Junkee finds over half of young Australians buying locally to help support economy

An annual study by Junkee Media and Ooh Media has found young Australians are reconsidering their buying habits abroad and buying local as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study’s findings titled ‘Brand New World’, found 55% said they were buying Australian-made, with young people who identify as female driving up this average to 72%, saying they would like to keep supporting local businesses into the future, versus 56% of males. In addition, 46% said they were increasing the amount of money saved as a result of these changes in behaviour.

Strategy director at Junkee /Ooh Studio, Tom Pitney, said the report provided key insights into Millennials and Gen Z to help brands engage with them more effectively.

“Young Australians are going through a lot right now and it’s important that brands recognise that they are each battling unique sets of challenges. We have to acknowledge our own biases and avoid making assumptions or generalisations in our approach to brand and product messaging.

“A positive outtake from our study was that despite increasing concern and pessimism about the world at large, we’ve measured a large shift in optimism towards Australia, Aussie-made products and how young Aussies feel about their own future.”

Pitney added: “When we correlate this with small decreases in concern about global topics, along with increases in self-care time, ambition to own property, and a significant shift towards possessions over experiences, we sense that many people are going inwards and focusing energy towards the things that they can control in their own lives, their homes and the community around them.

“More young people are saving, and shifting from global trends influencing them to a strong focus on domestic buying. And buying Australian-made has never been so important.”

69% of all young Australians claim COVID-19 has made them reconsider what they want out of life, while 58% said they are reconsidering where they want to live, and 57% are reconsidering their future career path.

The study also found how young Australians bounced back after the first burst of COVID-19 in 2020. In April and May 2020 (when Australia was opening back up and to returning some COVID-normality), young Australians said that they were going inwards and prioritising their wellbeing.

The report showed that, in terms of their future aspirations, 84% of young Australians ranked “being in control of my mental health” as ‘very important’ (top box) when it came to their definition. This was the most agreed on idea of success.

This was followed by 83% agreeing that ‘work-life balance’ was an important definition of success.

As lockdowns eased, the study found that it was during this time when young people had more choice and opportunity to venture out into the world that they went inwards and did their soul searching.

When asked what they were doing now (between 5 April – 2 May 2021) 56% said they were taking more self-care/me-time.

“Young people are in flux. They are going through a lot right now and prioritising their mental health. They’re taking time to work on themselves, reflecting and resetting their priorities, and employers need to to give them space, flexibility and transparency,” Pitney said.

The study used a combination of in-house research and a partnership with Pollinate, to survey more than 2,680 young Australians aged 16 to 40 between 5 April – 2 May 2021.


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