Portion sizes are the new 2011 eating trend in Australia

Posted by Josette Dunn on 15th December 2010

Research by Datamonitor, the independent market analyst firm, has revealed that Australian consumers prefer to control their portion sizes rather than adopt specific diet plans. In fact, the proportion of Australians who regularly make an effort to eat and drink smaller portions has increased to 46% in 2010 compared to 29% in 2009, a trend that is likely to gather momentum in 2011.Katrina Diamonon, consumer markets analyst at Datamonitor said, “Australians are willing to accept a more disciplined approach to eating, but are being selective in how they are exercising this restraint. While there are several ways in which dietary discipline can be exercised, health conscious Australians are demonstrating a strong preference for eating smaller portions over strict diet plans and calorie counting”.

Given the inherent and widely understood relationship between health and diet, Australians prefer to think positive when it comes to good nutrition.

Ms Diamonon commented: “Australian consumers are more concerned about the inclusion of a wide range of foods in their diet rather than restriction or “forbidden” foods. The implementation of portion control over more formal diet plans and calorie counting is indicative of a shift in mentality. Portion control is perceived by consumers as a more flexible approach to disciplined eating. It allows them to choose from a wide variety of foods while managing portion sizes.”

The research also reveals that growing reliance on product labeling reflects increased interest in nutritional specifics. Australian consumers demonstrate a strong desire to learn more about ingredient composition and are taking the initiative by looking beyond front-of-pack labeling to find out more information regarding the food and drinks they consume. Indeed, 50% of Australian consumers stated that they are highly attentive to the ingredients used in the food and drinks they purchase.

Ms Diamonon added: “Ingredients lists and nutritional panels are now more heavily relied upon as Australians are taking more interest in the nutritional content of the food and drinks they buy. Thanks to the internet, they quickly have access to information that will help them understand and translate most nutritional information on the packaging”.

“Australians are looking for more constructive health messages. They are more interested in hearing what they can eat, rather than what they cannot. Food and drink marketing needs to focus on the positive features of a product, in order to address Australians’ shifting approach to healthy eating” concluded Diamonon.