Food demand in Australia: Trends and issues 2018
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Overview The report presents updated estimates of household food expenditure trends and examines further issues relating to Australia's household food expenditure. The analysis builds on a June 2017 ABARES report that examined recent trends in food demand in Australia and a range of food security issues. Key Issues Between 2009-10 and 2016-17, the key drivers of Australia's household food demand growth were, in order of importance, population growth, changes in tastes and preferences (including lifestyle choices), lower real food prices and real income growth. While population growth is important, increasing the number of people seeking to meet their energy and nutrition requirements, there has also been a broadly-based shift toward spending on meals out and fast foods, with the share of meals out and fast foods in household food expenditure in Australia increasing from 31 per cent in 2009-10 to 34 per cent in 2015-16. This increases food expenditure per person, all else constant. Domestic household consumption is still the most important market for food producers (based on value), but food exports have recovered strongly in recent years, from $25 billion in 2009-10 to $39 billion in 2016-17 (in 2015-16 prices); the share of exports in Australia's indicative food production increased from a recent low of 25 per cent in 2009-10 to 33 per cent in 2016-17. Two key questions posed in the report relate to food security across population sub-groups and economic opportunities for farmers and other food product and service providers. * Food security-based on average outcomes in population sub-groups in 2015-16 using HES data, the Australian Government's transfer system is important in ensuring a high level of food security across households in Australia; some households, such as those highly reliant on family support payments, may require complementary support, for example, from non-government organisations. * Economic opportunities in the domestic food supply chain-future food demand growth in Australia will be underpinned by population and income growth. For people living in higher income and/or net worth households, there is a demonstrated willingness to pay a premium for quality attributes of food products and services, including convenience factors. Food labelling is a key approach to inform consumers about quality attributes that may earn a price premium. A key challenge in the long-term trend toward increased demand for meals out and fast foods is to ensure people have information about food attributes such as nutrition content. Reliable and well understood food product and service labelling may enhance nutrition security in Australia, and allow consumers to make food choices that are more closely aligned with their tastes and preferences (including in relation to nutrition and health), and wider circumstances, as well as contributing to reducing food waste.
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ABARES : Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences : Department of Agriculture
HOGAN Linsday
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Other constraints: All material in this publication is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence, save for content supplied by third parties, logos and the Commonwealth Coat of Arms. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence is a standard form licence agreement that allows you to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt this publication provided you attribute the work. A summary of the licence terms is available from The full licence terms are available from

Other constraints: This publication (and any material sourced from it) should be attributed as: Hogan, L 2018, Food demand in Australia: Trends and issues, ABARES Research Report 18.10, Canberra, May. CC BY 4.0
ISBN 978-1-74323-396-2

ISSN 1447-8358
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