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The Changing NZ Consumer

3 minute read | Kate Terry, Regional Director – Consumer and Media Insights, Nielsen | July 2015
New Zealand is changing in many ways and often at a faster rate than people may assume. Understanding this change has never been more important. Media owners, brand owners and agencies need this knowledge of past, present and future trends to ensure we continue to meet the needs of the target groups and segments that are important to our businesses.

Our population is changing

  • We are becoming more multicultural – particularly in Auckland – and this is impacting on our cultural perspectives. More New Zealanders than ever recognise the strength of a multicultural society and the importance of traditional cultural values.
  • The growth of Auckland, expected to be home for 1.5 million people by 2025, coupled with its cultural and other differences when compared with the rest of NZ has major implications. More and more clients are asking us for Auckland-specific reports and insights. With the Auckland strategy becoming a pre-requisite, should we be giving equal attention to a ‘Non-Auckland strategy’ which ensures the very different needs of those outside our biggest city are also met?
  • By 2025 more than half of us will be over 45 and we expect one in five 65+ year olds will still be working. The 50+ age group also includes a significant number of small business owners – a group which is important for the health and growth of the economy.

Our tastes are changing

  • 1.4 million people visit food websites each month. And more than 200,000 had gourmet food, ingredients and recipes delivered to their homes in the last four weeks. Authenticity is an increasing focus for many consumers.
  • At the same time, we are often living on the run and the need for convenience has never been higher. Over the last 10 years, we have seen big changes in snacking behaviour with some traditional staples (e.g. toast and sandwich bread, breakfast cereal) losing their appeal. In the takeaway world, McDonalds is now number one alongside fish and chips.
  • Our sport and leisure choices have also changed. We have rekindled our love of the outdoors and there is a new focus on personal fitness. Walking, camping and working out has increased in popularity as many traditional sports such as rugby, league, cricket and netball slip back. Despite this, sport remains very important to our nation. There are big audiences for major events and sports websites attract huge numbers of visitors.

Our media preferences are changing and we are becoming more digital

  • By 2025 landlines are likely to be consigned to history and mobile technology will be omnipresent.
  • Younger New Zealanders already watch 12 hours of video content online each week.
  • But, there are urban myths which need to be dispelled. Traditional media (television, newspapers, magazines and radio) – at least for now – still commands considerable attention and reaches millions of people each week. It remains relevant to many New Zealanders and, therefore, to many brands. The challenge is in identifying the best media mix for a campaign.
The below video touches on some of these points and also highlights others. We invite you to watch it and share it. 




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