Sydney, Oct 14: As World Food Day approaches, new research by YouGov Surveys sheds light on the dietary preferences of Australians, revealing intriguing insights into the nation’s eating habits.
The study found that, of those surveyed, approximately 66 percent consider themselves meat eaters, with 19 percent identifying as flexitarians, and a mere 6 percent adopting a fully plant-based diet.
Flexitarians, who primarily follow a plant-based diet but occasionally consume meat and fish, accounted for a significant portion at 19 percent.
This group seeks to balance their diet with a mix of both plant-based and animal-derived foods.
Pescetarians, those who consume seafood but abstain from meat from land animals, made up 5 percent of the respondents.
Meanwhile, a mere 6 percent described themselves as adhering to a completely vegetarian or vegan diet, avoiding all animal products, including eggs and milk.
The generational divide in dietary choices is striking.
While the majority of Baby Boomers indicated that they regularly consume meat or poultry, fewer Millennials and Gen X individuals identified as meat eaters. A larger proportion of Millennials and Gen X, approximately one-quarter, see themselves as flexitarians, in contrast to a smaller fraction of Gen Z and Baby Boomers.
Among the younger generations, including Gen Z and Millennials, there was a greater inclination towards adopting fully plant-based vegetarian or vegan diets when compared to their older counterparts, Gen X and Baby Boomers.
Regardless of their dietary choices, taste was the most crucial factor for Australians when deciding what to eat.
For meat eaters, three in five considered taste the top priority, while slightly less than half of pescetarians, flexitarians, and vegetarians/vegans rated taste as their primary consideration.
Price and healthiness were the next most significant factors influencing food choices.
Among flexitarians, a larger proportion prioritized health over price when deciding what to eat, diverging from the preferences of other dietary groups.
When it comes to cuisine preferences, Australian, Italian, and Thai cuisines were top favorites among Australians across all dietary categories.
Local Australian cuisine was particularly favored by pescetarians and flexitarians and ranked second among meat eaters and vegetarians/vegans.
Italian cuisine secured the second spot for pescetarians and flexitarians, while Thai cuisine was highly regarded, especially among pescetarians and flexitarians.
Chinese cuisine, renowned for its flavors and diversity, was the top choice among meat eaters, although it ranked lower among pescetarians, flexitarians, and vegetarians/vegans.
On the other hand, Indian cuisine found its strongest support among vegetarians and vegans.
This YouGov survey research provides a comprehensive snapshot of Australia’s diverse dietary landscape, showcasing the various choices and preferences that shape the nation’s culinary culture.
The study was conducted online in October 2023, surveying 1,039 Australian residents to capture a nationally representative sample.
The data has been weighted by age, gender, and region to ensure a reflection of the broader Australian adult population.
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