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The telly and the trolley: what Sunday night TV shows’ viewers spend on the week’s groceries

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2015 to September 2016, sample = 50,634 Australians aged 14+.

From instant restaurants and tribal councils to weigh-ins, room reveals and mystery boxes, many of Australia’s most-watched TV episodes air on Sunday nights. Roy Morgan Research looks at 10 popular shows to find just how much their Sunday night audiences spend on groceries in a week.

Australians spend over two billion dollars a week on groceries—most of it going to the two big supermarket chains, Woolworths and Coles. With so many dollars on the line and up for grabs, these big advertisers need to consider how much people who see their ads will actually spend on groceries that week.  

Viewers of the average Sunday night episode of Seven’s My Kitchen Rules together spend an average $236 million a week on groceries—around three times more than viewers of either Nine’s Australia’s Got Talent ($81 million) or Ten’s I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here ($71 million), which also aired on Sunday nights in early 2016.

Seven’s mid-year season of House Rules reached $167 million worth of the week’s grocery expenditure on an average Sunday night, ahead of competitors The Voice ($143 million) and MasterChef ($120 million).

Total weekly grocery expenditure of Sunday night TV viewers

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2015 to September 2016, sample = 50,634 Australians aged 14+.

Last year’s closest Sunday night race for grocery dollars was from late August between Seven’s new Big Music Quiz and Nine’s twelfth season of The Block. The hyperactive music show reached $147 million in weekly grocery spend per average episode—just ahead of the $145 million spent by Blockheads.

The Biggest Loser didn’t screen in 2016, but is scheduled to return this year. Its late-2015 Sunday night episodes reached $92 million in weekly grocery spend.

Australian Survivor reaches $85 million of grocery spend – more than the more widely watched Australia’s Got Talent ($81 million), thanks to its greater popularity among higher spending grocery buyers.

Reconfiguring viewership as an audience dollar value in the grocery market delivers the strongest boost to MasterChef. Its typical pool of Sunday night viewers is not only popular among grocery buyers, but they spend $18 more a week than the average Australian. MasterChef’s $120 million worth of ‘grocery market reach’ is 14% bigger than its share of the population.

Other shows that are notably more valuable to grocery advertisers than their raw viewership results alone would suggest include I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!, The Voice, The Biggest Loser Australia, and even the behemoth, My Kitchen Rules.

Michele Levine, CEO – Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Woolworths is the more common supermarket of choice nationally, and also among grocery buyers who watch My Kitchen Rules, House Rules, Big Music Quiz, The Voice, Australia’s Got Talent and I’m a Celebrity.

“However Coles has the lead among viewers of The Biggest Loser, Australian Survivor and MasterChef—all Network Ten shows, and all shows that are particularly popular among grocery buyers with bigger weekly supermarket budgets.    

“Roy Morgan Single Source simultaneously measures TV viewership, purchase incidence and spending across dozens of retail, financial and telecommunications categories. The expenditure of audiences in these specific areas gives media owners a chance to pitch the real value of their assets, and advertisers a better way to consider and measure ROI.” 

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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%