A survey conducted by the Food Standards Agency in Australia revealed why people buy kitchen and bathroom equipment overseas.
It also revealed how much the average consumer pays for the products they buy.
The survey asked more than 1,000 Australians what they thought was the most important factor for them to buy kitchen equipment overseas, and the answers showed a strong preference for Japanese kitchenware.
One in five Australians surveyed said they preferred Japanese kitchen ware to Korean kitchenware, with Japanese being the most popular choice.
The same survey also revealed that Australians’ preferences for kitchenware from other countries were also higher than those for their own country.
“We found that when people were asked what they considered to be the most essential kitchenware items, the most common answer was Japanese kitchen and bathware,” said the agency’s chief executive, Dr Karen Anderton.
“The same was true for toiletries and other household goods.”
The survey also found that Australians are also more likely to buy Japanese kitchen tools overseas than Australians are of other countries.
Nearly two-thirds of Australians surveyed had bought Japanese kitchen or bathroom products, compared with just over half of Australians from the US.
Japanese kitchen items were more commonly purchased in the western hemisphere, with around two-fifths of the Japanese surveyed buying Japanese kitchen equipment.
Australian consumers are also buying kitchenware overseas from more than 10 different countries, including Japan, Canada, China, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Norway, France, New Zealand and the United States.
Australian residents are buying Japanese appliances from Japan at a higher rate than Americans are, with a quarter of Australians purchasing Japanese kitchen products from Japan in 2017, compared to around a quarter from the USA.
This is despite the fact that Japanese manufacturers are not recognised by the Australian government, which has criticised Japanese imports for harming Australian manufacturing.
“When you look at the ingredients in the Japanese products that we buy, we can’t say we’re not going to get quality,” Dr Andertonsaid.
“But we can say that we’re going to be less expensive than the American product.”
Japanese kitchen gear is also often made in Japan, and a growing number of Japanese consumers are buying kitchen items in Japan for home use.
In the survey, more than half of Japanese people (54 per cent) said they were using Japanese kitchen appliances at home, compared, for example, with US households (41 per cent).
Japan is also the biggest exporter of kitchenware to Australia, with more than 4 million items being exported to Australia every year.
Japanese appliances are also a popular choice for Australians buying Japanese foodstuffs and drinks, with 44 per cent of Australians buying foodstamp-branded Japanese foods and beverages in 2017.
Japanese food brands include Nisin Naka, Yuzu, Miyoko, Hachiko, Kitazuka and Chikyu.
There is also a growing trend in Australia for consumers to buy products from Asian suppliers such as the Japanese-owned Dohyo brand.
Japanese-produced goods have been found to be a key ingredient in many of the popular items Australians buy.
Dr Averton said Australians were buying Japanese household goods from Asian manufacturers at a faster rate than they were buying domestic products.
“A lot of the Asian consumers are coming into Australia, because they’re looking to invest in the future of their home,” she said.
“So when you look for an investment in your house, you want the Asian product.”