Friday, August 17, 2012

Maori Food: promotion of a kai portfolio...

In order to arrest the apparent decline of national and regional economies, novel products are routinely developed for wealthy consumers seeking status-affirming ‘quality’ attributes: ‘Search’ attributes are those generally available to the consumer at the time and point of sale, such as price and presentation. ‘Experience’ attributes are not realised until preparation and consumption, and for food would include taste, moisture, crispness, and so on. ‘Credence’ attributes are those pertaining to environmental health, sustainability, ecological resilience issues and so on. Indigenous ventures, including Maori, now attempt to satisfy these wealthy (generally European or North American) consumers and their values which may include supporting Indigenous ventures, although the resulting niche markets can be very large and difficult to historically impoverished groups to supply.

The latest attempt by Maori to crack this market takes the form of a portfolio of wines, beer, and condiments. 

It remains a difficult enterprise, not least because the market is flooded with premium goods from exotic locations, scrambling for attention. At least it is pitched at the right audience, that is those wealthy punters who have most probably seen their personal wealth increase in the past 5 years while the majority of the consumers have put away the wallet for such luxury purchases: kina pate? Paua relish? Like a lot of things in Aotearoa/NZ, such delights are either free or beyond your working class purse!

I do expect to be sampling some of these wares sometime in the near future...

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Simon Lambert

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