CHOICE membership

Australian food products versus Imported where quality is equal Poll

Its always determined by budget, for me, but I find that some products are affordable even if they cost a bit more. For example, I buy Ardmona tinned tomatoes, because they are really nice, and they are australian owned. They are about 60c more per tin than the coles equivalent but I dont find that the coles brand is anywhere near as good. Horses for courses and all that. PLus, Ardmona nearly went bust a couple of years ago, and I try to support companies who still struggle a bit. I wont buy Navel oranges out of season because they come from the USA, and the USA is already trampling our markets so… like… stuff ‘em. I guess Its not always about budget then… but most of the time it is.


My wife and I were in Woolies this morning, I was looking for a drink of juice, after a long bike ride via the scenic route on a very warm day, and the first few options at a sensible price were 81, 66 and 25% Oz, so I eventually settled on a 100% Oz OJ for similar pricing.

Agree with @PhilT about the absolute nature of some options.


Great poll @vax2000

With pasta, coffee, tomato purée, tinned tomatoes and legumes, I always buy imported from Italy, even if more expensive than local, because of the quality.

Biscuits has always been Arnotts, and now the packaging says ‘ made in Au and exported to the world’.
The other day I bought a packet of cookies which claimed to be ‘made and packed in Au’ but then a small tab said ‘minimum 75% Au ingredients ‘ it made me wonder where the other 25% were sourced from?

I like the questions in the absolute because with ‘Usually’ and ‘Sometime’
you don’t get a clear picture.


I agree. My shopping is usually Australian when possible, BUT is has to be " where quality is equal
Which is the the point of the poll’s headline…


I overlooked the words “where quality is equal” so that clears it up for me.

I will vote for the first answer.


We try as much as possible to buy local, but as much of our diets (meals we cook) are non-traditional Aussie fair as much we cook is Asian dishes, it is very difficult to get the sauces and condiments which are local or Australian.

Any meat and veges used however are local and vegetables sourced from garden farms in the SE Qld area.


The question assumes that is there are comparable local and imported food products available together that are of equal quality to permit a preference for local or not. If this situation occurs I don’t recall it happening very often.

Perhaps some respondents shop in areas where there are many competing food shops nearby with different lines going head to head. I have precisely two shops that sell fresh(ish) fruit and veg and one is nearly always better so I don’t bother going into the other. The shop where I go is not in the habit of presenting competing lines of the same thing from different sources. They will have one brand of asparagus (for example) at any given time.

There is more choice in non-fresh foodstuffs, so there could be 4 kinds of salami, but then I might or might not feel like chilli and I have favourites so the question of several of equal quality doesn’t arise there either.

Perhaps In the inner city there are people who check out three different shops before choosing their asparagus. Perhaps the replies received are aspirational.


Yes,@syncretic, I, for one, live in an area (StKilda Melbourne) where we are spoiled for choice with many shops, big and small, with local and imported items at hand.
There’s a large Jewish Community here with corresponding food shops. Also an Eastern European one. And Greek and Italian. And Asian.
And the big supermarkets don’t wish to be left behind and stock items from all over the world.

I understand that members of the choice community live in many divers areas of Australia.
As consumers, how do we reconcile
the way we shop under so varied
opportunities I think could apply to many of the topics we are offered to respond. But that’s for another time and place. :slightly_smiling_face::slightly_smiling_face:


Sometimes by accepting what you can get, or going without. The further you need to go for alternatives or competition the more you tend to rely on planning ahead. When on a trip away you buy those extras that you need. But items like ice creams and other frozen goods present their own challenges. As does fresh seafood. Agree it is a niche topic. I often wonder if there should be a “Rural Choice” sub-brand similar to the notion of a “Country Target”. Some way to aggregate the unique challenges or living in smaller communities or non-urban.


So how often do you find the same product offered, of the same quality, where deciding based on origin actually comes into play?

BTW I am very envious, colour me green. Well except if it meant I had a tiny courtyard instead of an orchard and vegie garden.


I agree with you and buy Pasta and tomato products made in Italy. The Italian are far superior to Australian. I try NOT to buy any Chinese food products even if they are cheaper, such as tinned fruit, especially now.
Im sorry but Arnotts biscuits are dreadful, as i’m sure there are no real eggs, milk or real butter in their products and having tasted the German, Dutch, Polish and even UK made cakes and biscuits I find Arnotts the worst on the planet.
I now am very particular about food as I am not going to ingest artificial, chemical and preservatives if I can help it.

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For me, there are some overriding ethical issues to why I don’t buy Italian tomatoes. This Guardian article summarises some of the issues…

and more recent one…

This is possibly why Italian tomatoes can be imported and sold significantly cheaper than those from other countries, including Australia.

And this popular article suggest they we should be supporting the Australian tomato industry:


For us the quality and origin are two most valued matters. I will take a slightly inferior Australian product over a foreign one. Then price bears little in my reasoning to purchase. However if the price difference is substantially higher for the Australian product and the quality of the foreign product is much better I am often persuaded to purchase the foreign. I then often ring or email the Australian product producer to submit my concerns with their product. I do then retry if they change their offering or appear to have done so, some go so far as to keep me informed of the changes but sadly not many.


You can colour me green @syncretic.
An orchard and a veggie garden?
All I have is a tiny balcony for some rosemary and some parsley in small pots, and I can call myself lucky because most flats around here don’t even have that.

Yes, I do have a wide range of products from a wide choice of cultures and I could try and test and compare, but to be honest, by now I know what I like and I stay with it: my pasta of choice is Barilla; coffee from Lavazza;
Mutti passata; Annalisa tins.
I’m not claiming these to be the absolute best. Many people, including Italians, like other brands. All I’m saying is, that’s what I like from the imported products.
When those are on special I stock-up
and when I can make the trip I go over
to a suburb (Brunswick) which has a high, even if aging Italian population, for pasta and coffee at a lot cheaper price. For example Lavazza coffee is often half price than In StKilda.

But still I envy where you live, I can only imagine the air, and the peace and
quiet there. Think of me now that in a few weeks the Grand Prix circus is coming to town!


The swans know it’s coming Gaby . They have already started their annual migration from Albert Park Lake to Cherry Lake Altona where I live. Smart birds :rofl:


I buy what I think the best product is balanced against how much I think the diversity in quality varies in that product type matched against price diversity - ie if I can’t tell the quality difference between a 10$ item and a 5$ item, I buy the 5$ item … if the Australian product wants to compete, it needs to be good and priced sensibly …

Two examples (food groups) that spring to mind - wine and malt whiskey. The answers aren’t necessarily what might be expected by the uninitiated :rofl:


First I must apologise to vax2000 for not being in topic :slightly_smiling_face:

Sadly exploitation of farm labourers has been the case for centuries in Southern Italy, where tomatoes grow best.

Most migrants to America and Australia were labourers from those parts, going out to find better working conditions.

Now many ‘Illigal migrants’ pass through Italy, the gate to Europe, hoping to find a better life for themselves.

I just hope more will be done by the authorities to stop the abuse of workers.


I try to buy Australian products which are equal to imports, not only to keep wealth and jobs here, but hopefully, to reduce my carbon footprint.