NewsLifeMedia CEO Nicole Sheffield released findings from Appetite for Life, a landmark insights study that provides a revealing portrait of what food means to Australians today.
Appetite for Life is an in depth look at food through the eyes of the Australian home cook to understand the role it plays in their lifestyle, aspirations and connections with others. Furthermore, the study highlights five big shifts in the consumer food landscape.
Nicole Sheffield said: “As the leading food publisher in this country being on top of consumer insights is very important to NewsLifeMedia. In the past, food was seen as either having a functional purpose or about entertaining. Today we are seeing that food is much more than that, it is a core ingredient to living a longer and more enriched life.
“Now more than ever Australians are eating with their eyes first. For most, food is a showcase of skills and status and this is now on a more public scale than ever before. Millennials, who are driving a lot of the consumer trends, see their food choices as much a part of their identity as they do their fashion and technology choices.
“Even with the pressures of daily life, consumers have moved from quick and easy to fast and fabulous. They want to be more adventurous with their food and they want it to look amazing but they still don’t have a lot of time.
“Health is the new happiness which is a big consumer shift. We are seeing quite a large consumer need for health and guidance. Consumers want to be healthy however the realities of life are getting in the way and they are struggling to make good on their intentions. Consumers are also overwhelmed with the amount of food content available to them so trusted content is more important than ever before.”
Key findings and trends identified in the research include:
A trend being driven by Millennials, Foodology is the sweet spot where food intersects with their ideology (the values they stand for) and their biology (taking a personalised approach to health). Millennials see their food choices as much a part of their identity as they do their fashion and technology choices.
Growing Hunger for More:
Boredom is the ultimate enemy with the average home cook cooking 17,500 dinners in a lifetime.
Consumers’ expectations on the weeknight meal have shifted from quick and easy to fast and fabulous. Australians are busier than ever so the demand for quick and easy cooking solutions has increased significantly but they are also a lot more adventurous.
• The percentage of household cooks who say “I enjoy quick and easy cooking” has increased from 21% in 2011* to 26% in 2015
• “I like to cook but I’m unadventurous” has decreased by 5% over the last four years to 21%
The Chat and Chew Gap:
This is the gap between Australians health beliefs and their behaviours with 8 in 10 believing “It’s important to eat healthy” YET only 41% agree “Eating healthily is a priority for me”.
The good news is that 9 in 10 have made a positive change to their diet since 2011, with 49% eating less sugar; 48% reading food labels more; 47% avoiding processed foods; 38% eating smaller portions; 38% insisting on Australian produced food more; 24% eating less meat; 22% more open to full-fat foods like whole milk; and 20% eating more organic.
The rise of Food-ogenic:
Food is a showcase of skills and status and this is now on a more public scale than ever before. Australians are turning to ‘how-to’ videos to hone their culinary skills.
• “When I need to learn a new food skill I’ll watch a video online” (up from 19% in 2011 to 37% in 2015)
• One in three entertainers said that their dishes will end up in social media when they have people over
Beyond the Plate:
Food impacts all areas of our lives – with health now topping this list over happiness.
85% agree that food impacted their health, followed by happiness at 70%, finances (69%), connection to my family (60%), social life (48%), environmental footprint (45%), kitchen design (44%) and travel (34%).
The Food Coaches:
The proliferation of food media means trust is more important than ever. One in three agree “I find a lot of recipes simply don’t work”.
NewsLifeMedia will present the Appetite for Life research to market in November and December.