Report shows opportunities to leverage food and beverage exports with tourism

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Media contact: MPI media team
Telephone: 029 894 0328

A new market insights report builds on New Zealand's understanding of food and beverage tourism and opportunities for our primary industries.

The New Zealand Food & Agri Tourism Industry Insights Report, a collaborative project between ANZ and MPI's Economic Intelligence Unit was released today.

"Many of New Zealand's tourists have positive food and beverage experiences, and they become the best influencers and advocates of New Zealand products around the world," says Emma Taylor, director of agriculture, marine and plant policy.

"This report helps to build our understanding of the types of tourists that value quality food and beverages. By having a better understanding of food tourism we can turn the growing number of tourists visiting New Zealand into consumers of our primary sector products."

"With our 3 biggest tourism markets, Australia, China and the US, also being our 3 largest food and beverage export markets, there's a great opportunity for our primary sectors," says ANZ managing director commercial and agri Mark Hiddleston.

Annual visitor arrivals to New Zealand have increased by 44% over the last 5 years to 3.8 million, and annual spending has lifted 73% to $11 billion. Combined tourism and food and beverage exports delivered 62% of New Zealand's export earnings in 2017.

"Our research shows not only do tourists seek out great food and drink experiences, they also seek it out when they return home. There are opportunities for businesses in our primary sector, particularly in the regions, to tap more into food tourism and also connect more directly with consumers," says Emma Taylor.

"More businesses are now catering to the growing market of food tourism – through diversifying to include agri-tourism, utilising indigenous food and Māori storytelling, and collaborating with other local businesses."

"Those looking to promote a 'value add' New Zealand food story to the world need to look at how they can connect directly with consumers behind the farm gate to give them a true 'foodie experience'," adds Mark Hiddleston.

The report highlights some challenging areas where there is scope for improvement. For example, New Zealand is not well recognised as a food and beverage destination, and some travellers perceive a lack of quality, variety, and high cost.  Businesses can help to address this by focusing on delivering high-value, quality products, as well as great tourism experiences.

Quick facts from the report

The report, which includes data from an MPI and ANZ online survey, highlights:

  • 80% of foodie tourists like to take food and beverages home after visiting a country.
  • Over 60% of travellers buy food and beverages at home which they encountered on a trip.
  • Travellers from Australia and the US said processed foods, wine, beer, and cookbooks were all products they are likely to purchase at home.
  • New Zealand is not well recognised for its food and beverage in comparison with other countries. It also receives one of the largest proportions of neutral opinions.
  • Australian and US travellers summed up their food and beverage experiences as quality, natural, and innovative.
  • However, 32% scored their food and beverage experiences below 8 out of 10 for satisfaction.

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