REAL AUSTRALIA

Voice of Real Australia: Supermarket baskets reflect change in dining habits

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Wild Horse Plains, South Australia, pork producers Heath, Lindsay and Luke Walker have weathered the storm of fluctuating pork prices but are hoping customer support could help ease the uncertainty.

Wild Horse Plains, South Australia, pork producers Heath, Lindsay and Luke Walker have weathered the storm of fluctuating pork prices but are hoping customer support could help ease the uncertainty.

Who among us embarked on a few new culinary challenges in the past 12 months?

You're certainly not alone.

There were memes about a large number of people trying their hand at baking their own bread or experimenting with dinner recipes.

This is also reflected in the shopping trends.

Analysts, whose job it is to anticipate customer behaviour, say 2020 was the year that blew all expectations out of the water.

"Things we can usually rely on purchasers to do, they aren't doing," she said.

But even though things have settled down considerably since then, some of these changes have settled in and become habits - largely to the benefit of Australian producers.

Shoppers want to support Australian businesses and they want to support brands they trust.

But while this has resulted in good returns for producers of other major proteins, such as beef, lamb, chicken and dairy - prices for pork have actually decreased since Christmas.

Something else that happened early last year - just weeks before we were all locked down - was the launch of a new ad campaign by Australian Pork Limited, urging customers to look closely at the country of origin of their pork products.

The campaign is still on television now, encouraging people to check the bar chart that shows how many Australian ingredients go into a product.

At the time, I remember being quite surprised - even for someone closely aligned with the industry - just how many brands were not using Australian pork - including some that should know better.

But 14 months on, considering how much support there is for Australian products, and the fact that Australian producers have lifted their production, there seems little excuse for just how hard it is to track down Australian bacon, even now.

In general, it is a good idea to check out what percentage of everyday products are made from Australian goods - if only to also be bemused by how a bacon strip can be 20 per cent local content.

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