Chocolate overtakes the traditional Australian meat pie

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 4th April 2013

New research has found that Australia’s love of the traditional meat pie with sauce is waning, as chocolates and lollies as convenient snacks gain popularity with consumers.

Although the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) has meant less impulse buying, the research from Australian industry research group BIS Shrapnel showed that people are still willing to buy confectionary through convenience stores, milk bars and other ‘route trade’ locations. Overall, confectionary as a total product category has seen a growth of 18 per cent in value since 2010 to $711 million.

“This is typical consumer behaviour during tougher and uncertain economic times,” said Rosengren. “Chocolates can be small and inexpensive, and we like to reward ourselves every now and then with a little treat,” he said.

Chocolate dominates the confectionary category, making up two thirds of the category’s $457 million total value.

The growth in sweet snacks has effectively taken sales from the remaining edible options in the route trade market, with bakery products, ice cream and snack foods all experiencing declines in value since 2010. The number of confectioner route trade outlets has also increased, from an estimate 591 in 2010 to 662 in 2012, with the total market value almost tripling over the two-year period.

While meat pies still dominate the bakery products category, the Australian icon has seen a 9 per cent drop in market value since 2010, to $79 million. The only two bakery products that have increased in value since 2010 are sausage rolls, which were up 4 per cent to $46 million, and cakes, up 14 per cent to $38 million. Biscuit sales also declined.

“Chocolate is quick to buy and eat, whereas meat pies are more of a lunch item. It’s also much easier to eat a chocolate bar. A meat pie can be a struggle to eat when you’re on the run, for instance,” said Rosengren.

Of food and drink items bought through a route trade channel, beverages are still the dominant item, despite a 5 per cent drop in market value since 2010, still making up 59 per cent of the total $1,940 million market.