Nielsen last week published an article and video on their website entitled 'The Changing NZ Consumer'. Among other interesting findings, they revealed that one in three New Zealanders identify as non-European, and by 2025 this will grow to one in two; that 225,000 Kiwi adults started drinking alcoholic cider in the past two years; that a third of us don’t have a landline at home; and that McDonald's is now as popular as fish 'n chips.
Obviously this disparate selection of statistics is not intended as a state of the nation report for marketers as much as some light food for thought; it’s more 50 cent mixture than four-course meal. But I don’t think Kate Terry from Nielsen has gone as far as she could to distil their statistical pick ‘n’ mix into a unified story so herewith I present, as a single bite-sized morsel, the composite Kiwi consumer of the future:
A 45-year-old Cantonese-speaking Polynesian living in Auckland who is looking after a toddler at the gym while watching a video on their mobile about which organic takeaways are the best match for the authentic Basque cider they bought online.
Beyond this wilful misinterpretation there is a unifying message lurking within Nielsen’s rainbow-coloured lolly jar of random statistics: New Zealand is becoming more diverse.
We’re growing more multicultural (currently three out of ten Kiwis speak languages other than English: that’ll grow to four in ten by 2025, by which stage half the country will consider themselves non-European). Many see this as a good trend, with three quarters of us saying diversity makes New Zealand strong.
We’re getting older, though there’ll still be plenty of little tykes around. By 2025 half the population will be over 45, but at the same time one in five of us will share a house with a child under five.
Our tastes are also growing more diverse. More than 200,000 Kiwis had gourmet food, ingredients and recipes delivered to their homes in the last four weeks, and two in five say they like to try ethnic flavours. Along with authenticity, convenience also matters, but traditional staples like sandwich and toast bread are losing their appeal as new snacks become the best thing since sliced bread.
Our leisure choices are expanding, with the national games of rugby, cricket and netball losing ground to new options - most notably the gym - though we still enjoy these traditional sports online and on air in big numbers.
Much of this diversity is simply the result of more options: bricks and clicks, old and new media, desktop and mobile. More than half of us are shopping online. Two thirds of under-25s don’t have a landline at home. Twenty-year-olds are watching over 12 hours of video online a week but, the article cautions, “Traditional media…still commands considerable attention and reaches millions”.
What does this increasing diversity mean for marketers? More diversity means greater segmentation which means we need more data. Crikey, wouldn’t it be great if there was some sort of business that specialised in gathering this kind of data about the Kiwi consumer?
Freelance writer Nick Butler last cropped up in StopPress with a piece on mobile marketing beyond QR codes.