Fat and sugar still reign supreme

A recent food trends study has found that our intentions are more powerful than our willpower; although we want to do better, sugar and fast food still rule our plates.


While we do cook our own meals, we still have a once-a-week love for fast food.
While we do cook our own meals, we still have a once-a-week love for fast food.


IPSOS has just released its food trends report, IPSOS Food CHATS 2016 Report (which stands for Consumption, Habits, Attitudes and Trends), and the findings show that, although our intentions and philosophies are admirable, our food habits in practice, still need a fair bit of work.


Here’s what we would LIKE to do

With only 24 per cent of us eating vegetables at lunch time and a mere 14 per cent passing fruit through our lips at the midday break, it’s no wonder forty per cent of Australians would like to eat more fruit and vegetables over all. We also feel as though we’re eating a bit too much, with nearly a third (30 per cent) of us wanting to cut down the portion size of our meals. Nearly a quarter of us would like to kick the sweet stuff (sugar that is), and 23 per cent of us want to snack more healthfully. Just about all of us have heard about the extreme diets out there but only a very small number of us are about to jump on the bandwagon just yet. The number of us wanting to cut back the fat we’re consuming? 23 per cent.


Here’s what we would like CHANGE

Correlating with our desire to cut back on sugar, nearly two thirds of us (65 per cent) are up on our soap boxes asking the food industry to give us more access to food products with natural sugar substitutes (think stevia). We care about obesity and would like to do something about it but most of us are worried that staying healthy is costly and beyond the means of most of us. We also care about animal welfare, with more than half of us (55 per cent) wanting to see hormone-free meat more readily available, 46 per cent of us want organic chicken on our plates, while 41 per cent of us want to see more stall-free pork sold in the supermarkets. We also would like to see more organic beef (40 per cent), plant-based milk alternatives (33 per cent) and vegetable protein (31 per cent) on our food store shelves.

Health doesn't rate a mention: If it tastes good, it's cheap and it's on sale, it seems we'll eat it.
Health doesn’t rate a mention: If it tastes good, it’s cheap and it’s on sale, it seems we’ll eat it.



Here’s what we are actually DOING

It seems however, when it comes to action, there is a bit of a lag between intention and action. Fast food chains maintain an edge over restaurant and cafes when it comes to the average number of times Australians eat out (most of us eat fast food once a week). When it comes to playing favourites, McDonalds is the most popular fast food (28 per cent), followed by Hungry Jacks at 14 per cent, KFC at 10 per cent, Subway at 9 per cent and The Coffee Club taking out 4 per cent of the market.

Having said that, two out of three of us, still cook our dinner from scratch each night because we see it as healthier; 40 per cent of us have vegetables for dinner; and fresh fruit ranks as our most reached-for snack.


What we’re actually NOT DOING

We’re a tricky bunch. While half of us (50 per cent) believe there is too much sugar in packaged goods, only one in four of us have attempted to kick the sugar addiction. And here, perhaps, is why. When it comes to purchasing food in-store, taste and price take top spot, with discounts coming in with the bronze medal – proving the collective sentiment that if it tastes good, it’s cheap and it’s on special, most of us will give it a red hot go.


When it comes to our eating habits, it seems our food scape is very much a case of the good, the bad and the ugly.


Still feel like that Big Mac? (Didn’t think so…)





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