Ads for lamb and beef are often some of the most talked about campaigns in the industry (particularly around Australia Day) but they’re not working if the results of a study by Roy Morgan are to be believed.
The findings of the study released today has found there’s been a surge in Australians going off meat altogether with 2.1 million of us (or 11.1 per cent of the population) reportedly vegetarian. In NSW, people not eating meat has surged by 30 per cent.
As of March 2016, 12.4 per cent of people living in NSW agreed that “the food I eat is all, or almost all, vegetarian”, up from 9.5 per cent back in 2012. There was also a solid increase in WA, with 10.9 per cent of adults adopting a meat-free (or meat-minimal) diet (up from 8.7 per cent in 2012), and in South Australia (10.4 per cent, up from 8.5 per cent).
Tasmanians remain our biggest chickpea fans with 12.7 per cent claiming to be vegetarian. While Queenslanders are least likely to adopt a meat-free diet with only 9.2 per cent saying they didn’t eat any animal flesh.
What all this means for adland is anyone’s guess. What it does show is brands pedalling meat will have to work a lot harder to convince consumers of the merits of their products. However, it does show Australians are adopting healthier lifestyles. According to the Roy Morgan research most people adopt a vego lifestyle for health reasons and not financial or environmental ones.
According to the survey, 60.7 per cent of Aussie who eat meat are overweight or obese while only 45.5 per cent of vegetarians are.
Commenting on the study, Roy Morgan’s industry communications director Norman Morris said: “Whether people are embracing a less meat-heavy diet for health, environmental or animal-welfare reasons, the fact remains that this trend looks set to continue. Not only has there been an increase in near or total vegetarianism across Australia, but almost 9.9 million Aussie adults agree that they’re eating less red meat these days.
“If they have not already, supermarkets and eateries would be wise to revisit their vegetarian-friendly options to ensure they are catering adequately for this growing – and potentially lucrative — consumer segment.
“Australians whose diet is largely or completely vegetarian are 20 per cent more likely than average to spend more than $40 per week on fruit and vegetables, 93 per cent more likely to buy organic food whenever they can, and 14 per cent more likely to try new types of food.
“For example, nearly 30 per cent of people who fall within the Fit & Fab persona eat little or no meat. Based primarily in inner-city neighbourhoods, Fit & Fab tend to be young, sociable, sporty and always on the go. While they’re not averse to some serious partying, they are also careful to balance their action-packed lifestyle with a healthy diet – which is where vegetarian food would come in,” he said.