Almost two-thirds of Australian shoppers bought block cheeses in an average month, while grated cheese and cheese slices were each bought more than one-third. Cheese spreads and cheese snacks or portions were bought by 15% 10% respectively.
Each of these figures is considerably lower than in 2012, said Roy Morgan Research, which carried out the study.
However, in a gradually shrinking market, some consumers are dramatically more likely than the average Australian shopper to buy cheese: wine drinkers and fans of savoury biscuits and crackers.
In the case of block cheese, while 64% of overall grocery shoppers buy this each month, the figure shoots up to 81% for biscuit buyers and 77% for wine shoppers. This pattern is consistent across all cheese categories.
Among these three groups, there appears to be no brand preferences when it comes to block cheese buyers, with the same five brands favoured in exactly the same order of popularity: supermarket brand, Bega, Coon, Mainland and Mersey Valley.
“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,” said Angela Smith of Roy Morgan Research.
“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.”