The recent released “emma” (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) Out of Home Dining Report shows that on average half of the Australian population goes to a fast food (quick serve) chain as many as four times a month (or in other words averaging once a week). This totals at least 51 million visits to the fast food chains a month.
Even though Subway is the biggest quick serve chain in the world, it is McDonalds that tops the list as Australia’s most popular with 42 percent of those surveyed going there during the previous month.
The following were the other four in the top five fast food chains, based on number of visits each month; Subway at 29 percent, KFC on 23 percent, Hungry Jacks reached 16 percent and 11 percent of those surveyed visited a Domino’s Pizza outlet.
The survey identified a number of other findings as well, including the loyalty we have for our favourite fast food chain, with 40 percent of us visiting only one or two chains monthly. Interestingly 52 percent of people surveyed would consider eating at Subway but only 29 percent actually do. It seems we would like to be seen as being good but can’t help ourselves going back to our favourites.
It was also found that even though dining in is an option, more people (30.5 million out of the 51 million visits) prefer to grab a takeaway from the chains. The survey also found there was no difference between men and women in their fast food preferences.
According to the survey, 81 percent of Australians eat out a minimum of once a month and it is cafes are that rule the roost, with 59 percent of people preferring this food choice to any other.
The emma Report is a new technique in Australia, created by Ipsos MediaCT, but has been used in 41 countries, to assess many aspects of the fast food industry.
Simon Wake, Ipsos MediaCT Managing Director said; “Perhaps not surprisingly, it is young people, aged between 14 and 29, that are heaviest users of dining out and takeaway option, with 86 per cent saying they eat out once a month. And they prefer Quick Service Restaurants, with McDonald’s, Subway and KFC topping their preferred brands. One fifth of them eat fast food once a week. Interestingly, less that one fifth of young people feel confident about cooking and only 14 per cent will make an effort to get right nutrition at every meal.”
It was found that the main motivators for making a food choice were convenience and price. Interestingly taste rated only eight percent as the reason for choosing where to eat when out and being healthy achieved only 28 percent.
The level of income did not impact on whether someone would choose a Quick Serve Chain for a meal. However, sales people, labourers and students were the groups most commonly eating at a fast food chain.
Written by Rachelle Williams – the Green Food Safety Coach