Monday, July 11, 2016

What's Going On In The Australian Biscuit Market? Part Two: Who's Eating All The Sweet Biscuits?

What's Going On In The Australian Biscuit Market? Part Two: Who's Eating All The Sweet Biscuits? biscuits, sweet biscuits, Australia, demographics, market segmentation
In this post we will have a closer look at those 24% of Australians (all 5.2 million of them) who, according to the ABS Australian Health Survey will be eating at least one sweet biscuit on a typical day.  Just to clarify: this doesn’t mean that 24% of Australia eat at least one sweet biscuit every day, but on a typical day, 24% of Australians will be partaking in the consumption of at least one sweet biscuit.

These biscuit fans are not evenly spread across Australia’s demographic landscape.  As can be seen in the following graph, they can be found in particularly large concentrations amongst both kids and the elderly.

Just over 36% of Australians age 71 and over eat sweet biscuits on an average day, a rate that is only exceeded by kids aged between 2 and 8.  Those aged in between – teenagers, young adults, the middle aged - don’t seem to particularly like sweet biscuits at all. 

Mind you, as Roy Morgan Research pointed out, although both kids and elderly Australians share a love of biscuits (both sweet and savoury), that is about the only thing their snacking habits have in common.

And although teenagers and young adults appear to be less inclined to eat sweet biscuits, those that do eat quite a bit. As illustrated by this graph:

The average (the median in this case, for all you stats/math fiends) daily quantity of sweet biscuits consumed by all sweet biscuit consuming Australians is 26g.  That works out to be just over one Tim Tam.  Less than two Mint Slices. Just over three Milk Arrowroot biscuits.  Or five TeeVee Snacks.

The sweet biscuit consuming teenager/young adult on the other hand consumes an average of just over 30g of sweet biscuits on a day.  That’s about one and a half Tim Tams. Or two Mint Slices.  Or over four Milk Arrowroot biscuits (although, let’s face, this demographic probably isn’t eating Milk Arrowroots).  Or seven TeeVee Snacks.

Now let’s have a look at the male/female split. 

Regardless of whether you look at it in terms of the number of consumers or the weight of the biscuits they consume, it’s a pretty even split.  There are slightly more female consumers of sweet biscuits…

But those males who do eat them must eat quite a lot because males are quite a bit ahead when measured by the weight of the biscuits.

Now if we put both the age group and the gender split together, then we can see how important each group is in terms of the number of sweet biscuit consumers.  And despite the low proportion of 31-50 year olds and 51-70 year olds eating sweet biscuits, the huge size of these age groups (there were 6.3million Australians aged between 31-50 years in 2011-2012 and 4.8 million age between 51-70 years, compared to only 1.8 million in the 71 and over age group) means that they remain, if not quite the core of the Australian biscuit market, certainly a key demographic.

But have a closer look at the gender split within the 71 and over age group, which shows a definite skew towards the Granny enjoying a Monte Carlo or a Kingston with her cup oftea demographic. It’s nice to know that this demographic is still alive and well.

And if the low proportion of “working age” Australians consuming sweet biscuits is simply because they do not have time to sit down and enjoy a nice cup of tea and biscuit, then perhaps there is hope for the Australian biscuit market after all.  If the Australian Baby Boomer generation takes to the tradition upon retirement, then maybe we will see another sweet biscuit boom!