|November 23, 2004,
as reported by just-food.com: Asian foods are
big in Australia as younger consumers choose the healthier
perceived meals over more traditional fastfood options.
The Australian market for ethnic food is currently worth
A$6bn (US$4.7bn), of which $3.8bn consists of consumer
spending in restaurants and takeaways and $2.2bn represents
spending in supermarkets and other retail outlets, according
to a new report. Australian business research and forecasting
firm BIS Shrapnel says its research shows that Australian
taste buds now prefer Asian cuisine.
A survey of 1,250 consumers carried out for the Ethnic
Foods in Australia, 2004 to 2007 study suggested that
the most frequently eaten ethnic cuisine types in Australia
are Chinese, followed by Italian (excluding pizza), Thai,
sushi and Indian.
Around 40% of restaurants in Melbourne and Sydney are
Asian restaurants, against around 13% Italian restaurants,
although this partly reflects the ethnic mix of the
Survey data suggests that the frequency of eating out
at ethnic food venues decreases with the age of the
consumer, from five times a month in the 18–24
age group, to four times for the 25–34 segment
and three times a month for people aged 65 plus.
However, in 2004, consumer expenditure on ethnic foods
in supermarkets and specialist retail outlets is expected
to be dominated by European food products which account
for 58.8% of purchases in the retail environment. Asian
cuisine amounts to 33.5% of total consumer expenditure
on ethnic foods, followed by Mexican at 7.4% and Middle
East and other types at only 0.3%.
In recent years, major supermarket chains such as Coles
and Woolworths are increasingly stocking ethnic food
ingredients. However, Coles is slightly ahead of the
game in better catering for new ethnic food trends,
BIS Shrapnel said. The exception is in the ready-to-eat
segment where customers purchase in equal measure from
Coles and Woolworths.
Ethnic food expenditure in retail outlets is expected
to rise to $2.7bn by 2007. BIS Shrapnel predicts that
Asian and Mexican food products will record the highest
growth in the retail sector, with European products
now considered to be mainstream and unlikely to grow
much faster than overall food consumption.