Where are supermarket products sourced?

More and more of our groceries are coming from overseas.
 
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01.Introduction

frequent-flying-groceries-lead

Coles and Woolworths say they're committed to sourcing their private label products from Australia. But as CHOICE discovers, this isn't the whole story.

CHOICE looked at more than 360 products across popular grocery categories, including cereals, biscuits, snacks, tinned goods and frozen packaged food, matching private label products to their market leader equivalents. 

Of products we surveyed, just 55% of Coles’ products and 38% of Woolworths products were locally made or grown, compared with 92% per cent of market leader groceries. We included any product that was made in Australia or included Australian-grown ingredients. But these products may still include other ingredients from overseas.

Interactive map

Click on the coloured pins to find out which products are made where. View CHOICE County of Origin in a larger map, or download our table for even more detail.



Key
 key-red Coles 
 key-green Woolworths
 key-blue Market leader

Around the world

For products to claim they are "made" in Australia, the product must have undergone substantial transformation and 50% of processing costs here. If the product includes ingredients from outside Australia, or the specified country of origin, "imported ingredients" must be noted on the packaging, however the exact source of such ingredients is not required.

Australians are predicted to spend $85.9bn on groceries this financial year, with private label sales expected to account for just over one-quarter of this amount – double what we spent on home-brand products five years ago. While dry grocery items and chilled packaged food categories have proven themselves the strongest private label performers over this time, raising supermarket profits but also question marks over where they come from. While a commitment to Australian products is evident in the fresh produce sections of the big two supermarkets, this loyalty is not so easy to find in some other aisles.

Coles told CHOICE it has an Australia first sourcing policy that extends to all private label products, of which it claims 90% are locally made or grown. According to the 2011 All About Coles report, “we will always try to source products locally and only import if Australian supply is insufficient to meet our customers’ needs”.

Similarly, the Woolworths Sustainable Strategy for 2007-15 claims Woolies remains “committed to our long-standing policy of giving preference to Australian vendors who can meet our supply requirements” and promises preferential trading terms to local vendors for private label goods. It claims 90% of its Homebrand products are from Australia.

 
 

 

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