The traditional leg of ham remains Australia’s number one choice for Christmas food this year, according to grocery banner IGA’s Christmas Aisle Index, a survey of consumer purchasing plans.
The research also found that Aussies want to buy more locally sourced foods and are looking for ways to save time and money when preparing Christmas meals. And vegetarian options appear to be more popular than ever.
Nearly half of Australian grocery shoppers – 43 per cent – said they will be buying a leg of ham this season, with 28 per cent planning seafood and 26 per cent Christmas cake or pudding.
The research, commissioned by IGA and conducted by YouGov, listed the top 10 most popular Christmas foods this year. The other seven were: baked vegetables and salad (22 per cent each), fresh fruit and roast pork (21 per cent each), chocolate (20 per cent), pavlova (18 per cent) and potato salad (15 per cent).
The research also looked into other consumer preferences in the month ahead. About one in four people said they were seeking recipes that helped them reduce time in the kitchen so as to spend more time with family, and 17 per cent are looking to save money by using recipes with fewer ingredients.
One third of Australians plan to actively source more locally sourced produce and 36 per cent say they are more likely to check the labels for origin information before purchasing.
“More and more people want to support local businesses with their Christmas food shop after the events of 2020,” said Joseph Romeo, IGA retailer and chair of the IGA National Retailer Council.
He said IGA’s ham products are already “flying off the shelves” so it came as no surprise to see it voted as the most popular Christmas food.
While ham is centrestage, 2.6 million Aussies plan to buy vegetarian, 1.5 million vegan and 1.2 million gluten-free foods this season, according to the research.