COVID-19 reignites sense of localism among APAC consumers, says GlobalData

Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, consumers’ concern around the origins of products and ingredients are growing. As a result, manufacturers and retailers are promoting their products’ local origins to ease consumer concerns, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData COVID-19 week 6 (28 April – 3 May) survey, almost 83% Indians and 82% Australians find local products to be trustworthy. Consumers surveyed in China also displayed a stronger preference for local products.

Shagun Sachdeva, Consumer Insights Analyst at GlobalData, says: “In the wake of COVID-19, shrinking globalization and changing political attitudes are starting to shape the way consumers shop. With closed borders, movement restriction and supply chain disruptions, consumers have started looking for local producers and adapting their tastes as per the availability of local products.”

Looking at the consumer consumption pattern, even before COVID-19, consumers liked the idea of locally sourced food, but this was not put into practice to an extent it is now. In the current scenario, businesses are adapting to offer delivery solutions for local produce and consumers are likely to continue to rely on local farms and suppliers as the trust and relationships between them grow.

For instance, in case of dairy sector, nostalgia will play a key role in the way consumers shop. Also, the locality and how environmental-friendly a product/service can affect the consumers’ choice.

Shagun adds: “Driven by necessity or the need for greater transparency during these challenging times, local brands and retailers are adapting to support local communities and repositioning them to deliver against consumers’ product sourcing concerns.  Brands are also providing visibility into their ‘on-the-ground’ operations, communicating their local supply status and offering quality assurances with verified health claims to reach mass consumers.”

During the pandemic, there have been many initiatives around localism and communities coming together across the APAC region. For instance, India has announced a relief package to boost ‘Make in India’ and support local manufacturers and MSMEs.

Shagun concludes: “Right now, the situation seems uncertain and only time will tell whether pre-pandemic preferences return or if we see a blend of consumer preferences. As a result, global brands need to be more proactive to win with the trust of local consumers.”

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