Aussies are spending more on food than ever before

What’s for dinner tonight? A nice juicy burger made by a professional chef or a salad you threw together with ingredients from your fridge?

According to recent Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) research, the choice depends on your household income.

“Higher income households have shown a willingness to pay a premium for quality food, while price is a key factor in the way lower income households shop for their food,” ABARES Executive Director Dr Hatfield-Dodds said.

A growing population that loves to eat take away, fast foods, is the key driver for a near doubling of domestic consumption over the past 20 years, according to the ABARES research.

The average spending on food per person has increased from $2950 in 1988-89 to about $3780 in 2016-17.

Picture: ABARES website

Mr Hatfield-Dodds said while there had been a high focus on performance in export markets, domestic food producers had also been successful in competing for a growing share of household expenditure as Australian’s incomes have increased.

Food exports in 1988-89 increased from $20 billion to $39 billion in 2016-17 and food imports in the same period increased from $4 billion to $14 billion.

The ABARES research shows there is a trend across the whole Australian population to spend more on eating out.

It’s not how much we are eating, but what we are eating – and that depends on how much you earn.

Eating out and eating fast foods now makes up for 34 per cent of household food spending, up from 25 per cent in 1988-89.

For more details visit the ABARES website.

Andrea Martinello

Andrea Martinello

Andrea is the Community & Engagement Officer at the National Farmers' Federation.

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