SA Made and Owned: locals for locals
During the upheaval of COVID-19, South Australian consumers have rallied around South Australian businesses, with many going out of their way to find products that support local jobs. But while consumers are eager to buy local, many retailers have been unsure how to find the information they need to access local products.
“South Australians have proven over and over again that they care enough to go the extra mile to support local brands,” says Catherine Sayer, CEO of Food South Australia.
“While many retailers recognise the value of identifying local products in-store to help consumers find them on the shelves, there was a gap in the information available to retailers themselves in finding those South Australian products. We found there was no central body of data to help easily identify products that are both South Australian made and owned.”
As the peak body for the industry in South Australia, Food South Australia realised that they were ideally positioned to gather that data to benefit both retailers and the industry.
Food SA has been working with members for the last four months to compile a SA Made and Owned database, which now includes thousands of individual products. The database will help retailers actively support local producers at the product level, and will also help manufacturers to connect with retailers to grow their business.
“Our aim has been to facilitate growth for our members by enabling retailers to easily identify which products fit these criteria, which in turn means they can introduce point of sale identification on those products,” Sayer says. “End-consumers can then easily find and purchase the products they love – all of which means we’re keeping South Australians employed and growing an industry that is critical to the state’s economy.
“Having easy access to reliable information makes this a simple process for retailers and helps consumers when these products stand out on the shelf.”
SA Made and Owned is now being rolled out with Drakes Supermarkets, a large South Australian independent supermarket chain.
“The team at Drakes really wanted to highlight South Australian products and have been incredibly supportive, working with us to develop this project from the initial idea to rolling it out,” Sayer says. “You can now walk into any Drakes supermarket and if there’s a ticket that says ‘South Australian Made and Owned’, you know it is.”
John-Paul Drake, Director of Drakes Supermarkets, says customers had been asking for it to be made easier to identify locally made and owned products on supermarket shelves.
“We’re proud to have worked with Food SA to make this happen,” he says. “Supporting local means keeping the money in our great state. By buying a locally made and owned product, you’re helping to create more opportunities right here on your home ground.”
Food South Australia supports consumer-facing campaigns for local products through programs such as Eat Local SA, which focuses on food service venues heroing South Australian produce, and I Choose SA, which covers all sectors of business. An online marketplace supporting South Australian food producers has also been developed.