This week Down Under

Australia finds 1/2m new weekly bread shoppers in a year

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock

Related tags: New zealand, Food, Roy morgan research, Bread

Australia’s ultra-competitive bread market has picked up nearly half a million new customers in the last year, with almost 11m shoppers now spending an average of A$8.20 (US$6.16) each on their weekly loaves, buns and baguettes—though specialist shops have been losing share.

Consumption-wise, 13.9m Australians ate some form of bread each week, according to Roy Morgan Research, making it a A$89.6m-a-week industry—A$4.6m more every seven days than last year.

Bread retailers by market share
Bread retailers by market share

Supermarkets own the lion’s share of bread sales with 8.9m weekly shoppers, compared to the 2.8m who buy at specialist bakeries and 920,000 who make their purchases at convenience stores—though these sources are not mutually exclusive.

It is therefore no surprise that supermarkets account for more than two-thirds of total dollar market share—a figure that has increased by almost two percentage points since 2015. 

By contrast, bread shops and bakeries account for 25.5% of the spend, down from 26.9% in 2015. Bakers Delight customers spend an average of A$8.00, compared to A$5.90 for Woolworths shoppers, which goes some way to explain the specialists’ elevated dollar share compared to the supermarkets, Roy Morgan found.

The market researcher’s Normal Morris believes that bakeries and convenience stores now need to change the way they see customers, if they are to stop their sales slide.

“Our data shows that grocery buyers who buy bread at bread shops are almost 20% more likely than the average shopper to trust well-known brands better than the stores’ own. They are also 7% more likely to believe that quality is more important than price, and 13% more likely to avoid both genetically modified food and food with additives in it​,” he said.

These smaller operators can start by ensuring they don’t lose any further ground and potentially gain more customers by gaining an understanding of the shopping and health attitudes of bread customers. This will enable them to position their brand in such a way that it aligns with these sensibilities.​”

More from Down Under…

Aussie packaging start-up snapped up as RPC continues global charge

A Melbourne food packaging start-up has been acquired by RPC for an undisclosed sum—the latest purchase by the global plastics player in a frenzied buying spree.


Amber Plastics was founded in 2012 by entrepreneur Malcolm Prior, who has spent about 50 years in the packaging business. He will remain chief executive for at least the next two years under British-based RPC’s ownership.

His first business, Priority Plastics, was the first to manufacture in-mould labelling and blow-moulding in Australia when it launched in 1976. After selling that he launched Baroda Manufacturing to supply pails, lids and cartridges for the food service, oil, and grease industries, which he sold in 2006, though he remained at the company.

Amber, a leading supplier of injection-moulded plastic packaging containers to the dairy and food industry, will now become part of RPC’s Superfos division, and will supply both the food and non-food markets.

Amber is the second big purchase by RPC since February, when it made a bid for Letica’s 13 American plants in a deal valued at US$640m. That was the sixth acquisition in as many months as it sets out to grow expansively beyond its European redoubt.

Prior confirmed to Plastics News ​that the Amber purchase had gone through, and that he would stay at the company he founded.

I’ve got rid of the risk, but can keep working​,” he told the industry news service. “I have no plans to retire. There’s no need; I enjoy what I do​.”

He said he had set out to sell the business and chose RPC from a short-list of three suitors due to the company’s commitment to retain Amber’s 40 employees.

New Zealand ‘front of mind’ for online Chinese food purchases

Kiwi food and beverage companies are poised for further success in China, where consumers increasingly favour products with natural ingredients, according to a report by Mintel.


Research director Laurel Gu said new data shows that New Zealand’s reputation for a strong focus on natural ingredients “could see great success by tapping into Chinese consumers’ healthy lifestyles, particularly within snacking occasions​”.

The report shows that food is the leading category for Chinese consumers to buy online from Australia and New Zealand, followed by baby food and products. 

It adds that consumers in China actively seek Kiwi and Australia products when buying these items online.

New Zealand is seemingly a favourite for Chinese shoppers to purchase baby food and products from, with 22% of those who have bought imported products doing so online, followed by Australia (20%),​” the report said.

It added that 15% of Chinese online consumers have bought alcoholic drinks from New Zealand. Beauty and personal care products were purchased by 9% of online consumers.

Along with rapid urbanisation and higher disposable income, Chinese consumers are now among some of the world’s biggest spenders​,” Gu said. 

They are becoming increasingly sophisticated while remaining influenced by the reputations of source countries. We see a lot of growth opportunity for brands in Australia and New Zealand to target Chinese consumers​.”

Related topics: Markets, Oceania, Asian tastes, Bakery

Related product

1 comment

Wheat/corn free breads

Posted by Anna Jacobs,

My local supermarket just started stocking a gluten free bread with no wheat OR corn/maize in it. I am highly intolerant of maize/corn as well as to wheat, and it threatens to put me in hospital if sneaked into something (one pill maker called it 'pre-gelatinous starch'!). Maize/corn is a growing area of intolerance world wide so the small bakery (Abbotts Village Bakery) supplying Coles in Western Australia has done well and won my custom. Previously I'd had to bake my own bread. The only other bread I've found in Western Australia is Cole's Gluten Free Wraps, so congratulations Coles on two counts. For 20 years I haven't been able to buy bread at all. This is a wonderful development. I'm a best-selling novelist and I don't want to bake anything.

Report abuse

Follow us


View more


Food & Beverage Trailblazers

F&B Trailblazers Podcast