The consumer is king – placing the right product in the right market

29 November 2017

Key points

  • Australia is a supplier of quality red meat to over 100 countries and our trade is heavily influenced by changing consumer demand in those markets
  • MLA’s market strategy is developed based on in-depth understanding of consumers in key markets and identifying areas of opportunity
  • MLA resources are available for producers who wish to gain a better understanding of what’s driving demand in our main global markets.

‘Consumer-first’ thinking leads global businesses

The Australian red meat industry connects with consumers in more than 100 countries, with exports representing over 60% of the industry's production. This connection with over 5.6 billion people is not only about providing consumers with safe and wholesome meat it is about gaining a deeper understanding of consumer preferences. These insights help Australian red meat to remain relevant and highly competitive in the global protein trade.  

An increasing number of companies and industries, including the Australian red meat industry, are using various degrees of data and consumer insights to better understand demand, set objectives and develop strategy. This means that supply-driven ‘product first’ thinking is being replaced with demand-driven ‘consumer first’ thinking among these global businesses.

How MLA evaluates markets based on data and insights

MLA 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 relevant ‘attractiveness’ to Australia based on this quantified data.

Coincidentally, a market may be attractive but also 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.

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.

MLA has a range of publications about key markets for Australian red meat that help producers become more informed when making discussions with their supply chain partners and – armed with a better understanding of where their product is going – make more informed business decisions about their own production and on-farm investments.

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 visit

Please note, Market Snapshots for 2018 will be released by MLA in early February 2018, look out for the announcement in a future edition of MLA’s Prices and Markets e-newsletter.

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