Vegemite is overwhelmingly more popular among people born here than overseas-born Aussies, as revealed in findings from Roy Morgan research.
In the 12 months to September 2014, 39 per cent of the population aged 14 and older ate Vegemite (or similar spreads Promite and Marmite) at least once every seven days. Jams, conserves and marmalade were the second-most popular spread (31 per cent), just ahead of honey and peanut butter (30 per cent each).
Of the 7,550,000 people who eat Vegemite/Marmite/Promite in an average seven-day period, 6,405,000 were born in Australia – equalling 85 per cent of total Vegemite-eaters and 45 per cent of people born in Australia.
Meanwhile, 43 per cent of people born in New Zealand, 30 per cent of those born in the UK or Ireland and just 12 per cent of Asian-born people eat the yeast-based spread in an average seven days.
Roy Morgan Research Group Account Director Angela Smith said Vegemite is as Australian as koalas, and as polarising as our prime minister.
“With its unique taste and unappealing appearance, it inspires either love or hate in people,” she said.
However, the ever-increasing number of Aussies born in Asia presents an interesting challenge for the producers of Vegemite, Marmite and Promite.
“Our data shows that this group is far less likely than people from other non-Australian backgrounds to eat yeast-based spreads in an average seven days, which could have serious implications for the continued success of these products,” she said.
“Indeed, understanding the demographics, attitudes and behaviour of consumers who favour different kinds of spreads is crucial for brands seeking to communicate effectively with their present and potential markets, and potentially even influence their preferences with some smart, targeted marketing.”
Jam is the most popular spread among people born in the UK or Ireland, eaten at least once by 39 per cent of them in an average seven-day period. People born elsewhere in Europe (38 per cent), and Asia (28 per cent), prefer honey over other spreads, while those born in the US are most likely to eat peanut butter (49 per cent).
NB: Vegemite includes Marmite and Promite; Jam includes conserves and marmalade.