While not as popular as salty spreads like Vegemite and peanut butter, or as widely consumed as honey, jam or other conserves, chocolate/hazelnut spreads have a definite cult following among certain sectors of the population. In recognition of World Nutella Day (February 5), we delve into the Roy Morgan Single Source larder to discover which Australians are most likely to go nuts for Nutella (and other choc/hazelnut spreads)…
In an average seven days, 6.4% of Australians 14+ (or just over 1.2 million people) eat Nutella or a similar brand of choc/hazelnut spread. Admittedly, this pales in comparison to Vegemite, Marmite and Promite (consumed by 40.2% of the population in the same time period), jam/ conserves /marmalade (31.5%), peanut butter (30.0%) and honey (29.4%) -- but unlike most of these old favourites, which tend to be most popular with the 50-plus age group, choc/hazelnut spread is a hit with a more youthful demographic.
Teenage girls aged 14-17 are the most avid consumers, being almost three times more likely than the average Australian to eat choc/hazelnut spread in any given seven days (18.6%). Their male counterparts are close behind (17.5%), as are young women aged 18-24 (16.0%) — after which the consumption rate drops off quite steeply, bottoming out among older Aussies.
Consumption of choc/hazelnut spread by age/gender
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2014 – September 2015 (n=15,668).
Age is not the only factor influencing a person’s taste for choc/hazelnut spread: their ethnic background also appears to have some relevance. While a modest 6.0% of Australian-born Aussies eat it in an average seven days, the consumption rate jumps among those born in Asian countries such as the Philippines (24.4%), China (10.5%) and Malaysia (9.5%). What’s more, 17.2% of Australians born in the Middle East and 14.0% of US-born Aussies enjoy choc/hazelnut spread.
In stark contrast, consumption of these spreads is almost negligible among Aussies born in New Zealand (3.5%) and India (3.4%).
Andrew Price, General Manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“Nutella and similar choc/hazelnut spreads comprise a small portion of the overall market for spreads, and are much less widely consumed than more established options like honey, jam, peanut butter and yeast-based spreads such as Vegemite.
“As mentioned, however, most of these main players tend to be much more popular among older Australians, while their consumption rate among the all-important youth demographic remains below average. Nutella and similar spreads, on the other hand, see their popularity spike among the under-25 age group.
“While there is undoubtedly a certain ‘cachet’ involved with having cult rather than mainstream appeal, the challenge for choc/hazelnut spread brands is to broaden their customer base across age groups, while ensuring their young consumers continue to enjoy eating them as they get older.
“Roy Morgan data shows that targeting consumers from different ethnic backgrounds could be one effective way of growing their market share. It also reveals that Aussies who eat choc/hazelnut spreads in an average seven days are markedly more likely than the average Australian to satisfy their sweet tooth with chocolate, lollies and sweet biscuits during that same period…could this be a cross-promotional campaign waiting to happen? Or even the basis for a whole new product – a Nutella-filled chocolate bar, perhaps?”
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