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Food demand in Australia: Trends and issues 2018


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.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Title Food demand in Australia: Trends and issues 2018
Type Dataset
Language English
Licence Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Data Status inactive
Update Frequency other
Landing Page https://data.gov.au/data/dataset/9960b691-1330-4cb7-8f3f-e1b3b810069a
Date Published 2018-08-22
Date Updated 2018-08-22
Contact Point
Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences
02 6272 4548
Temporal Coverage 2018-08-22
Geospatial Coverage Australia
Jurisdiction Commonwealth of Australia
Data Portal data.gov.au
Publisher/Agency Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences
Geospatial Topics Farming