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Meat and greet: where Aussies buy their fresh meat

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2013 – June 2014 (n=16,809).

Fresh meat is central to most Australians’ diets, with a growing proportion of us buying it in any given week. While this growth is evident among country and city residents, there are some key differences in where we buy our meat. While supermarkets are the top source for fresh meat throughout Australia, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal that city dwellers are more likely than rural residents to buy their meat at specialty retailers such as butchers, markets and delicatessens.

In the year to June 2014, similar proportions of grocery-buyers in the city (73%) and country (77%) bought fresh meat in an average seven days, up from 72% and 74% respectively in 2010.

But while a higher proportion of country shoppers buy fresh meat at the supermarket than their capital city counterparts (65% vs 56%), the latter are more likely to diversify. Not only do more of them buy meat at a butcher’s (23% vs 20%), they are also more likely to buy it from markets (3% vs 1%) and delicatessens (just over 2% vs just under 2%).

Buying fresh meat: city vs country


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2013 – June 2014 (n=16,809).

While grocery-buyers in the city are more likely than rural shoppers to buy their fresh meat from specialty retailers, there has been little change in the proportions of people doing so over the past five years.

On the other hand, the proportion of country and city shoppers buying fresh meat from supermarkets has grown. In the year to June 2010, 59% of shoppers from the country and 53% of those based in the city bought fresh meat from supermarkets in an average seven-day period – noticeably lower than the current figures mentioned above.

Geoffrey Smith, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“More Australians are buying fresh meat in any given seven-day period now than they were just a few years ago, and supermarkets appear to be benefitting most from this trend.

“While our data shows that people living in capital cities shop for meat in a wider range of stores than country residents, the percentage doing so has remained relatively stable since 2010, whereas purchasing fresh meat at the supermarket has become more popular – as it has among rural shoppers, too.

“Obviously, someone living in the country has less choice as to where they buy their fresh meat, and so supermarkets may simply be their easiest (or only) option. But this doesn’t explain the growing proportion of city shoppers opting to buy their meat at the supermarket despite a plethora of specialist butchers, delis and markets to choose from.

“Even at supermarket level, there are differences between country and city residents: the former are more likely to buy their fresh meat from Woolworths, IGA and Aldi supermarkets, while the latter are more likely to get it from Coles or Foodland. Indeed, this tends to be the pattern for all fresh produce categories (fruit and vegetables, bread, deli items and seafood)…”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%