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A matter of trust: Patrick Gower on improving Newshub's political polling

Posted on 30 March, 2017 at 8:15

A matter of trust: Patrick Gower on improving Newshub's political polling

By JIHEE JUNN | MARCH 28, 2017


"For the first time ever, Newshub and Reid Research will conduct 25 percent of its polling via the internet. The remaining 75 percent of polling will continue to be collected via landline phone calls, with its sampling size of 1000 respondents and its margin of error of 3.1 percent remaining unchanged. The addition of internet polling—aided by Trace Research and its director Andrew Zhu—will aim to enhance access to 18-35-year-olds, as well as better reflect the declining use of landlines in New Zealand."


Full Article

http://stoppress.co.nz/features/newshub-polling


Drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol feared by New Zealanders

Posted on 16 January, 2017 at 7:40


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11783089

 

Drunk or drugged motorists drive the most fear into Kiwi hearts, a safety report has revealed.

 

The survey also found that more than one in three people in New Zealand feel the country is less safe than it was a year ago.

 

Drivers under the influence had the greatest impact on our perception of public safety, according to results from a national safety perception survey conducted by insurance group IAG New Zealand.

 

The survey asked more than 1300 people a series of questions to gauge how safe they feel in New Zealand. Driving under the influence came out on top of our perception of public safety.

 

This was followed by fear of assault, drug dealing and then burglary.

 

IAG spokesman Martin Hunter found the survey's top result "surprising".

 

 

He thought it reflected the important role of cars in the lives of New Zealanders, along with the amount of media attention devoted to road safety issues. He said Kiwis' fear of impaired driving can help to influence changes in driver behaviour.

 

"It is clear from the number of serious accidents and deaths on our roads that there are still many drivers who make bad choices and that these choices result in disastrous consequences.

 

"The impacts go deep, influencing our overall feeling of vulnerability, so this validates efforts by authorities and other organisations such as insurers to bring about change."

 

Those who took part in the questionnaire were given a list of 17 types of offences, including murder, burglary, and driving under the influence. They were to rate them out of five on how concerning the crime was.

 

Drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol were given an "impact weight" of 28 per cent, while assault, which came in second, had an impact weight of 19 per cent. Drug dealing, in third, had 16 per cent, and burglary had 14 per cent.

 

Another motoring offence - exceeding the speed limit - also featured highly, coming in at number seven.

 

According to the results, men gave driving under the influence a higher impact weight, 31 per cent, compared with women, who gave it 21 per cent.

 


The survey

The online survey was sent to people who live in New Zealand through a consumer research panel and social media sites including Facebook, LinkedIn, Neighbourly and and Wechat.

Some 1348 responses were received from the poll, which was created by Dr Andrew Zhu at Trace Research and conducted between October 14 and 23. To ensure the representativeness of the results, demographic weightings have been applied to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents using the 2013 NZ Census’ population distribution. The margin of error is +/-3% at the 95% confidence level.


How safe do New Zealanders feel?

Posted on 16 January, 2017 at 7:15

Press Release: IAG New Zealand

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1612/S00249/how-safe-do-new-zealanders-feel.htm


More than half of people (56.9 percent) are satisfied with public safety in New Zealand, insurer IAG’s National Safety Perception survey has found.

 

Results from the survey, which asked people a series of questions to gauge how safe they feel in New Zealand, reveal just over one in five of us (20.5 per cent) had a neutral view of public safety. However, a further one in five (20.9 per cent) felt unsatisfied with public safety.

 

The survey commissioned by IAG New Zealand, the country’s largest insurer, measured feelings about public safety, rather than actual public safety in New Zealand.

 

The survey also revealed:

 

Almost two thirds of respondents feel New Zealand is safer than other countries;

 

• More than one in three people feel New Zealand is less safe than it was one year ago;

 

• The top five offences of most concern to the general public in NZ are: (1) Drug dealing; (2) Assault; (3) Burglary; (4) Driving under the influence of alcohol or other substance; and (5) Robbery;

 

• Drugs were perceived the main driver of crime by the general public in New Zealand;

 

• Police and insurance companies were the top two most likely contacts that victims of crime would go to.

 

Martin Hunter, EGM Strategy People and Reputation at IAG New Zealand, said the insights were sought to help understand people’s feelings and to encourage debate, particularly around how communities can work together to actually be safer, more trusting and more resilient.

 

 

“Insurance has a role in helping individuals recover from losses – and we know safety is a general area of concern.

 

“If we can understand this better, we can improve products to better meet our customers’ expectations and also use it to influence safety initiatives on behalf of our customers.”

 


Overall perceptions of safety

 

Feelings of safety depended on whether you were a citizen, permanent resident or non-New Zealanders, while men and women reported slightly different levels of satisfaction, the survey revealed.

 

If you’re a New Zealand citizen, you are less likely to be satisfied with public safety than if you are a permanent resident or non-New Zealanders, according to the results of the poll. Just one in 20 respondents (4.8 per cent) who identified themselves as non-New Zealanders and one in six (16.6 per cent) permanent residents were unsatisfied with public safety.

 

This compares with New Zealand citizens, where more than one in five (22.1 per cent) were unsatisfied with public safety.

 

Dr Andrew Zhu, director at Trace Research, said it was interesting that New Zealand citizens scored their safety rating lower than visitors and permanent residents.

 

He said results were in line with Statistics New Zealand’s crime figures that were released in November this year.

 

“Permanent residents and visitors have a different perception perhaps because they are comparing the safety of New Zealand to where they have come from and it is likely that where they are from wasn’t as safe as here. Expectations are different.

 

“But citizens of New Zealand compare mostly with the past and, as November’s crime statistics show, crime is on the increase here.”

 

Slightly more women (22.2 per cent) feel less safe than men (19.4 per cent).

 

“It is important to remember that these results reveal respondents perceptions of safety, not actual levels of safety,” Mr. Hunter said.

 

“However, perception of safety is important to understand as it can influence people’s confidence and therefore the measures they may take and the help they may need from their communities to feel protected.”

 


Do we feel safer than last year?

 

Just under two in three (66.3 per cent) of respondents reported that New Zealand felt as safe or more safe than last year, the survey results revealed.

 

However, more than one in three people (33.7 per cent) in New Zealand feel the country is less safe than it was a year ago.

 

Women were more likely to say that New Zealand has become less safe, with 38.7 per cent responding they felt the country had taken a downturn. Seven per cent said New Zealand had become safer, while more than half (54.3 per cent) said safety felt about the same.

 

Among men, 28.4 per cent said New Zealand was less safe and 11 per cent argued it was safer. Some 60.6 per cent of males said safety felt about the same as last year.

 

Citizens, permanent residents and non-New Zealanders also felt differently to each other when looking at how safe New Zealand felt compared to last year.

 

Fewer citizens (8 per cent) felt the country had become safer compared to permanent residents (8.3 per cent) and non-New Zealanders (35.7 per cent).

 

This trend is reflected when looking at which demographic feels New Zealand has become less safe, with 34.6 per cent of Kiwi citizens saying the country was less safe, compared to 31.5 per cent of permanent residents and 19 per cent of non New Zealanders.

 


We feel New Zealand is safer than other countries

 

Almost two in three (63.4 per cent) people feel New Zealand is safer than other countries, results from the survey show, while fewer than one in 12 (8 percent) believe it is less safe.

 

However, when broken down, the statistics reveal differing results between Kiwi citizens, permanent residents, and non-New Zealanders.

 

Permanent residents are more likely to feel New Zealand is less safe than other countries.

 

Just under three in five (59.3 per cent) permanent residents felt the country was safer, while 63.6 per cent of Kiwi citizens and 78.6 per cent of non-New Zealanders currently here said the country was safer.

 

In addition, around one in 10 (10.7 per cent) permanent residents said it was less safe than other places, compared to 7.6 per cent of citizens and 9.5 per cent of non-New Zealanders.

 

Men and women reported almost identically when comparing the safety of New Zealand to other countries “of which they had experience”.

 


The crimes that concern us most

 

People in New Zealand consider drug dealing to be the most concerning public offence, the survey statistics reveal.

 

Respondents were asked to rate 17 types of offences tracked by the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology and give each a score of between one (very little) and five (very large) as to what extent have those crimes affected their overall perception of public safety.

 

Drug dealing scored an average of 3.6 and came out on top. Assault, burglary, robbery and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs each scored 3.5.

 

Beyond the top five offences influencing perceptions of safety were sexual assault (3.3), murder (3.2), car theft (3.1), speeding (3.0), and weapon misuse (2.9).

 

Men and women agree on the most concerning offences, but they rank them slightly differently. Both agree that drug dealing is the most concerning crime (men 3.6, women 3.7), but women rank driving under the influence more highly (3.6, compared to men 3.4).

 

Both rank assault third (women 3.6, men 3.4) and robbery fifth (men 3.4, women 3.5), while the sexes differ on burglary. Men rank burglary the second most concerning offence (3.5), while women (3.6), although giving it a higher score, placed it fourth.

 


But is this the full picture?

 

The answers given by respondents were analysed using a specialist statistical model that looks at the relationships between the various answers given by each person.

 

Using this model, called a ‘Structural Equation Model’, analysts revealed that the crime that most impacts peoples’ perception of public safety is driving under the influence of drink or drugs, which was given an ‘impact weighting’ of 28 per cent.

 

Next up was assault, at 19 per cent, then drug dealing (16 per cent) and burglary (14 per cent).

 


Perceptions on the drivers of crime in New Zealand

 

Drugs were perceived by respondents to be the main driver of crime in New Zealand.

 

More than three quarters of people (75.2 per cent) considered drug a principal driver of crime, compared to 49.2 per cent who said alcohol.

 

A list of underlying socio-economic factors such as drugs, unemployment and family breakdown – based on work undertaken by New Zealand Police and the Ministry of Justice – were presented to respondents, who replied with what they considered their top three.

 

Some 45 per cent of people associate poverty for crime, and 44.8 per cent of respondents said unemployment was a key factor.

 

Poor parenting was identified by 37.2 per cent, while 21.2 per cent said family breakdown was a main driver of crime, and the same number highlighted poor education.

 

The differences in opinion between men (drugs 71.3 per cent; alcohol 47.6 per cent; unemployment 43 per cent; and poverty 42.5 per cent) and women (drugs 78.8 per cent; alcohol 50.7 per cent; poverty 47.4 per cent; and unemployment 46.6 per cent) were marginal.

 

However, there was a wider difference in opinion between the sexes in relation to views on poor parenting, which was blamed by more men (41.6 per cent) than women (33.2 per cent).


 

Who we go to when we’re a victim of crime

 

The survey asked respondents who they would contact if they were the victims of three types of crime: burglary, car theft and damage to property. A list of potential contacts was put in front of those who answered the survey, who were asked to select all that apply.

 

Almost all people (95 per cent) said they would contact the police, while just under three people in four (72 per cent) would contact their insurance company.

 

Family members (54.1 per cent) was third most common go-to, followed by neighbours (54 per cent) and friends (42.2 per cent).

 

Social media also made the list, with 17.8 per cent of respondents saying they would take to social media if they had been the victim of one of the three crimes listed. It came slightly behind telling a neighbourhood watch group, which 22.5 per cent of people said they would engage with.

 

The results also revealed that women were more likely to contact a wider variety of people following a crime. In each of the ‘go-tos' listed, women were more likely than men to contact each of them.

 

“The results assist in helping us to know who people turn to in the event of being the victim of a crime, and the sources through which they seek support and assistance,” Mr Hunter said.

 

“Insurers clearly have a responsibility to be there for customers at times when they may be extremely vulnerable. This information gives us something to work on, with us asking ourselves: can we engage better with our customers if they have been a victim of crime?”

 

“In that regard we are looking at partnerships to help us develop our own people so they are skilled in what is being called ‘psychological first aid’ – the ability support and connect customers so they get the immediate emotional help they may need as well as the financial support they expect from their insurer,” Mr Hunter said.


 

The survey

 

The online survey was sent to people who live in New Zealand through a consumer research panel and social media sites including Facebook, LinkedIn, Neighbourly and and Wechat.

 

Some 1348 responses were received from the poll, which was created by Dr Andrew Zhu at Trace Research and conducted between October 14 and 23. To ensure the representativeness of the results, demographic weightings have been applied to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents using the 2013 NZ Census’ population distribution. The margin of error is +/-3% at the 95% confidence level.

Some insurance confusion revealed from a nationwide survey

Posted on 19 December, 2016 at 19:00

Press Release – IAG New Zealand, a research conducted by Dr Andrew Zhu - Director of Trace Research Ltd (NZ)

 http://business.scoop.co.nz/2016/11/21/some-insurance-confusion-revealed-from-a-nationwide-survey/


Can you look at this list of 10 potentially costly scenarios and work out which ones your insurance would cover you for or not?

1- Contents taken overseas on holiday

2- My contents ‘in between addresses’ while you are moving house

3- Contents which have been moved from my home to a storage facility/unit/location

4- Damage of my house or loss of my contents caused by my visiting guests

5- Damage caused by a leaking pipe that has suddenly burst at my home

6- Damage to my carpet caused by a pipe that has suddenly burst at my home

7- Damage caused over time by a leaking pipe under my kitchen sink

8- The cost of trying to locate the source of a leak

9- Car engine damage caused by putting the wrong fuel in my car

10- Car breakdown from overheating

 

Damage caused to your engine by putting the wrong fuel in your car, dishonest guests stealing property from your home and leaky pipes that burst were just some of the situations put before people by insurer IAG New Zealand in a survey.

 

While some scenarios left many people in little doubt, others left respondents split almost down the middle.

 

As part of the ‘IAG Safety Insights Monitor’*, the survey highlights how knowing the finer points of your insurance policy can help you get more out of your cover, and help avoid nasty surprises.


Leaky

More than three-quarters (79 per cent) of people thought they would be covered for damage caused to their carpet caused by a pipe that suddenly burst.

 

Fewer than one in two people (46 per cent) thought they would be covered for damage caused over time by a pipe leaking from their kitchen sink.

 

“When a pipe bursts and causes sudden damage, you can expect this to be covered by an insurance policy,” Chris Kiddey, National Technical Specialist at IAG New Zealand, said.

 

“However, if there is gradual damage from a leaking pipe then that may or may not be covered depending on the specific insurance policy.”

 

But what if your pipe has been leaking for a while and then suddenly burst, causing damage?

 

Almost three in four people (78 per cent) thought contents would be insured if an already leaking pipe burst.

 

Chris added: “If a pipe has been leaking – and causing damage – for some time and then it bursts, there might be two types of damage to consider and the policy might respond in two different ways.”

 

What may surprise people is that your insurance company might be able to help you out with costs of finding a leak.

 

Just one in five (21 per cent) respondents thought they would be insured for the cost of trying to locate the source of a leak, but Chris said an insurer may be able to help.

 

“Generally speaking, most comprehensive home policies (such as State and AMI) allow for additional costs related to locating the source of a leak as part of a gradual damage claim Chris said.

“However, you’ll generally need the Insurer’s approval in advance, and this isn’t quite the same as cover for all of a plumber’s costs. If your pipes themselves need maintenance, for example, that won’t be covered.”


Car breakdown

Car problems that fall outside of what would generally be regarded as an accident are unlikely to be covered by insurance, respondents thought.

 

Just one in eight people (13 per cent) thought they would receive help from their insurance company if you caused damage to your engine by putting the incorrect fuel in your car.

 

A little over a quarter of people (27 per cent) reckoned they would have cover if their car broke down from overheating.

 

However, while technically you would not be insured for damage caused by putting the wrong fuel in your car, there could be some leeway in this.

 

“If it’s a single, provable, external, one-off that causes mechanical damage, then we will often cover that damage,” Chris said.

 

“It’s not ongoing mechanical breakdown, you have an identifiable single cause and you can compare that to more common ‘external causes’ like dinging another car.”

 

But it’s unlikely a car breakdown from overheating would be covered, unless you have a specific mechanical breakdown insurance policy.

 

“Even then, a policy like that is going to require that certain steps have been taken to prevent a breakdown,” Chris said.


Check your guest

More than half (58 per cent) of respondents to the survey felt they would not be covered for “damage of my house or loss of my contents caused by my visiting guests”.

 

Chris said it is better to have clumsy friends to your house than dishonest ones.

 

“Accidents happen, but it’s reasonable to expect that your guests won’t deliberately get up to mischief.

 

“Say you have guests and one of them accidentally knocks a vase of your mantelpiece, that would be covered.

 

‘But, say a guest, someone legally in your home, were to steal that same vase, that is less likely to be covered.”


Time to move

Less than half (47 per cent) of respondents thought they would be insured when moving goods to a different house, while fewer policy holders (40 per cent) thought they would be insured for moving contents from their home to a storage facility.

 

“The key requirement is that you tell your insurance company first,” Chris said. “By simply moving your television out of the house you are putting it as much greater risk than it was when it was sitting on a TV stand or bolted to the wall. Insurance companies do offer some limited cover but it’s best to get a ‘Goods in Transit’ policy.”

 

Kevin Hughes, Executive General Manager – Consumer at IAG said the survey highlights the importance of reading, knowing and understanding what is in your insurance policy, because you may have some cover when you do not think you do – or may not be covered when you think you are.

 

“It’s remarkable the number of people who do not read their policy and go on to get some unpleasant surprise,” he said.

 

“There is no such thing as small print anymore. Everything is in clear and plain English and is as straight forward as possible. We are not writing insurance policies that only lawyers can understand.”

 

“An insurance company that sells you a policy wants you to understand what you are covered for. If you do not understand, we are only a conversation away.” Kevin also recommended iag.co.nz for more information as well as the websites of the Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman and the Insurance Council of New Zealand.

* ‘IAG Safety Insights Monitor’ is a series of regular and seasonal surveys commissioned by IAG which trades in New Zealand under AMI, State, NZI, Lumley and Lantern brands. The purpose is to increase customers’ awareness of how to be safer on the road and at home. This Survey results are based on an online survey of a representative sample of the national population aged 18 plus, conducted from 17 to 24 June, 2016 by Trace Research. The survey had a sample size of 800. In order to ensure the national representativeness of the results, the survey data has been weighted against key demographic indicators (e.g., age, gender and region) according to the 2013 census data (Statistics NZ). The margin of error is 3% at the 90% confidence level.

Updating Insurers - When you gonna call?

Posted on 6 December, 2016 at 4:20

Press Release: IAG New Zealand, a research conducted by Dr Andrew Zhu - Director of Trace Research Ltd (NZ)

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1611/S01090/updating-insurers-when-you-gonna-call.htm

Monday, 28 November 2016, 5:30 pm


When you gonna call?

 

New Zealand drivers aren’t in a hurry to let their insurer know about traffic convictions, a survey by insurance company IAG New Zealand has revealed.

 

One in five of us (20 per cent) would confess to being slammed with speeding fines and other charges before our policies come up for renewal, the survey showed.

 

However, a third of us (33 per cent) would actively update our policies if we made modifications to a vehicle.

 

As part of the ‘IAG Safety Insights Monitor’*, the survey was carried out by the insurer in June this year. It asked 800 Kiwis what situations would prompt them to contact their insurer.

 

Chris Kiddey, National Technical Specialist at IAG, which owns State, AMI, Lumley and Lantern, said that if you don’t know whether to contact your insurer about a change in circumstances, the answer is just a conversation away.

 

Car Modification and an extra driver under 25

 

He added when it comes to car modifications, it may depend on the value of the upgrade.

 

“Usually you won’t have to notify your insurer until your policy renews, but better safe than sorry: if in doubt, make the call,” he said.

 

The results showed that just under half of us (44 per cent) would bypass telling our insurer if we had an extra person under the age of 25 years old driving our car.

 

Mr Kiddey said you do not have to call if a person under 25 is driving your car as the average motor vehicle police does not have an automatic restriction for young drivers, but policy holders can sometimes choose a restriction in return for a discount and that requires you to call the insurer when a person under 25 is driving your car.

 

 

Health Condition

 

But what about changes to your health condition?

 

Similarly, three in five us (60 per cent) would declare a health condition that affected our driving skills, such as having to wear glasses while behind the wheel

 

“You don’t necessarily have to tell your insurer about this,” Mr Kiddey said.

 

“But be careful: if you legally can’t drive and you have an accident, you may not be covered”.

 

High-value Purchase

 

A pricey purchase emerged as the most likely reason why we would touch base with our insurer.

 

Almost two thirds of us (65 per cent) would update our policy to include an expensive new item, such as a piece of art or jewellery or a coin collection.

 

Women are marginally more likely than men to protect their more precious assets, with two in three (66 per cent) of women saying they’d ring in a new purchase to their insurer, compared to slightly fewer men (63 per cent)..

 

When you buy something expensive, you should call your insurer, Mr Kiddey said.

 

“Virtually every standard policy has limits payable for items such as these,” he said.

 

“By contacting your insurer you can discuss whether your policy can assist you should something go wrong, or whether you need to arrange for something more comprehensive.”

 

Paid guests/flat mates

 

Two in three people (68 per cent) would have paying guests in their home without changing their cover, which could leave some people being vulnerable should a tenant or guest cause damage and they need to make a claim.

 

However, Mr Kiddey said this should not usually be a problem if the policy holder is also living in the home.

 

“But many policies can limit cover for rental homes or even exclude certain types of damage,” he said. “Best to ask before hand!”

 

Renovations

 

Fewer than a third of us (32 per cent) saw a need to let insurance companies know about renovations being made to a kitchen, bathroom or any other part of our property.

 

“A coat of paint, new fixtures, redoing the lino, minor things such as these are no problem,” Mr Kiddey said.

 

“But let your insurer know if you’re doing anything structural – you may not be covered for any related losses.”

 

He said that you must call your insurer if you are doing major home extension work, even though less than half (49 per cent) of respondents said they would.

 

“Most policies exclude loss or damage related to ‘structural additions or alterations’ or similar,” he said.

 

“‘Contract Works’ cover exists to take care of risks like this.”

 

On the move

 

Kiwis were split almost straight down the middle when it came to getting the right cover while on the move.

 

Just over half of respondents said they would get their insurer involved if they were to shift their home contents into storage (51 per cent) or between addresses (50 per cent).

 

However, Mr Kiddey said it’s important to call your insurer.

 

“While some policies have limited cover for contents in storage or transit, you can’t take that for granted – some offer no cover at all.

 

“Better to discuss a policy specifically designed for the scenario.”

 

Go holidays

 

However, more than half of people (58 per cent) would leave their home empty for more than 60 consecutive days without notifying their insurer.

 

“Definitely call,” Mr Kiddey said. “Many policies tell you that cover will end after a certain period – unless you contact your insurer.”

 

Kevin Hughes, Executive General Manager - Consumer at IAG said the survey provided us insights on customers’ understanding about insurance and directions on how to help customers understand it better in the future.

 

“It is important for customers to tell their insurers before a change in circumstances, to ensure they are covered by their policies when the change takes place. Sometimes people think the change to their situation isn’t important enough to call their insurer about or perhaps they might worry it could result in a higher premium, but that isn’t always the case”, Kevin said.

 

* ‘IAG Safety Insights Monitor’ is a series of regular and seasonal surveys commissioned by IAG which trades in New Zealand under AMI, State, NZI, Lumley and Lantern brands. The purpose is to increase customers’ awareness of how to be safer on the road and at home. This Survey results are based on an online survey of a representative sample of the national population aged 18 plus, conducted from 17 to 24 June, 2016 by Trace Research. The survey had a sample size of 800. In order to ensure the national representativeness of the results, the survey data has been weighted against key demographic indicators (e.g., age, gender and region) according to the 2013 census data (Statistics NZ). The margin of error is 3% at the 90% confidence level.

China Is Coping With Pollution by Buying Fancy Honey

Posted on 13 September, 2016 at 0:25

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-08/china-is-coping-with-pollution-by-buying-fancy-honey

Consumers in mainland China are demanding foreign brands that promise something many local products can’t: peace of mind. Worsening pollution and several product-safety scares have led to increased sales for imports that are considered safer, from baby formula and facial creams to fresh fruit and live seafood. “The fear of pollution is changing consumer spending,” says Shaun Rein, managing director of Shanghai-based China Market Research Group. “Anything that’s sort of natural is doing really well.”


Comvita is one beneficiary of the growing appetite for all-natural foods. The company, the biggest honey brand in New Zealand, relies on Chinese consumers clamoring for manuka honey for about 60 percent of its sales. People in China have long eaten honey to improve digestion and bolster their immune systems. Touted as a superfood for its antibacterial qualities, manuka honey is made by bees that pollinate the Leptospermum scoparium, a plant native to New Zealand and Australia.


On Tmall, the online marketplace owned by Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, two 250-gram jars of Comvita’s manuka honey sell for 849 yuan ($127), more than nine times the price of a similar amount of the company’s clover honey. The brand is popular in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai but hasn’t yet caught on in less affluent cities, says Andrew Zhu, director of Auckland-based Trace Research, so there’s a lot of room for growth. On Sept. 5, Comvita announced a joint venture with a Chinese partner to distribute its honey on the mainland.


The company reported earnings of NZ$18.5 million ($13.7 million) on sales of NZ$231 million for the 15 months ended in June. That compares with profit of NZ$10.2 million and sales of NZ$153 million in the 12 months ended in March 2015. Still, Comvita says sales have suffered because of a slowdown in the Chinese economy, which is on track to grow about 6.7 percent this year, its weakest performance since 1990. The slowdown is putting pressure on the company to find new products.


Comvita is looking to take advantage of New Zealand’s reputation as an environmentally friendly country. Last September, it bought a 13 percent stake in SeaDragon, a New Zealand producer of fish oils. A plan to diversify into oils, berry products, and olive-leaf extracts for the supplements market will help Comvita double annual revenue, to NZ$400 million, by 2020, says Chief Executive Officer Scott Coulter. Sales of honey and other bee-related products will generate NZ$280 million; the other NZ$120 million will come from items like bilberry supplements (NZ$74.26 for 180 capsules) and olive-leaf extract oral spray (NZ$22.20 for 20 milliliters). Comvita says such products can help maintain healthy eyesight and cholesterol levels. “Our goal is to try to produce at the high-quality end of the market,” Coulter says. The strategy is “about connecting our customers to the source of their food.”


Meanwhile, demand for manuka honey has created an opening for counterfeiters, says Walker Zhong, CEO of Oceania Natural, a small Auckland-based Comvita rival. “There’s a lot of fake manuka honey because it’s so expensive,” he says. New Zealand’s Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association, which represents the country’s beekeepers and honey producers, is trying to trademark the name and preserve it for use by Kiwis only. Says association spokesman John Rawcliffe, “The consumer expects that if it’s manuka honey, then it comes from New Zealand.”


The bottom line: Comvita says honey products and new oils and extracts will help it double its revenue, to $290 million, by 2020.



A Taste of New Zealand

Posted on 14 July, 2016 at 6:30

Source: /www.foodandhealth.auckland.ac.nz/en/about/news/news-2016/03/consumer-trends-a-hot-topic-for-new-zealand-food-and-beverage-bu.html

Consumer food trends are under the microscope with Professor David Hughes, an authority on global food industry issues, and Dr Andrew Zhu, an expert on China’s e-commerce, discussing the current global trends and opportunities for New Zealand food product in China.

Staggering numbers of one-person households and an increasing volatility in the global food and feed market as a result of the climate, oil prices, food safety disasters, livestock diseases, were discussed by Professor David Hughes in a recent seminar in Auckland.

 

The seminar, hosted by the University of Auckland Food and Health Programme and The FoodBowl, presented recent consumer trends and how they are impacting on the New Zealand food and beverage industry. The engaging Professor, from the Imperial College London, provided attendees with interesting insights into the labelling of meat, with many consumers being drawn to products with adjectives such as ‘organic’, ‘grass fed’, ‘free range’ and ‘single estate’. Professor Hughes also went on to detail trends in meat and dairy replacements, noting the large FMCG companies buying into the trend, including Ben and Jerry’s with their introduction of almond-milk ice cream and Phillipines’ Monde Nissan recently acquiring UK firm Quorn.

 

Dr Andrew Zhu, from the University of Auckland New Zealand Asia Institute, complemented the session by providing insights into China’s online shoppers. Dr Zhu highlighted that an incredible 64.7% of Chinese E-commerce platforms carry NZ made products, with dairy, honey, seafood based dietary supplements, meat, fresh food, snack food and skincare being the top products. Chinese consumer’s perceptions of New Zealand food and health products are very positive, with ‘rest assured’, ‘green’, ‘good quality’ and ‘fresh’, being amongst the descriptions provided. With this in mind, labelling of food, beverages and supplements, that are manufactured in New Zealand and destined for China, are likely to benefit from labelling that emphasises New Zealand as the country of origin.

 

Dr Zhu also provided insight into the use of 'sunshine’ and 'grey' channels as an alternative mode for exporting to China, however, he highlighted that the effectiveness of these channels were still heavily reliant on the Chinese social media generated by Chinese migrants in New Zealand, rather than traditional advertising.



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