Consumers want safety and integrity in North Asia

AUSTRALIA - Effective marketing and the ability to back up the safety of your product go hand-in-hand when it comes to selling Australian red meat in North Asia.
calendar icon 22 November 2006
clock icon 3 minute read
This was the message from MLA’s Korea regional manager Glen Feist at today’s producer forum in Adelaide.

Mr Feist said that although it was important to have strong brand awareness in North Asian markets, having in place transparent and accountable food safety and quality systems was the real key to building consumer trust and loyalty in Australian red meat.

“Food safety and integrity of product is a top priority of North Asian consumers and the key to successfully marketing red meat in the Japanese and Korean markets has been our ability to back up safety and quality assurances,” Mr Feist said.

“We really do lead the world when it comes to food safety and quality systems. Proactively introducing systems and programs such as NLIS, NVDs and LPA that deliver upon consumer demands for transparency and accountability has helped enormously in the building of our brands in North Asia.”

Mr Feist said research has shown that food safety is the biggest determiner of food buying decisions throughout most of Asia.

“An AC Nielsen survey has shown that of the seven most prominent factors that influence the beef purchasing decisions of Japanese consumers, all but one have something to do with perceptions of meat safety, quality, health status and traceability,” Mr Feist said.

“In the same survey, the price of beef ranked as the 20th most important factor in buying beef.”

Mr Feist said that a combination of effective marketing and the absence of the US – Australia’s biggest competitor - from the Japanese and Korean markets had seen Australian exports to both Japan and Korea grow by 45 per cent and 71 per cent respectively last year.

“These are significant gains for Australia, but the spectre of BSE and the perception of food safety have shaken consumer confidence in beef,” Mr Feist said.

“This has implications for all countries supplying beef to Japan and Korea, who must rebuild confidence among Japanese and Korean consumers to get them back to beef and away from fish, chicken and pork protein sources.”

Mr Feist said that several years of brand development was getting results, with MLA’s beef brand in Korea, “Hoju Chungjung Woo” (which translated means ‘Aussie beef clean and safe’) being voted brand of the year for two years running.

“Australian beef now appears in 582 retail shops in Korea and customers now look for the packs with the Australian brand on it,” Mr Feist said.
“The increasing awareness of our brand and the absence of the US have seen an increase in the value of the Korean market for Australia from $208 million in 2000-01 to $662 million this year.

“In Japan, with an average of 99 percent awareness of the Aussie Beef brand, the value of beef exports to Japan has expanded from $1.7 billion in 2000-2001 to $2.35 billion this year.”

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