Supermarket statistics 2021

4 in 5 Aussies are signed up to a supermarket rewards program.

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Australians spend around $10 billion on groceries each month

According to the ABS, Australians spent $10.2 billion at the supermarket in April 2021, which is equivalent to about $480 per person. In comparison, March 2020 saw total grocery spending of $11.9 billion, or $563 per person, as households across the country prepared for the outbreak of a new virus called COVID-19.

Toilet paper, hand sanitiser and pasta were among the beloved goods that Aussies stocked up on for fear of running out. But while our habit of stripping the supermarket bare before a lockdown hasn't subsided, how much we spend on our weekly shop has for the most part returned to its pre-pandemic levels.

The average household spends $159 on groceries per week

According to the Finder Consumer Sentiment Tracker, the average Aussie household spends $159 per week on groceries, with men spending slightly more on their supermarket shop than women ($166 and $152 respectively).

Between the generations, millennials and gen X pay the most for their weekly shop (both $171), followed by gen Z ($156). Baby boomers keep costs lower, spending an average of $134 per household per week.

Those from New South Wales are spending more than any other state on groceries ($174), while those from South Australia spend the least ($150).

Woolworths is Australia's largest supermarket

Woolworths dominates the grocery sector in Australia, with a 37% market share. Coles comes in second place, holding 28% of the market.

While Aldi has a smaller market share (11%), it's been rapidly growing, up from just 4% in 2009. Trading as IGA, Metcash comes in fourth place, with a 7% market share.

Nearly half of all Australians shop primarily at Woolworths

Not only is Woolworths the largest supermarket, but Finder research found that Woolworths is also the nation's preferred supermarket. Nearly half of all Australians (45%) say they primarily shop with the fresh food people.

This is closely followed by Coles (35%). A further 12% say Aldi is their supermarket of choice, while 3% opt for IGA.

Women are marginally more likely than men to shop at Woolworths (47% and 43% respectively) and Coles (36% and 35% respectively), with men slightly more likely to opt for Aldi, IGA and Amazon.

Gen Z are the most likely to shop at Woolworths (54%), followed by baby boomers and gen X (both 42%). Gen X are also the only generation who are equally likely to shop at Coles and Woolworths (both 42%).

Dry and packaged foods make up a quarter of supermarket revenue

Dry and packaged foods like pasta, rice, canned food and coffee make up the largest share of supermarket industry revenue (24%). This is followed by meat products (18%) and fresh fruit and vegetables (16%).

Toiletries, health products and other general merchandise account for 13% of industry revenue. This segment saw a surge in sales in 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than a third of Aussies do their grocery shop weekly

More than a third of Australians do their grocery shopping weekly (38%), with almost just as many (37%) shopping more frequently. 1 in 5 Australians (21%) stock up twice a week, and a further 12% shop 3-4 times per week.

Interestingly, those who shop for groceries twice a week tend to spend more per week than those who opt for weekly visits ($187 and $162 respectively).

4 in 5 Aussies are signed up to a supermarket points program

4 in 5 Australians (81%) are signed up to either Flybuys (at Coles) or Everyday Rewards (at Woolworths), with nearly half (49%) having both. Overall, Everyday Rewards comes out on top, just slightly more popular (68%) than Flybuys (62%).

Women are more likely to be signed up for a supermarket rewards program (76% with Woolworths and 68% with Coles) than men (60% with Woolworths and 55% with Coles).

Baby boomers are the most savvy with supermarket rewards, with 81% signed up with Woolworths and 72% signed up with Coles.

Most Aussies use their supermarket points to get cashback off groceries

Close to two-thirds (62%) of those signed up to supermarket rewards programs use their points to get cashback from their groceries. 16% opt to convert them to Qantas Frequent Flyer Points or Virgin Velocity Points. A further 13% use their points to buy products, while 7% say they let their points go to waste.

Women (68%) are more likely than men (55%) to use their points to get cashback off groceries, while men are more inclined to convert their points to Qantas Frequent Flyer Points or Virgin Velocity Points (25% of men versus 9% of women).

Gen Z are the least likely generation to make use of their accumulated points, with a whopping 17% saying they don't use their points for anything.

1 in 5 Australians say food is one of their most stressful expenses

Worryingly, more than a fifth of Australians (21%) say grocery bills are one of their most stressful expenses.

Women (24%) are more likely than men (17%) to say that the supermarket shop is one of their top financial stressors.

Gen Z (28%) are the most likely generation to worry about their food bills, compared to 17% of baby boomers.

Tips for getting the most out of your supermarket trip

Plan your meals. Browse through cookbooks or online to figure out what you want to cook for the week ahead, then make a list of ingredients so you don't get overwhelmed and distracted at the supermarket. You can even check the prices of ingredients at the supermarket online before you go. Whatever you do, don't shop when you're hungry – you'll be more likely to splurge on snacks and lollies that can quickly add up.

Sign up to supermarket rewards programs. You can use your points to get cashback on your groceries, and being a rewards member will also make you eligible for special discounts. Just make sure you're not letting your points go to waste. As long as you collect or redeem your Flybuys points at least once a year, and your Everyday Rewards points at least once every 18 months, your account will remain active and your points will not expire.

Buy frozen food in bulk. Buying frozen fruits and vegetables is often cheaper than buying them from the produce section and they are a great way to bulk out your meals. Foods like peas, corn and berries are frozen while they're fresh, so you won't miss out on valuable nutrients and flavour. Bulk meals like soups, curries and pastas are a cheap and tasty way to use frozen veggies.

Check out our Food and Groceries Finder. Find out which brands have won in the 2021 Finder Awards, from bread and butter to bleach and toilet paper. The Awards are based on feedback from thousands of customer interviews, rating products on metrics such as taste, texture and value for money, helping you to make better decisions at the grocery store and get the most bang for your buck.

  1. Finder Consumer Sentiment Tracker, May 2019 - June 2021
  2. ABS, Retail Trade, April 2021
  3. IBISWorld, Supermarkets and grocery stores in Australia

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