Meat and greet: where Aussies are buying their fresh meat

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 24th November 2014
Meat and greet: where Aussies buy their fresh meat
Meat and greet: where Aussies buy their fresh meat

Fresh meat is central to most Australians’ diets, with a growing proportion of us buying it in any given week. While this growth is evident among country and city residents, there are some key differences in where Australian consumers buy their meat, according to findings from market research organisation Roy Morgan Research.

In the year to June 2014, similar proportions of grocery-buyers in the city (73 per cent) and country (77 per cent) bought fresh meat in an average seven days, up from 72 per cent and 74 per cent respectively in 2010.

“More Australians are buying fresh meat in any given seven-day period now than they were just a few years ago, and supermarkets appear to be benefitting most from this trend,” said Geoffrey Smith, Roy Morgan Research.

City buyers more likely to visit speciality retailers

While supermarkets are the top source for fresh meat throughout Australia, findings from Roy Morgan Research have revealed that city dwellers are more likely than rural residents to buy their meat at specialty retailers such as butchers, markets and delicatessens.

Roy Morgan Research found a higher proportion of country shoppers bought fresh meat at the supermarket than their capital city counterparts (65 per cent compared to 56 per cent), and city shoppers were more likely to diversify. Not only did more of them buy meat at a butcher’s (23 per cent compared to 20 per cent), they were also more likely to buy it from markets (3 per cent vs 1 per cent) and delicatessens (just over 2 per cent vs just under 2 per cent).

More country shoppers buying from supermarkets

While grocery-buyers in the city are more likely than rural shoppers to buy their fresh meat from specialty retailers, there has been little change in the proportions of people doing so over the past five years.

“While our data shows that people living in capital cities shop for meat in a wider range of stores than country residents, the percentage doing so has remained relatively stable since 2010, whereas purchasing fresh meat at the supermarket has become more popular – as it has among rural shoppers, too,” Mr Smith said.

On the other hand, the proportion of country and city shoppers buying fresh meat from supermarkets has grown. In the year to June 2010, 59 per cent of shoppers from the country and 53 per cent of those based in the city bought fresh meat from supermarkets in an average seven-day period – noticeably lower than the current figures mentioned above.

“Obviously, someone living in the country has less choice as to where they buy their fresh meat, and so supermarkets may simply be their easiest (or only) option,” Mr Smith said. “But this doesn’t explain the growing proportion of city shoppers opting to buy their meat at the supermarket despite a plethora of specialist butchers, delis and markets to choose from,” he said.

“Even at supermarket level, there are differences between country and city residents: the former are more likely to buy their fresh meat from Woolworths, IGA and Aldi supermarkets, while the latter are more likely to get it from Coles or Foodland,” Mr Smith said. “Indeed, this tends to be the pattern for all fresh produce categories (fruit and vegetables, bread, deli items and seafood),” he said.