Australia’s favourite spreads, market findings

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 9th February 2015
Australia’s favourite spreads, market findings
Australia’s favourite spreads, market findings

Vegemite is overwhelming more popular among Australian consumers born in Australia than overseas-born Australians, although New Zealanders are partial to it too, according to findings about Australia’s favourite spreads from market research organisation Roy Morgan Research.

In the 12 months to September 2014, 39 per cent of the population aged 14 and older ate Vegemite (or similar spreads Promite and Marmite) at least once in an average seven days.

Of the 7,550, 000 people who eat Vegemite/Marmite/Promite in an average seven-day period, 6,405,000 were born in Australia – that’s 85 per cent of total Vegemite-eaters and 45 per cent of people born in Australia. Meanwhile, 43 per cent of people born in New Zealand, 30 per cent of those born in the UK or Ireland and just 12 per cent of Asian-born people eat the yeast-based spread in an average seven days.

“Vegemite is as Australian as koalas, and as polarising as our Prime Minister,” said Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research. “With its unique taste and unappealing appearance, it inspires either love or hate in people. It’s featured in songs by quintessentially Aussie acts like Men at Work and John Williamson, as well as its own famous ‘Happy little Vegemites’ jingle, and is renowned for its nutritional value,” she said.

Increasing number of Asian-born Australians presents challenge for yeast spreads

Ms Smith said the ever-increasing number of Australians born in Asia could present an “interesting challenge” for the producers of Vegemite, Marmite and Promite.

“Our data shows that this group is far less likely than people from other non-Australian backgrounds to eat yeast-based spreads in an average seven days — which could have serious implications for the continued success of these products,” Ms Smith said.

Jams ahead of honey and nut butter

Jams, conserves and marmalade were the second-most popular spread (31 per cent), just ahead of honey and peanut butter (30 per cent each).

Jam is the most popular spread among people born in the UK or Ireland, eaten at least once by 39 per cent of them in an average seven-day period. People born elsewhere in Europe (38 per cent), and Asia (28 per cent), prefer honey over other spreads, while those born in the US are most likely to eat peanut butter (49 per cent).

Australian Food News reported in January 2015 that findings from market research organisation Canadean had found that the UK market was dominated by jam and honey spreads. However, that research also found that chocolate spreads were expected to increase in popularity, growing by 35 per cent up to 2018.

“It’s no real surprise that Australian-born Aussies are most likely to eat Vegemite in an average seven days, while those born in other regions tend to favour spreads more prevalent in those regions: peanut butter for US-born folks, jam for people born in the UK or Ireland, and so on,” Ms Smith said.

Ms Smith said understanding the demographics, attitudes and behaviours of consumers who favoured different kinds of spreads was “crucial for brands seeking to communicate effectively with their present and potential markets, and potentially even influence their preferences with some smart, targeted marketing”.