Eating our way to an economic recovery

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South Australians are hungry to personally step up to help rebound the local economy, according to the latest Square Holes mind and mood survey at the end of June / start of July of 400 South Australian adults. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics, the South Australian café, restaurant and take-away sector generates around $200 Million in revenue each month, and after a cliff-like fall in March from COVID-19, we are now seeing recovery.

Three-quarters of South Australians have ordered take-away at least once or twice since May, with this level as high as 92% for 18-24 year olds and as low as 65% for 65+ year olds. Dinning in has been at a lower rate, yet still around 60% plus across age groups.

Seven in ten younger people aged 18-34, 70%, have been spending locally on take away at least fortnightly and 46% eating out at a restaurant, cafe or pub. Other South Australians are also patriotically eating their way to an economic recovery. Males have been eat out more than females, and metropolitan Adelaide more than regional South Australians.

When asked which cuisines they had purchased for dining in at a restaurant, cafe or pub over the past few months, on average 2.6 food types, with this 3.4 for 18-34 year olds and 2.2 on average for 65+ year olds. The most popular cuisine across age groups was nominated as Australian (37%), followed by café (22%) then fish and chips (20%).

Younger South Australians aged 18-34 were stronger purchasers of eat in pizza, burgers, Italian, Chinese,  Japanese and other cuisines. South Australians aged 65+ were particularly strong in their preference towards Australian (55%).

On average, the 19% eating at a restaurant, cafe or pub at least once a week, spend $60 on average when they purchase a meal, with this $96 for 35-49 year olds.

How can Square Holes help?
How can we help?

The most often purchased take-away of South Australians over the past few months has been pizza (52%), followed by burgers (36%), fish and chips (36%), chicken (30%) and Chinese (27%).  On average South Australians aged 18-34 named four types of take-away ordered over recent months, with the average across age groups 3.4, yet the patterns of favourite types of take-away remained consistent.

There are also age differences by types of food. For example, 18-34 year olds more often purchase burgers, Indian, café, kababs / yiros, Italian and vegan / vegetarian to other age groups, while South Australians aged 65+ had a preference shew towards fish and chips and ‘Australian.’

Males had a preference towards burgers and females fish and chips and Chinese. In saying this, pizza is the favourite take-away across all age groups, males and females and in metropolitan Adelaide and regional South Australia. We love our pizza! South Australians are hungry to help rebound the local economy and playing their part to spend on take away and dinning in. It is interesting to note the consistencies irrespective of age – South Australians love pizza – and where different segments differ in needs, wants and behaviours. How our local businesses think strategically and build their own brand reputations, with heavy competition and preference towards the global fast food giant, will be critical to their own prosperity and that of the wider local economy.

When asked where they most often purchase their take-away, close to four in ten named large global brands, with KFC and Dominos the king and queen of the take-away scene (14% KFC and 10% Dominos), followed by McDonald’s (6%), Hungry Jacks (4%) and Subway (3%).

As in our earlier mind and mood post about supporting local, often the most loved take away brands of South Australians are actually the fast food brand goliaths, investing heavily in building their brands through advertising and other marketing. This emphasises the importance of even small local food businesses to be strategic and invest in keeping their brands top of mind for hungry South Australians. Business revenue will typically grow as their brand reputations grow.

When asked where they order from the most, UberEats and MenuLog were also prominent brands, yet the majority usually pick-up their orders direct from the store.

Younger South Australians are more inclined to have their take-away delivered by the store or UberEats, although the majority across all age groups usually pick up their take-away. Regional South Australians are also more likely to pick-up from the store than people living in metropolitan areas (88% pick-up in regional SA vs 64% in metro Adelaide).

For the 27% who purchase take-away at least weekly, on average they usually spend $54, with this around $60 for people aged under 50 and lower for older age groups (around $40).

South Australians are hungry to help rebound the local economy and playing their part to spend on take away and dinning in. It is interesting to note the consistencies irrespective of age – e.g. pizza is popular irrespective of age – and where different segments differ in needs, wants and behaviours. How our local businesses think strategically and build their own brand reputations, with heavy competition and preference towards the global fast food giant, will be critical to their own prosperity and that of the wider local economy.

How can Square Holes help?
How can we help?

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