When McDonald’s (MCD) and KFC (YUM) wanted to try out new hipster-friendly quinoa-selling restaurant concepts, they first tested the ideas in Australia. They’re not the first. Citigroup is using the country as a proving ground for digital banking tools, AOL (VZN) for ad products, and Coke (KO) for packaging. It’s also a top country for new gaming apps, says German firm Priori Data, with 350 daily launches. Of those, 58 make it onto the charts every day, far more than any other country.
What makes the land Down Under such an appealing lab? Michael Silverstein, senior partner at BCG and author of the book Rocket, says the continent’s educated, affluent population of 23.9 million is “open aperature”—by which he means, hungry for new experiences and products—and makes a “good proxy for white, Christian America.” Australia also offers a ready and relatively contained infrastructure—media, distribution channels, talent—and some privacy. “I call it undercoverd Down Under,” Silverstein says. Plus, if a product flops in the outback and no one hears about it, did it really happen?
First Launched in Australia
Tesla Powerwall battery
Popular for energy-company testing, the country will be among the first to get the powerwall.
The coffee concept debuted in 1993 in Melbourne. The U.S. was the 18th country to get it.
Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., and Canada are all popular test markets for new games.
A version of this article appears in the November 1, 2015 issue of Fortune with the headline “Australia: Test kitchen to the world.”