Back To Listing

Country Aussies cheesier than their capital-city counterparts

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2014 – September 2015 (n=8,233).

In many ways, country Australians are a different breed to their capital-city counterparts, from their attitudes and financial position to their politics and health. And the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal yet another difference between rural and urban Aussies: their cheese purchasing habits! It seems that people who live in the country are generally more likely than capital-city dwellers to buy cheese in an average four-week period (with a couple of exceptions)…

In the 12 months to September 2015, 79% of Australian grocery buyers in capital cities and 84% of those in country areas bought block, sliced and/or grated cheese in an average four weeks.  This pattern can be seen across all states except Western Australia and Tasmania, where capital-city grocery buyers are more likely to shop for cheese than their rural counterparts.

Cheese-buying habits of country and capital-city grocery buyers


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2014 – September 2015 (n=8,233).

The most striking difference between country and capital-city purchasing tendencies occurs in Victoria and South Australia. In both states, 78% of capital-city grocery buyers buy block, sliced and/or grated cheese in an average four weeks, compared with 85% of rural grocery buyers.

Most popular brands

In every state, supermarket brands are the most popular choice for city and rural residents alike, with Bega in second place in most instances (it is third to Coon in Hobart). Queensland takes the national predilection for ‘plain packaging’ to another level, with residents in both rural and urban areas being more than twice as likely to opt for supermarket brands as they are for second-most popular brand, Bega.

Bega, meanwhile, comes closest to challenging plain-brand supremacy in its home state of New South Wales, where 26% of Sydneysiders buy it in an average four weeks. This makes it the equal leader with supermarket brands in the NSW capital.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Block, grated and sliced cheese account for the lion’s share of cheese purchases in Australia, with supermarket brands dominating each category, ahead of second-most popular brand Bega. This is surprisingly consistent around the nation, in capital cities and rural areas; however, as we have seen, a higher proportion of rural grocery shoppers buy cheese in an average four weeks than city dwellers.

“While there are undoubtedly multiple influences behind this, it is quite revealing that Australian grocery buyers who live in rural areas are consistently less likely (66%) than those based in capital cities (73%) to agree that they enjoy food from all over the world. They are also less likely (31%) than city-dwellers (36%) to express concern about their cholesterol level and slightly more likely to agree that ‘I try to get enough calcium in my diet’. All of these attitudes would impact on their cheese-buying decisions.

“As we have reported previously, cheese sales are gradually declining around Australia and across most age groups. It is therefore crucial for brands to know where their key consumers are located, and what health and dietary preferences and concerns motivate their purchasing decisions.”

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309

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%