Nine in 10 Australians (89%) believe Australia should be producing more products locally following the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research from Roy Morgan.

The research found that key motivations to manufacture locally were to reduce Australia’s reliance on other countries (38%), create jobs (26%), support Australian business and industry (26%), a safeguard for vulnerable international supply chains (20%) and to strengthen Australia’s economy (16%).

“Australia’s over-reliance on imported products has been highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Australian Made chief executive, Ben Lazzaro. “This research indicates that Australians are placing priority on manufacturing self-sufficiency and job creation along with a renewed appetite to address the imbalance between locally made and imported products, to ensure Australia’s long-term prosperity."

The preference for Australian-made products was already high before the pandemic with Roy Morgan research in January finding 88% of Australians were more likely to buy products made in Australia. Since the pandemic, more than half of Australians (52%) say they now have an even higher preference for Australian-made products.

Source: Mumbrella/Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan also found that 92% of people surveyed were confident that products displaying the green and gold kangaroo logo are locally made.

The research comes after the new ‘brand Australia’ golden wattle logo was abandoned by the government following widespread criticism and comparison to a COVID-19 particle.

The new logo was created to unify Australia’s various trading brands in international markets. However, its launch caused some confusion about whether the green and gold kangaroo logo would remain in service and what it would be used for. The wattle logo was intended to mark the origin of exports such as raw materials, tourism, technology and the arts. The green and gold kangaroo remains the mark of products made in Australia.

Confidence in the Australian Made logo was up from 88% in 2019. In a line-up of country of origin marks, including a map of Australia, the national flag, the Australian Made logo, Australian fauna, and a phrase, 84% of respondents said the logo gave them the most confidence that the product was genuinely Australian. Respondents also indicated that they saw it as a sign of sustainability and environmentally green.

Roy Morgan also found that since the start of the pandemic, 37% of Australians are conducting more research online prior to purchasing products. Data from Australian Made’s website supports this finding, with traffic more than doubling in April to June compared to the same period prior. The renewed focus on buying Australian-made has also led to more Australians to check labelling, with 43% of Australians now more likely to look for country of origin labels on products.

However, while support is high for Australian Made goods, consumer confidence in the market is decreasing, led by confidence dropping about personal financial situations. The research firm found a decreasing proportion of Australians, 32% (down one percentage point (pp)), say now is a ‘good time to buy’ major household items, while 39% (up 2pp), say now is a ‘bad time to buy’.

Roy Morgan's ANZ Head of Australian Economics, David Plank said this was predominantly due to declines outside of Victoria and New South Wales, with confidence now below the neutral level of 100 in all the major cities.

“Encouragingly, confidence actually rose in Victoria. The continued drop in new COVID-19 cases in Melbourne may be giving hope that the severity of the lockdown can be eased as planned. In the meantime, confidence may be challenged by the expected confirmation this week that Australia’s economy contracted at a record rate in the second quarter,” he added.

Sourced from Mumbrella, Manufacturer’s Monthly, Roy Morgan