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These are the 10 bougiest brands in Australia – from American Express to Vintage Cellars

Sharon Masige

Market research firm Roy Morgan has revealed the top 10 brands that attract Australia's "high-spending premium consumers", with liquor chain Vintage Cellars topping the list.

Roy Morgan's list also features luxury car brands Audi and Lexus, retailers David Jones and Zara, as well as major airlines Emirates and Qantas.

Funnily enough, it also included superannuation company UniSuper.

Roy Morgan, however, was surprised to see Harris Farm Markets make it on the list – the grocery chain headquartered in Sydney, which now has 26 stores in New South Wales and is considered mainstream by locals.

"The other winners are national or international brands, so for a single-state brand to have sufficient support is both unusual and a plaudit for Harris Farms," Roy Morgan noted.

Here are the 10 brands that have high-end consumers dropping cash like it's no big deal:

  1. Vintage Cellars (Coles Group)
  2. Audi
  3. American Express
  4. Qantas (international)
  5. Harris Farms Markets
  6. David Jones
  7. UniSuper
  8. Zara
  9. Emirates
  10. Lexus

The market research company highlighted that the economy is slowing, with consumer spending going down.

"ABS data released last week showed that consumer spending was outstripped by household saving for the first time in five years, while the retail sector has slumped to its weakest level since the 1990s," Roy Morgan said.

But despite the ABS results, retail companies still made it onto the list, something Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine attributed to the "two-speed economy".

“In the media we hear one day that consumers are radically cutting back, and the next they are buying more local produce, personal services or cool technology. So, what’s going on?" she said, in the report. “The truth is we’re doing both – we’re in a two-speed economy."

Levine added that the premium market is "thriving" in today's slowing economy.

To generate the list, Roy Morgan conducted face-to-face interviews in the homes of over 50,000 Australians a year between October 2014 and September 2019.

A Roy Morgan spokesperson told Business Insider Australia that for a brand to qualify for the list, it needed to have a minimum of 200 premium consumers during the time of the interviews.

The company used the 'NEO consumer typology' to define premium consumers. According to Dr Ross Honeywill, the NEO typology classifies the population into two main consumer mindsets – the New Economic Order (NEOs) or the Traditional economic order (traditionals).

NEOs are defined by Honeywill as high spending and socially progressive whereas traditionals are deemed as being reluctant spenders, passive investors and having conservative social attitudes.

Honeywill further said on his website that NEOs have "powerful social and business clout."

"They will buy new technology — all those 4G smartphones, tablets, WiFi devices, wearables, and implantables — but they’ll also spend their hard-won rewards on home extensions and renovations, travel, eating in and out, drinking, online banking, investing in shares and online high-interest savings accounts, and an entire range of services that make their lives easier, more individual, and more controllable," he wrote.

The bougie class has spoken.

Read more: Despite mounting controversies, Google is still the brand with the best reputation in Australia, according to a new report.