Kiwi consumers are seeking out locally made food amidst concerns about product safety and levels of additives in consumer goods made offshore. An independent study commissioned by Munchkin, a global baby product company based in Los Angeles, investigated the attitudes and habits of Kiwi shoppers.
Munchkin’s new ‘Grass Fed’ milk-based formula product is hitting New Zealand supermarket and baby shop shelves in July, and the company has released the study to coincide with the launch.
More than two-thirds of (69 percent) of Kiwi consumers say country of origin is an important factor for them in purchasing food, according to the study.
This figure jumped to 86 percent for parents who had children of school age or younger, with almost nine in 10 of this group saying it was an important factor in deciding whether or not to give the product to their children.
Munchkin regional sales director Gary Hunter says even he was surprised at how high this statistic was.
“Everyone likes to be patriotic, but New Zealanders do want to buy local. Kiwis care where their food is made,” he says.
Munchkin, a privately-owned company based in LA, researched where the best place was to produce milk formula, and New Zealand was top of the list.
It has the highest grass standards, cows produce milk longer, and it’s a better product, says Hunter.
Research showed that about 65 percent of infant formula is milk powder, and the rest is milk by-products. Munchkin’s formula is 100 percent grass-fed milk powder, much of which is sourced from South Island farms.
The survey found that 95 percent of Kiwi’s indicated that given the choice, they would rather have dairy products from grass-fed cows. Only 5 percent said they preferred products from grain-fed cows.
More than half (54 percent) of Kiwis believe products sold on our supermarket shelves do not label their products adequately with enough country of origin details.
The majority two thirds, (65 percent) of New Zealand shoppers try to buy food or beverage products made in NZ from NZ ingredients as often as possible.
A fifth (19 percent) said they always purchase food or beverage products that are made in New Zealand with locally sourced ingredients. The study involved 1013 adults.
Munchkin’s formula is available in selected Melbourne outlets, and baby stores, Foodstuffs and selected Countdowns from early July. It will launch in China and the US in the first quarter of the next financial year.