Aldi survey finds Australians spending $378 million a week on meat

by admin on July 13th, 2018

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Peter Shaw, butcher of The Meat Store in Bondi Junction. Photo: Edwina Pickles At The Meat Store in Bondi Junction, beef is the most popular choice among customers, chicken is the least. Photo: Edwina Pickles

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Meat continues to be the meal of choice for Australians, who are spending $378 million a week on meat to cook at home.

Figures released by discount supermarket chain Aldi show the average Australian household cooks four-and-half meat meals each week, spending around $46.

According to the Galaxy Research poll, chicken is the highest-ranked meat in Australia, with 47 per cent of the nation ranking it as their favourite.

An Aldi spokesperson said the results showed Australians were “looking for better value [and] wanting to squeeze more meat into their weekly grocery budget without having to compromise on quality.”

Lamb is most popular in NSW, while Western Australia has a greater taste for pork than anywhere else in the country.

The ACT has the biggest appetite for meat, with just over half of respondents eating five or more meat-based meals a week.

Lisa Sharp, chief marketing and communications officer for Meat and Livestock Australia, said Australia led the world as the largest meat consuming nation.

“We know Australians love their beef and lamb, they have been staples on the dinner table for decades,” she said.

“This has meant that despite consumers experiencing large price rises at the retail level over the past decade, Australians have been prepared to spend more on red meat.”

Over the past few decades, the value of the Australian beef industry has increased from approximately $5 billion to $8 billion.

“At the retail level, the value share of beef sales (as a percentage of total meat sales) has remained solid, averaging between 36-40 per cent over the past five years, whereas chicken’s value share has averaged between 24-26 per cent of total meat retail sales,” Ms Sharp said.

At the end of last month, Aldi took the lead in a meat price war with rivals Coles and Woolworths, which started when Woolworths cut the cost of its lamb leg to $10/ kilo, along with the price of other popular meat lines including mince and sausages.

The dramatic price cuts garnered criticism from some in the industry, who argued small, independent butchers in country towns could not compete with such prices.

Beef prices have on average increased 66 per cent from $10.60/kg in 2000 to $17.61/kg retail weight in 2015.

In Bondi Junction in Sydney’s east owner of The Meat Store Peter Ilic said he was aware when price wars took place, but he did not follow them too closely.

“We always go back to what we are doing in our own stores, rather than trying to compete with businesses so much bigger than ours,” he said.

“We are a small family business. We serve 3000 customers a week in our [two] stores. Their margins are much bigger than ours but we still manage to sell at a price that matches theirs, quality for quality.”

Mr Ilic said his customers continued to tend towards lamb and free-range pork, due to the ongoing high price of beef.

In the four years of operating his stores, he says the biggest change has been the shift towards grass-fed meat.

“We now see a huge backlash against grain-fed beef. I think we are eating less meat, but consumers are a lot wiser in what they buy,” he said, adding that transactions were smaller, but what customers purchased was “high grade”.

Mr Ilic said at his store, “chicken is actually the least popular meat” among customers, with beef the most popular, followed by lamb and then pork. Latest consumer news

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