The New Zealand hemp industry appears to be coming of age.
The US is four or five years ahead of Australia in market trends, as are NZ and France, said Denise Hamblin, national FMCG head at Colmar Brunton. Hamblin told the HortConnections conference in Melbourne that societies go through different eras ranging from conservatism to rebellion, the latter often being the time when most innovative ideas and changes in values occur.
Colmar Brunton had measured values in Australia in 1999 and compared these with two international ‘dipstick’ studies, both including NZ, in 2016 and 2018.
She told Rural News that NZ tends to be five or six years ahead of Australia in values and social unrest. Australia is still in a conservative phase but should be moving out of it within a few years.
With FMCG, NZ “has moved more into a [sustainability] area where consumers are demanding more sustainable products and packaging”.
“The environment is one issue, so is the health overlay. NZ is further developed in [health] -- looking at mental health, looking at health more holistically, looking at chronic diseases and looking at personalised solutions.
“NZ is ahead of us. When we talk to our clients about marketing and product development, innovation and communications, we look to NZ advertising and product to see what is happening there to predict what is going to happen for Australia in four or five years. It gives us a seeing glass.”
That applies to all sectors, she says, but her focus is FMCG – packaged or fresh.
“With the fresh market, people want to look for a new way. They want to have personalised health, to consume things that will not only heal them but heal the planet.
It is a big change and NZ is certainly ahead of us.”
Era change occurs in countries through a series of tipping points. Specific tipping points had turned NZ into a ‘rebellion’ market.
“Australians have been laggards in conformity, but NZers have not put up with it. [Perhaps because of] disasters, NZ has had to band people together to find the better way. They might have been more accelerated based on things like that.
Hamblin says they used to do Australian studies every four to five years, but now it is every two years.