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Chinese go ‘hyper’ for Aussie food, beverages and lifestyle

China’s mass grocery retail sales are forecast to grow by 70 per cent to 2011, coinciding with the phenomenon of hypermarkets driving demand for a piece of the Australian lifestyle, including food and beverages, according to Austrade.

Austrade’s Guangzhou-based Senior Trade Commissioner, Alan Morrell said hypermarkets – which combine supermarkets with department stores – are outperforming supermarkets in terms of growth rates in China.

"Lifestyle products of all kinds, ranging from face creams and clothes to reading material and a vast array of grocery items are available in hypermarkets," Mr Morrell said.

"A single hypermarket can offer a low price by ordering large quantities and lowering costs by using suppliers’ own logistics systems.

"To enable Australian suppliers of lifestyle products and food and beverages to capitalise on increased demand, Austrade is inviting producers’ to take part in this year’s Australian Lifestyle Expo 2007 in Guangzhou/China in December. The Expo is well-placed to attract high quality buyers for Australian businesses to meet on a one-on-one basis.

"Over a thousand key buyers of lifestyle products and services from all over China will attend this year’s Expo. At least 80 per cent of Australian businesses that took part in last year’s Austrade Expo made export sales.

"The "Australian" branded event will have no competition from other international companies, providing an opportunity to raise Australia’s profile further and secure business in Guangzhou and across South China. Guangzhou lies at the heart of the Pearl River Delta, China’s most affluent region, and demand there is strong for high-end products," he said.

Austrade’s Chief Economist, Tim Harcourt said you might ask ‘why is China interested in Australia?’

"Well, Australia has the world’s most marketable country brand*. Our brand’s strength in China is driven by the resources boom plus Chinese students attending Australian educational institutions and a rapid increase in tourism numbers. All these factors have influenced the Chinese to develop a taste for all things Australian," Mr Harcourt said.

Constance Lim, General Manager of NSW-based Native Tastes Pty Ltd, suppliers of purely Australian lemon myrtle products attended last year’s event. Ms Lim said thanks to the Expo they have made sales for lemon myrtle tea.

"Selling tea to China is quite an achievement because tea is part of China’s staple diet. But with the Chinese becoming fond of Australian products, lemon myrtle being an Australian native has proved to be popular," Ms Lim said.

"Achieving this export success was made easier by being a part of Austrade’s stand. Although I’m Asian and was born in Singapore and I look like a local, the Chinese culture and language is vastly different. I recommend businesses participate in this year’s event because having Austrade’s guiding hand is much easier than going it alone.

"Exporting is really good, it helps a small business to manage the cash flow – export dollars provide a bigger volume and in my case export sale profits have enabled me to increase my local market here in Australia," she said.

Australian Lifestyle Expo 2007 will take place from 7-9 December in Guangzhou (the capital of Guangdong). To register phone Austrade on 13 28 78 before September 14.

There will be a vast array of Australian products and services sought by the Chinese at the Expo. They range from food and beverages to wellbeing, fashion and cosmetics, jewellery and art, retail design and other consumer products and related business services.

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