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Cheese if you please (preferably with crackers or wine)

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2015-March 2016, n=14,380

Cheese sales may be gradually declining in Australia, but the news is not all doom and gloom: as the latest findings from Roy Morgan research reveal, certain consumers remain devoted to the stuff.

In an average four weeks, 63.9% of Australian grocery buyers 18+ purchased block cheese in an average four weeks, 36.9% bought grated/shredded cheese, 37.5% bought sliced cheese, 15.4% bought creamed cheese or cheese spreads, and 9.8% purchased cheese snacks or portions. All of these figures are considerably lower than they were in 2012.

However, in this gradually shrinking market, some consumers are dramatically more likely than the average Aussie grocery buyer to purchase cheese in an average four-week period. Two striking examples are those shoppers who also buy savoury biscuits/crackers in this time, and those who purchase wine in any given seven-day period.

Take block cheese, for example: while 63.9% of grocery-buyers purchase block cheese in an average four weeks, this figure shoots up to 81.1% of people who also buy savoury biscuits/crackers and 76.6% of those who buy wine. This pattern is consistent across all cheese categories.

Who’s the cheesiest of all them all? Australia’s cheese buyers


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2015-March 2016, n=14,380

But do these different consumer groups have different brand preferences? When it comes to block cheese, the answer is a resounding no. In fact, the same five brands are favoured by all three, in exactly the same order of popularity: Supermarket brand, Bega, Coon, Mainland and Mersey Valley.

Cheese snacks/portions are a slightly different story. While Laughing Cow is the most popular brand among grocery buyers in general and those who also buy savoury biscuits/crackers, this category’s ‘big cheese’ among the wine-buying group is Castello.

Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“There is no doubt that sales of cheese have been declining over the last few years, with the five categories covered here all losing ground since 2012. So it’s important for cheese brands to understand which grocery buyers are the most likely to buy it, and make sure they are targeting these consumers effectively.

“Cheese is famous for its compatibility with wine, as well as being a fine match with savoury biscuits/crackers, and the latest Roy Morgan data certainly bears this out. People who buy wine, and those who buy crackers, are indeed more likely to purchase cheese than the average grocery-buyer.

“However, these are just two groups with healthy cheese-buying habits. Roy Morgan Single Source data allows brands to explore the market in depth: by examining consumers’ demographics, attitudes and other grocery-buying habits, they can identify precisely which consumers are more and less likely to buy different types of cheese. In a downward-trending market, it is crucial to focus on those shoppers most likely to be responsive to your product…”

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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%