I read a very interesting article from Australian Food News (http://ausfoodnews.com.au/2009/03/25/new-study-tracks-changes-in-the-australian-grocery-shopper.html) about growing market trends according to research from The Nielsen Company. The research found that the population of Australia with migrants born in Asia, could increase to a rise of 21 percent by 2050 (based on research and trends in 2010).
This is a massive increase and would suggest that over 1-5 people living in Australia are of Asian background. This would have huge implications on a large variety of industries.
Bringing us forward to the current year ,2015, another article by Mark Dingley discusses market trends in the Australian manufacturing industry.
Asia is really shaking up Australian manufacturers (as we’ve reported before). There are some massive opportunities out there to export more to, and meet the demand of, Australia’s quality produce, and it was clear at AUSPACK that manufacturers are willing to do what it takes to get the advantage. For some, this means launching new products especially for export to the Asian market. For others – especially those in the dairy industry – this means ramping up production to meet the growing demand. These opportunities also bring challenges: How do you scale production sustainably? What is required to meet the hygiene and quality standards for export?
I find the first question about sustainability really intriguing. From my other research I have found many fashion brands such as Puma, Zara and Adidas are trying to improve their business procedures in terms of sustainability. Many businesses seem to be trying to improve how they go about business from design to end product delivery. I believe many consumers these days want to know where the products they are buying are sourced from and that those they are in exchange with are performing both ethically and morally sound. For example, a 2014 online article from Farm Weekly mentioned:
Demand for free-range eggs has jumped more than 15 per cent in the past five years and now accounts for one in every five eggs produced in Australia.
Consumers I feel are becoming more conscious of the impact that they can create on business with the concept of supply and demand. I believe these sorts of examples iterate just how important market research is for companies to be on top of their game, especially in saturated markets such as FMCG or fashion retail. Businesses need to be aware of how consumers use their products and what drives them to use their product or certain types of products.
As another example of a ripe topic on business ethics is dominate tech company Apple. There has been much media exposure to the conditions of workers at Apple factories in China. A RelianceRisk.com.au article reported…
Last year, concerns were raised over worker conditions at Apple factories in China, following an investigation by China Labor Watch. As reported by The New York Times, the workers’ rights group accused the company of not enforcing compliance with occupational health and safety regulations at Apple supplier factories across China. Locked fire exits, absence of safety training, significant overtime, and flammable substances found on the floors of factories were some of the hazards identified through China Labor Watch’s inquiry.
These types of issues bring up debate and I’d like to put forward a questions…
- Should businesses be conducting more market research on the importance of sustainability to their consumers? OR should businesses simply invest money into providing more sustainable production, rather than researching the topics relevance to it’s consumers?
- Do you personally tend to give much importance on where your product been sourced from or where it was produced?