Australia: land of the rising sushi (and the falling spring roll)

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 19th January 2015
Australia: land of the rising sushi (and the falling spring roll)
Australia: land of the rising sushi (and the falling spring roll)

The popularity of sushi is on the rise in Australia, while spring rolls appear to be gradually falling out of favour, according to findings from market research organisation Roy Morgan Research.

Between July 2009 and June 2014, the proportion of Australians who said they liked eating sushi has grown from 36 per cent to 40 per cent. Over the same period, the proportion who liked eating spring rolls declined slightly from 37 per cent to 35 per cent. Roy Morgan Research said a similar downward trend could be seen with other fried foods such as Dim Sims, Chiko Rolls and fries/hot chips.

“There’s no doubt that Australia is the land of the rising sushi, with new sushi outlets springing up quicker than sushi fans can get to them,” said Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research. “And if this popularity continues to grow, we’ll no doubt see more of them,” she said.

Sushi vs spring rolls: who likes eating what?

Roy Morgan Research found sushi rolls were more popular among women (43 per cent) than men (37 per cent), while the opposite was true of spring rolls, enjoyed by 37 per cent of men and 34 per cent of women.

Australians aged under 50 were more likely than their older counterparts to enjoy both food types, with 18-24 year-olds showing the most enthusiasm for sushi (52 per cent) and under-18s being the biggest spring roll fans (50 per cent). In both cases, Australians aged 65 years and older are the age group least likely to enjoy these foods.

Healthy or tasty?

The main differences between fans of sushi and spring rolls emerged when their attitudes to food were compared, with the former being noticeably more concerned with their health and weight, according to Roy Morgan Research.

For example, people who like eating sushi were more likely than those who like spring rolls to agree with the following statements:

  • I prefer to eat healthy snacks
  • I restrict how much I eat of fattening foods
  • The food I eat is all, or almost all, vegetarian

In contrast, spring-roll lovers were more likely to agree that:

  • I often buy takeaway food to eat at home
  • Taste is more important than ingredients
  • I often buy frozen or chilled ready-prepared meals

“Commonly perceived as a healthy food, sushi is especially favoured by people who watch what they eat,” Ms Smith said. “Fried spring rolls, on the other hand, attract an above-average proportion of people who care more about taste and convenience than calories. Both food types are more popular with Australians aged under 50, and with those who agree that they ‘enjoy food from all over the world’,” she said.

“Of course, many of us like both sushi and spring rolls, depending on what’s available and whether we’re in the mood for fresh or fried food,” Ms Smith said. “But the fact that more of us are developing a taste for sushi while fewer are enjoying spring rolls and other fried food suggests that our appetite for fresh is winning out,” she said.