Australians are losing interest in fast food

Peter Terlato 23 December 2016

girls unhealthy eating pizza takeaway fast food on bed

Shocker: we're less keen on pizza and burgers.

A new study has found that while younger generations are likelier than older Australians to visit established fast food restaurants, overall visitation levels are declining.

Burgers

New data from Roy Morgan Research reveals the proportion of Aussies visiting popular burger chain McDonalds at least once a month has dropped from 31.2% in 2012 to 29.4% in 2016.

McDonalds' consumer numbers among Generation Y fell 0.9% between 2012 and 2016. A larger downtrend occurred with Generation Z customers, down 4.2% in the last five years.

The proportion of Australians visiting Hungry Jacks fell slightly, from 13.1% in 2012 to 12.7% in 2016.

Gen Y customer numbers decreased 2.7% since 2012, while Gen Z increased visitation by 1.1%.

The proportion of Gen Y customers who visit at least one "other" hamburger joint a month grew 1.7%.

However, this doesn't necessarily mean younger generations are substituting fast food outlets for trendier, gourmet establishments. For example, healthy burger chain Grill’d has seen a slight year-on-year increase among Gen X visitors but a noticeable drop among Gen Y customers (down 2.6% since 2012).

Chicken

KFC remains the most popular fast food outlet for chicken, although the proportion of Aussies visiting the chain at least once in an average four weeks has slipped, from 20.4% in 2012 to 19.3% in 2016.

Like McDonalds, KFC's popularity is strongest among Gens Y (23.9%) and Gen Z (26.2%).

Both Red Rooster and Nando's have lost customers from every generation in the last five years.

In contrast, Generation Z increased their appetite for Oporto, from 4.4% in 2012 to 4.9% in 2016.

Pizza

While burger and chicken outlets struggle to maintain their share of the dining market, pizza chains continue to grow their customer bases.

Domino's has seen an increase in the proportion of customers from every generation between 2012 and 2016 - Gen Z (4.3%), Gen Y (1.7%), Gen X (3.8%), Baby Boomers (0.8%) and pre-Boomers (1.1%).

Smaller chains like Crust and Pizza Capers also fared well, increasing numbers across many generations.

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