Monday, August 12th, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research

To misquote former PM Malcolm Fraser, life wasn’t meant to be cheesy — especially in Australia, where cheese sales are slowly declining. In the 12 months to March this year, 89% of Australian grocery buyers reported purchasing cheese, down from 92% in the 12 months to March 2009.

Recent findings from Roy Morgan Research show that it’s primarily younger shoppers who are turning their backs on cheese: as of March 2013, 85% of grocery buyers aged 25-34 bought cheese in an average 12-month period, down from 91% in the year to March 2009. The proportion of older grocery shoppers (those aged 50+) buying cheese in an average year sits at 93%, unchanged from five years ago.

Over the same time period, an increasing number of younger Australians reported that they “avoid dairy foods whenever possible” (14% of 25-34 year olds, up from 11% in the year to March 2009), while the 50+ age group remained stable at 13%.

Source:Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2008 –March 2013, average yearly sample n = 19,615.

Angela Smith, Group Account Manager — Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“It’s interesting to see that a growing number of younger Australians are not only choosing to buy less cheese but turning their backs on dairy products in general. However, the majority (68%) still try to get enough calcium in their diet, which may go some way to explaining why 85% of them continue to purchase cheese despite their age group’s move away from dairy.

“Also interesting to see is how different kinds of cheese have sold over the last five years. Block cheese, sliced cheese and soft cheese (eg. Brie, Camembert) have lost the most ground, with only cheese snacks and ricotta/cottage cheese remaining stable.

“In this changing industry, it’s vital for dairy companies to understand the detailed market trends impacting their brands and competitors to ensure they remain competitive.”

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Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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To misquote former PM Malcolm Fraser, life wasn’t meant to be cheesy — especially in Australia, where cheese sales are slowly declining.

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