What a difference a decade makes

Friday, 24 March 2017

Australians are more likely to go to a café for coffee or tea than to eat out at a fast-food place, and having a meal at the pub is now vastly more popular than getting a pizza home-delivered, according to a recently released report from Roy Morgan. The study compared results from 2006 with 2016 and found the most striking difference over the last 10 years has been our ever-more widespread penchant for going to cafes. Back in 2006, 51.1% of Aussies visited a café at least once in an average three months; since then, this has risen to 58.9%.

While the proportion of Aussies going to the pub solely for a drink has dropped, more of us are going to the pub to eat. Dining at licensed restaurants has also become more popular and the proportion of us who agree that ‘’If I could afford to eat out every night I would” has crept up from 19.9% to 23.1% over the last decade.

Almost three quarters of the population (72.4%) now say they enjoy food from all over the world (up from 65.5% in 2006), while 57.3% report buying much more fresh or chilled foods than they used to (up from 53.1%).

Food without additives have become increasingly popular (last year, 49.9% of Aussies made an effort to buy it, compared with 46.0% in 2006); as has buying the same food each week (36.5%, up from 28.7%). A preference for taste over ingredients, and a tendency to snack throughout the day, are also among the last decade’s key food-related trends.

Intriguingly, health-oriented dietary concerns such as getting enough calcium, staying on top of our cholesterol levels, and following a low-fat diet, have all slipped.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The fact that more Australians are dining out at eateries of various descriptions than they were 10 years ago speaks volumes about our ongoing obsession with food and gourmet culture. With TV cooking shows and celebrity chefs as popular as ever, it’s almost a matter of pride for many people to visit the latest restaurant or café before their friends: home-delivered pizza just won’t cut it anymore!

“Connected to this is the inexorable rise of café society. Visiting cafes, whether for a drink or a meal (or both) is booming, and shows no sign of slowing even as heading to the pub for a drink has lost ground. While it’s tempting to assume this is all part of a move towards healthier living, Roy Morgan data shows a decline in overall concern about cholesterol, low-fat diets and calcium.”

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