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Young and old Aussies go crackers for biscuits

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2014 – September 2015 (n=15,668). *NB: sweet biscuits include chocolate coated biscuits, cream/jam filled and plain (sweet).

In news that would mystify the Cookie Monster, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal that the proportion of Australians 14+ who eat sweet biscuits in any given seven-day period is on the decline – but remains substantially higher than the country’s savoury biscuit-eaters.

In 2015, 42.4% of Aussies reported eating at least one sweet biscuit* in an average seven days, down from 46.3% in 2011. Consumption of savoury biscuits/crackers remained relatively stable at 32.4% (a fraction less than 2011, when it was 33.1%). Teenagers aged 14-17 and older Australians aged 65+ are the nation’s most avid biscuit-eaters.

The 65+ demographic is more likely to eat sweet biscuits than any other age group, with more than half (51.6%) snacking on them in an average seven days, ahead of under-18s (46.5%).  Under-18s turn the tables on their elders for savoury biscuit-eating, but only just — 36.3% vs 36.2%.

Sweet vs savoury biscuits eaten in last 7 days: by age


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2014 – September 2015 (n=15,668).  *NB: sweet biscuits include chocolate coated biscuits, cream/jam filled and plain (sweet).

Not only is sweet more popular than savoury among Australian biscuit-eaters, but people who snack on sweet biscuits are more likely to eat only sweet biscuits than savoury biscuit-eaters are to stick exclusively to savoury. Almost 55% of Aussies who eat sweet biscuits in an average seven days only eat sweet biscuits, compared with the 40.5% of savoury biscuit/ cracker eaters who limit themselves to savoury.

But overall, Aussies who eat either kind of biscuit in any given seven days tend to be above-average for eating the other kind as well: 59.5% of people who eat savoury biscuits also eat sweet, while 45.4% of sweet biscuit-eaters also consume savoury.

Andrew Price, General Manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“As the popularity of sweet biscuits declines, brands need to consider which sectors of the population are their best bet for continued (and future) consumption, and target them accordingly. As outlined above, teenagers and the 65+ demographic are more likely than other age groups to eat savoury and sweet biscuits, which presents an interesting challenge for marketers!

“The plot thickens when we look at the bigger snack picture, and find that young Aussies aged 14-17 are more likely than any other age group to eat just about every snack category measured by Roy Morgan Research, while the older bracket tends to be below average for most snacks. So not only do these two groups sit at opposite ends of the age spectrum, they also have markedly different snacking habits – yet are somehow united by their penchant for biscuits.

“Of course, despite the decline in consumption, sweet biscuits remain one of the country’s most popular snacks. However, several other snack categories – from natural yoghurt to nuts, icy poles to corn chips – are gaining in popularity, so it is crucial for biscuit brands to do what they can to enhance their competitiveness now.”

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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%