Not only are Australians buying cheese less, our preferences are changing. With the proliferation of relatively cheap plain-brand cheese, we're tending to buy less of our old favourites and more of the supermarket variety.
Last year, 48% of Australians aged 14+ bought blocks of cheese in an average four-week period, down from 52% five years earlier. And not only are we buying cheese less, our preferences are changing, with supermarket-brand blocks overtaking some old favourites in the popularity stakes.
Findings by Roy Morgan Research show that supermarket-brand cheese blocks have increased their market share over the past five years, with 14% of Aussies buying it in 2012, up from 8% in the year to December 2008. The proliferation of supermarket brands (often at much lower prices than branded cheese), combined with a gradual reduction of shelf-space reserved for other brands, goes some way to explaining why previous market-leader Bega fell slightly from 14% five years ago to 13% in 2012.
Tastes by state
Queenslanders are particularly fond of supermarket-branded cheese blocks, with 20% buying them in an average four-week period. New South Wales residents, on the other hand, were still slightly more likely to purchase Bega (15%, as opposed to 14% for supermarket brands).
Western Australians’ preferences differ considerably from other states, with Mainland (12%) and Coon (10%) the two most popular cheese block brands bought. Supermarket brands rank fifth (7%) among WA’s cheese shoppers.
Source:Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January - December 2012, n = 21,539.
Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“Over the last five years there has been a small decline in the amount of Australians purchasing blocks of cheese in any given four-week period. Meanwhile, the proportion of Aussies purchasing supermarket-branded cheese blocks has grown with their increasing availability and relatively low prices, and sales of big-name brands such as Bega, Mainland and Coon have declined.
“It’s interesting to note the clear variations in brand preference across the different regions of Australia. While Queensland residents have embraced supermarket brands, Western Australians remain loyal to the traditional cheese brands. Marketers of national brands need to stay abreast of changing dynamics within the category as well as regional preference trends.”
Roy Morgan Research
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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