunities for Australia

MLA also uses a combination of trade, consumer and economic insights to help identify markets that offer present and future opportunities for Australian red meat. For instance, a product with the same quality and price can be affordable and appealing in one market, or too expensive and/or not worth paying for in another. This can be due to a range of factors, including:

  • economic landscape – includes the consumer’s ‘ability to afford’ the product
  • traditional and social preferences
  • the values they see in a product/brand/origin.

By studying these factors, we gain a more complete picture of the market and can better gauge the relative ‘attractiveness’ to Australia based on this data.

While a market may be attractive, it can also be loaded with other challenges that cannot be resolved solely at an industry or commercial level. Subsequently, MLA’s ability to impact consumer demand can sometimes be limited because of those challenges, which include:

  • competitive landscape – availability of similar products from other suppliers
  • country risks, domestic policies, logistics and infrastructure challenges
  • regulatory environment including trade agreements and economic/technical barriers.

These factors are taken into consideration as a way to measure Australian red meat’s ‘ability to impact’ the market.

The below diagram illustrates an example of the MLA segmentation process, using two countries as an example. Both are critically important markets for Australia, yet they are so vastly different that population number alone would never capture their relative potential. This is where we interrogate a range of data to better identify our investment focus in respective markets.

MLA Segmentation

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Using a combination of ‘attractiveness’ and our ‘ability to impact’, MLA can segment the various markets and align with industry representatives and to inform strategy, investment and resource allocation.

Global opportunities led by consumer insights

An opportunity exists in the global market to further grow and reinforce demand for Australian red meat. The key to unlock this opportunity is to place the right product in right market, guided by consumer insights, with the promise of high quality underpinned by product integrity.

For further information:

MLA’s market snapshot reports provide insights on where Australian product is consumed, what’s driving demand, and relative market opportunities and challenges.

To access the reports, please click here.

Please note, market snapshots for 2018 will be released by MLA in February 2018. Look out for the announcement in a future edition of MLA’s Prices & Markets e-newsletter. 

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