This week Down Under

Increasingly social Aussies now spending $14bn extra on healthy eating trends

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Increasingly social Aussies now spending $14bn extra on healthy eating trends
Australians are more and more influenced by social media when it comes to choosing their food, with Generation Y leading new eating trends, according to a survey into buying habits.

The study, by insurance comparison site Choosi, also found that families with children are spending A$13.6bn (US$10.6bn) more each year in their quest to adopt healthier diets.

While 64% of Eighties-born Generation Y-ers are most commonly jumping onto new products and tastes, and are also most likely to be influenced by social media, Australians overall have become more health-conscious. Indeed, 86% now say they endeavour to make healthy decisions about the food they eat.

Eating well comes at a cost, though, with Australian families spending $4,515 more each year to follow a special diet, or eat healthier food.

Aussies have traditionally been influenced by their network of friends and family when it came to meal choices, whereas we now see the dominance of social media as a driving force in mainstream food trends​,” said Choosi’s Katrina Foster.

Social media is not limited to Generation Y-ers either, with 37% of Generation X-ers and more than one in five Baby Boomers also influenced by their online peers when it comes to eating behaviours.

Moreover, half of all Aussies surveyed feel “inspired​” by other peoples’ posts about food, and close to a third upload pictures of food they have made themselves, or of their meals when eating out.

When it comes to learning about what they should or shouldn’t eat, close to half source information from online articles and a further 22% take eating advice from social media.

More from Down Under...

MG to can 60 distribution staff

Australia’s biggest dairy producer will cut up to 60 jobs in Victoria in a bid to make its milk deliveries more efficient.

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Murray Goulburn, which has been seeking a suitor to buy it out after a turbulent year of business, said it was reshaping it’s logistics operation to cut costs and provide its farmers with better farmgate prices.

It is expected that 60 tanker operator roles will be affected in Koroit, Leongatha, Maffra and Rochester and a number of support roles​,” it said in a statement.

To minimise the impacts on our people, we will be seeking to make changes to rosters and offering voluntary redundancies in the first instance​.”

Though the move was “regrettable​”, the co-operative said it was necessary for it to ensure sustainable returns for its suppliers.

The announcement comes after it announced in May that it would close manufacturing facilities in Rochester and Kiewa in northern Victoria, and Edith Creek in Tasmania at the cost of 360 jobs.

The Rochester facility is set to close early next year and Kiewa in the second half of 2018.

Barossa Valley irrigation project on course to expand

A trial vineyard irrigation project that set out to reduce reliance on the River Murray is expanding and could soon provide enough water for an entire wine region, a year after it was first commissioned.

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The A$21.4m (US$16.7m) Gawler Water Reuse Scheme in South Australia centres on 43km of pipes linking the Gawler River with a series of dams and vineyards in the western Barossa Valley. 

It set out to substitute 800 ML of Murray water by harvesting twice as much stormwater a year from the Gawler River.

Designed and managed by Adelaide company HydroPlan, the project has delivered the full 1,600 ML in its first year.

Everything went really well last year and they even rolled some water over,​” said John Gransbury, boss of HydroPlan, which designed and managed the project.

Our objective now, using the results of that trial, is to apply to put water underground that is suitable for irrigation when we’ve got surplus​.”

Gransbury said he and management of project partner Bunyip Water had been in talks with other potential customers on neighbouring vineyards, helping them also to take control of their water security.

The pipeline is under-utilised because of the restrictions on accessing water there. But if the project is are allowed to access more, it could get up to 4 gigalitres by adding storage—relative to the Barossa’s need for at least 5 gigalitres in the short term, Gransbury added.

Allegro Funds finances owner’s exit from Everest Foods

Melbourne ice cream maker Everest Foods has been acquired by a Sydney investment fund in a deal that is believed to be worth around A$30m (US$27.4m).

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Privately owned Everest, which has been in business since 1958 and manufactures and distributes the premium NorgenVaaz and Gelateria brands, as well as its own Everest gelato, has a strong presence in the scoop-and-serve segment.

It also manufactures ice cream in Australia under contract for some global brands, and has offices in each state.

Allegro Funds, the turnaround specialist which took control of Pizza Hut Australia a year ago, made the acquisition to allow the owner of Everest to leave the business.

Comet Line Consulting advised Everest Foods on the sale of the business. David Baveystock, it’s director, said Everest was one of a number of foodservice markets that "remain highly fragmented, and are ripe for further consolidation opportunities​”.

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