The profile of the average Australian consumer is rapidly changing with people coming from Asia are becoming the biggest group of spenders, new research has found.

It means that there will be a shift as companies and businesses look to target Asian born customers as they are growing at a faster rate that their Australian born counterparts, according to the latest data from market research company Nielsen.

Chinese Cabbage


The changing demographic means that what Asians want to buy will become increasingly available both in shops in Australia and online, particularly when it comes to food and groceries.

The ethnic-Australian consumer report suggests that this important consumer group will spend a total of $18.7 billion, or 28%, on grocery items in the next five years, an increase of $4.4 billion in incremental revenue, with Asian born consumers making up 57% of this growth.

'Asian born Australians are the biggest growing demographic in Australia today and represent more than 10% of the overall population, more than doubling in 20 years and showing no signs of slowing,' said Justin Sargent, chief executive officer of Pacific at Nielsen.

He pointed out that Asians' food preferences, for example, are very different compared to the rest of the consumer population. 'They want more fresh produce, more seafood and healthier food options,' he said.

The research found that Asian born consumers devote almost a third of their grocery spend to fresh food and three quarters would shop more at mainstream supermarkets if there was a greater international selection.

Asian born Australian consumers tend to be well informed with almost half being influenced by retailer catalogues and brochures. This group are highly price sensitive and are most likely to compare prices online before purchasing.

They are also more likely to read product labels, are influenced by comments and reviews online and are willing to pay extra for well-known brands. They are also twice as likely to be influenced by their children when shopping.

'Meeting the needs of Asian born Australians is key to maximising these growth opportunities. Marketers need to re-examine their short and longer term strategies to engage with this growing consumer group,' added Sargent.

He also pointed out that the changing Australian demographic impacts on the whole population and Australians as a whole are buying more international foods and flavours.