Australians have a passion for food but are seeking more authentic, conscientious and shareable food experiences, with new taste sensations and fresh, local produce topping the menu, according to a new study from Australia’s cross-platform audience insights survey, emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia).
The quest for authenticity has revealed distinct purchase and consumption patterns among Australian consumers, particularly among those who have a keen interest in food.
The emmaTM Food Trends and Insights report, Plate up!, reveals four key consumer segments when it comes to the importance of food in their lives: the middle class families of ‘Sensible Traditionalists’, the urban, childless, high earning ‘Educated Ambition’, the young, mainly male, urban and successful ‘Social Creatives’ and the home and health focused ‘Conscientious consumption’ group.
The study explores these consumers’ relationships with and attitudes to food, offering insights to brands seeking to reach them.
“Our emma data reveals that food for Australians today is all about quality and food that tastes ‘real’, which we’re seeing with the rise of people with fruit and vegetable gardens and having chickens at home. This trend is set to accelerate as a growing number of Australians reject foods that are overly processed and high in sugar and fat,” Ipsos MediaCT managing director Simon Wake said.
The Educated Ambition segment is the most passionate about food, and the most confident in the kitchen. They find cooking a pleasure not a chore and focus on using the best quality, fresh ingredients, buying fresh meat and seafood and eating fresh fruit and vegetables every day.
This segment and Social Creatives are more inclined to experiment with new taste sensations and cuisines, cook with spices and herbs more often and love trying new flavours. Conscientious consumption is a key theme, with all four groups preferring Australian grown and made food and caring about where their food originates and what is in it.
All read product labels and are taking steps to remain healthy in the future.
There is also a ‘conversation culture’ around food like never before with Australians sharing their food experiences on social media and actively conversing about food. The Social Creatives are the most active sharers, seeking out information, advice and opinions online.
“With Australians increasingly interested in food, and anxious to share their own experiences and learn about others’, it’s likely that online platforms will become an increasingly potent means of engaging key consumer segments for marketers,” Wake said.
“emma, our cross platform audience insights survey, offers greater scope to track emerging behaviours, analyse the role of social media and other channels in purchases across a range of categories.”
Sensible Traditionalists (15.6 per cent of the surveyed population) Representing the ‘solid’ Australian upper middle and middle class family, these consumers are motivated, conscientious and open but conservative in their values and consumption. Health and wellbeing are very important to them, and being internally focused they care about what they eat.
Educated Ambition (6.0 per cent of the surveyed population) The highest earners and most educated of all segments, success and career achievement are these consumers’ top priorities. Mostly urban and without children living at home, this segment skews strongly towards women 45-64. Social life outside the home is very important to them and they are second only to ‘Social Creatives’ in their tendency to eat out at restaurants, pubs and cafes. They are above average readers of lifestyle, food and entertaining magazines.
Social Creatives (5.8 per cent of the surveyed population) Australia’s young, highly educated and affluent urbanites comprise this category, which is heavily skewed to men under age 44. Placing the utmost importance on success and lifestyle, these achievers are hyper engaged with technology, social media and the sharing culture. Of all the segments they eat out most at licensed restaurants, cafes and pubs.
Conscientious Consumption (7.8 per cent of the surveyed population) Although they share many of the characteristics of ‘Educated Ambition’, this highly educated and successful segment differs in its values: they place less importance on social status and consumption, and are fiscally conservative. They are also very home and health-focused, and are above average readers of house & garden and food & entertaining magazines.