The latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal that a little more than three-quarters of shoppers visit at least two different supermarkets in any average month.
Of the four major chains—Woolworths/Safeway, Coles, IGA and Aldi—IGA has the most loyal customers with 30% of its regular shoppers only visiting IGA each month.
Grocery-buyers who mainly shop at Woolworths/Safeway are the second-most likely (25%) to stick with their favourite, marginally ahead of Coles shoppers (24%). Despite its increasing overall market share, Aldi has a much lower proportion of exclusive shoppers, with just 7%.
When asked how many major supermarkets they shopped at over the last four weeks, 37% of Australian grocery-buyers reported shopping at two, 28% said three and 7% said they shopped at all four.
This pattern is relatively consistent among shoppers at Woolworths/ Safeway, Coles and IGA, for whom visiting two supermarkets is the most common scenario.
When it comes to Aldi, however, almost half their shoppers visit three supermarkets a month. Moreover, those who say they mainly shop at Aldi are actually more likely to visit all four major supermarkets in that time than shop at Aldi alone.
This is not surprising, says Andrew Price of Roy Morgan Research, because of the German retailer’s more limited product range.
“While the German chain offers low prices and a popular home-brand range, it does not have such a huge variety of products as the other major supermarkets. As a result, it’s almost inevitable that Aldi shoppers will need to visit other chains during the month to complete their grocery shop,” Price said.
“As our data has confirmed many times and in many different ways, Australia’s supermarket scene is incredibly competitive. They do not seem to have any great sense of loyalty to their main chain.”
He added that the results suggested that customer loyalty programs such as FlyBuys and Woolworths/Safeway’s Everyday Rewards were not achieving the desired result even though they both were held by at least half of the respective supermarket’s customers.
Australian farming forecast this year around 16% higher than five-year average
The gross value of Australia’s farm production is set to increase by 8% this year to around A$57.1bn (US$41.1bn).
The forecast is around 16% higher than the five-year average, according to the September edition of the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Commodities report.
The department’s executive director, Karen Schneider, said the positive forecast was bolstered by large increases in livestock value, as well as strong crop production.
“Favourable seasonal conditions, an assumed lower Australian dollar and strong international demand is expected to drive the value of Australian farm production this year,” Schneider said.
The value of livestock production is forecast to increase by around 11% to A$29.1bn on the back of an expected increase in farmgate prices for beef cattle, lamb, sheep and wool, along with increased crop value.
“The gross value of crop production, expected to rise by 5% in 2015–16 to A$28.1bn follows generally favourable cropping conditions over winter,” Schneider added.
Export earnings are also forecast to rise across a range of commodities, including coarse grains (up by 9%), wheat (4%), canola (2%) and chickpeas (70%).
Export earnings from farm commodities are forecast to be around A$43.4bn this year—around 14% higher than the five-year average of A$38.2bn.
For fisheries products, export earning are set to increase by 11% to around $1.6bn, continuing a trend that saw 10% growth last year.
However, these forecast increases are expected to be offset by anticipated falls in export earnings from beef and veal (down by 3%), dairy (4%), lamb (1%), sugar (2%), live feeder/slaughter cattle (8%) and mutton (13 per cent), Schneider warned.
Dietitians demand to be given better access to chronic healthcare
The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) has called on the government to address the barriers limiting dietary healthcare in helping people with chronic health conditions.
In a submission to a government group advising on primary healthcare, the DAA demanded that patients be given improved access to accredited practising dietitian to help manage their conditions.
The association also urged the government to increase the number of visits to allied health professionals provided under Medicare’s Chronic Disease Items to 10 per year, and extend the Items to include telehealth consultations for dietitians.
“The current Medicare Chronic Disease Items limit the number of visits people can have with allied health professionals to five per year. This is not enough to support self-management of chronic disease for the least complex patients, let alone the most complex,” said DAA’s senior policy officer Annette Byron.
“At the heart of improving the health of people with chronic and complex health conditions is having enough health practitioners on the ground to support patients, and having a system that makes it easy for patients to access these services.”
DAA’s submission to the Primary Healthcare Advisory Group warned of “red flags” related to patient access to health services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
“Despite the fact full implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is not scheduled until 2018, there are already signs of people with complex care needs experiencing difficulty in accessing the care they need because of the lack of agreement about whether the needs of patients are disability or health needs, and a lack of clarity around funding,” said Byron.
Online black market fish sales a growing problem in New Zealand
Black market sales of fish using social media is a growing trend according to figures from New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
The trend first came to light in 2012 when four such cases of fish trading were identified online.
It has since grown to 39 cases in 2013, 173 cases in 2014 and 117 cases to the end of August 2015.
It is illegal for people to buy, sell or swap their recreational catch, according to MPI. Depending on the scale of the offence, those involved risk facing prosecution and fines of up to NZ$250,000 (US$159,000) as well as forfeiture of their equipment, including computers and cell phones.
MPI compliance director Dean Beignet said the online environment has given people a new way of trading black market seafood.
“Many businesses have taken their products online, including illegitimate businesses and opportunists. Once upon a time someone offered you some cheap crays and paua at the pub. Now people are getting Facebook alerts,” Beignet said.