Margarine sales drop slightly, but brands remain popular

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 3rd June 2013

Fewer Australians are buying margarine than they were five years ago, but the two most popular brands, Flora and Meadow Lea, have remained favourites, according to new findings from market research organisation Roy Morgan Research.

In 2012, 39 per cent of Australians aged 14 or over bought margarine in an average four-week period, down from 42 per cent in 2008. But margarine is still the most popular table spread, according to the research, ahead of butter.

Flora remained the most popular brand, with 12 per cent of Australians buying the brand in an average four-week period – the same as in 2008. Meadow Lea also retained its 2008 levels, with 8 per cent of Australians opting for the brand in 2012.

Supermarket brands were the third most popular margarine, having grown in popularity from 5 per cent in 2008 to 7 per cent in 2012. Vegan-friendly brand Nuttelex ranked fifth across the country in 2012, up from sixth position in 2008.

“Over the last five years there has been a small decline in the proportion of Australians purchasing margarine in an average four-week period,” said Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director for Roy Morgan Research.

“It is still the top category of table spread (ahead of butter, bought by 33 per cent of Australians in an average four-week period in the year to 2012, up from 32 per cent in 2008), and most of the popular brands have maintained their market share,” Mr Morris said.

Margarine preferences by State

Flora was the most popular margarine brand in each State in 2012, with Meadow Lea following in every State except Queensland.

In Queensland, supermarket brand margarine was the second most popular, with 9 per cent of Queenslanders having bought it in an average four-week period, in contrast to only 7 per cent of shoppers nation-wide.

Olive Grove brand margarine was the fourth most popular brand in most States, except in Western Australia, where it was the third most popular, beating the supermarket brands.

“It’s interesting to note the differences in brand preference between the States, with a higher percentage of Queenslanders buying supermarket brands than other states, and Darwin/Alice Springs residents more likely to purchase Nuttelex,” Mr Morris said.

“Manufacturers need to understand not just the State differences but also the detailed profiles of their customers and competitors if they are to maintain their market share in the future,” he added.