Australian families are spending $13.6 billion more every year to follow a special diet or eat more healthy food, according to new research which has pegged healthy habits as a priority for younger shoppers.
The data, released by consumer information firm Choosi based on a survey of 1,000 “typical” Australians in August by Coredata, is the latest sign that shoppers are willing to open their wallets for health.
$4,515 more is spent per household on average to pursue healthier meals each year, with 73.8 per cent of Gen Y consumers admitting to spending more, according to the modern food trends report.
Interestingly, social media has become an increasing factor in decision making, with 64.4 per cent of Gen Y consumers surveyed saying they are most likely to be influenced by networks when making dietary decisions.
“There is currently so much information about food; from nutritional data, to new cooking and eating movements, to the proliferation of ‘foodie influencers’ on social media. Australians now have access to more opinions about their diet than ever before,” Choosi spokesperson Katrina Foster said.
“Aussies were traditionally influenced by their network of friends and family when it came to meal choices, whereas we now see the dominance of social media as a driving force in mainstream food trends.”
Half of all Australians surveyed say they feel “inspired” by other people’s posts about food on social media, with 30.8 per cent saying they post pictures of food they’ve made themselves.
47.2 per cent of all Aussies surveyed source dietary information online, and a further 22.2 per cent take eating advice from social media. One-in-five Baby Boomers are influenced by social media when making dietary choices, while 36.8 per cent of Generation X are.
24.8 per cent of Australians eat most meals on their own at the table or kitchen bench, while 14.9 per cent say “most” of their meals are eaten at their office desk.Although nearly a third of Aussies still come together for Sunday family dinners, and nearly 24.2 per cent say they have takeaway dinner on Friday.
Given Australians are looking to new information sources to educate themselves about food and diet, it’s positive to see many are still focused on making healthy eating decisions. That said, it’s common for people to be confused with so many conflicting opinions out there,” nutritionist Dr Joanna McMilan said.