An NZTE-commissioned study into the Covid-19 pandemic has identified key trends and changes:
●The perception of New Zealand has seen some substantial improvements over the past month. This is likely a halo effect from the positive media coverage the country received during the Covid-19 disruption. The boost has been particularly noticeable around safety and quality.
●Health and safety are becoming increasingly important to consumers across different markets. Consumers also increasingly expect their diet to be healthier and include more fresh produce than before Covid-19.
●Areas hardest hit by Covid-19 tend to be seeing the biggest shifts around health as people grapple with the consequences of the pandemic.
●Consumers are increasingly looking for natural and organic products, tied to health perceptions.
●The proportion of consumers who prefer to buy sustainable products has seen a slight drop over the past month. However, this was starting from quite a high April base.
●Despite tough economic conditions globally, consumers are increasingly looking to treat themselves.
HorticultureThe perception of New Zealand as a producer for high-quality fruit and vegetables is very high. Particularly for Singapore, China and Australia.
●Consumers are expecting to eat more high-quality fruit and vegetables than before Covid-19.
●Almost all consumers eat fruit or vegetables (in some form). But kiwifruit has some strong differences across demographics particularly in the UK and USA. High income and younger consumers are far more likely to eat kiwifruit, with older audiences often never eating them.
●Kiwifruit consumers have some more niche attributes driving purchases: health claims, carbon footprint, specialty and international products more commonly feature with such consumers. This indicates that kiwifruit sit in a more specialty space than fruit such as apples.
Meat and seafood
●There isn't a clear trend away from meat products in most markets, the exception being the UK where consumers expect to eat less.
●New Zealand is seen as producing high-quality red meat products in Asia Pacific countries and in the UK. The perception is far weaker in the US, where lamb is eaten less often.
●Beef is a mainstream product in all markets — consumed regularly by a wide range of people. The drivers for this are more around the taste, price, freshness and quality. Lamb is a more niche product, with a lot less consumers eating lamb. Lamb consumers have more specialised tastes with international specialty products being more attractive.
●The older generation in the US don't eat lamb. It is more popular with younger generations — indicating more potential for the future.
●New Zealand is seen as a high-quality producer of seafood in Australia, Singapore and China.
This image is is far weaker in the United Kingdom and the United States. This is likely due to proximity to where seafood is typically consumed.
WineIn most countries (with the exception of China), there is an expectation that consumers will drink less high-quality wine in the future. It is difficult to tell if this reflects wider alcohol trends or the disruption from Covid-19.
●New Zealand is seen as a producer of high-quality wines. This perception is lower in the US. But the perception is increasing particularly in the UK and Singapore.
●Wine is consumed weekly far more by high-income consumers; 60 per cent of those with high incomes drink wine weekly, and only 19 per cent of low-income consumers.
●Taste is key for wine and even more so for drinkers of high-quality wine.