Diversification in established markets…

30 July 2015


Much of the focus of Australia’s export markets in 2015 has been on historically large destinations. The proportion of beef exported to the “Big 3” (US, Japan and Korea) after six months this year was almost 70% – led by a resurgence in demand for imported beef in the US due to low domestic supplies. Lamb has a slightly lower concentration, with 64% exported to the Middle East, the US and China.

However, these markets should not be viewed as having consumers with homogenous tastes. For example, with a population over 320 million, the diversity of demands among different consumer groups is immense in the US. Business Monitor International (BMI), in a recent report on minorities in developed markets, highlights the opportunities in the growing Hispanic population in the US, and the Muslim population in Europe.

The Hispanic population is one of the youngest ethnic groups in the US, currently accounting for around 17.7% of the population, and is forecast to grow to 26.5% by 2050. BMI notes that food staples and fresh products are favoured over packaged foods, and ethnic supermarkets have had success in large metropolitan areas. This provides a potential opportunity for Australian meat exporters to diversify in an established market.

The Muslim population in Europe is another group that could be targeted by Australian meat exporters in future, although there are still limits as a result of quotas on beef and sheepmeat. Australia’s well recognised Halal systems for red meat would allow access to the European Muslim population that other suppliers may not have. This is another fast growing segment, with Muslim consumers in the UK, Germany, France and Italy (combined) forecast by BMI to grow by 3–4 million from 2010 to 2020.

These are just some examples of market diversity within Australia’s traditional export destinations, and are encouraging trends to monitor. Further, within each of these segments, consumers can be looked at in more detail depending on business plans.

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