Margarine slides, private labels rise, study finds

Recent Roy Morgan research has found that less Australians are buying margarine, compared to 2008, but it's still the most popular table spread.

Thirty-nine percent of Australians aged 14 and over bought margarine in an average four week periodw, down from 42 percent in 2008.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications director, Roy Morgan Research, said "Over the last five years there has been a small decline in the proportion of Australians purchasing margarine in an average four-week period. It is still the top category of table spread … and most of the popular brands have maintained their market share. Supermarket-branded margarine has even seen an increase."

Butter is the second most popular spread, bought by 33 percent of Australians in an average four-week period in the year to 2012, up from 32 percent in 2008.

In regards to margarine brands, Flora margarines were bought by 12 percent of Australians aged 14 and over – the same as in 2008 – while eight percent opted for Meadow Lea, also unchanged from 2008.

Supermarket brands were the third most popular, growing in popularity from five percent in 2008 to seven percent in 2012.

Queenslanders in particular favour supermarket branded margarine, with nine percent buying them in an average four week period, compared to seven percent of the total population.

Darwin and Alice Springs residents are also slightly more likely to purchase Nuttelex, a vegan-friendly spread which ranked fifth across the country, up from sixth in 2008.

"Manufacturers need to understand not just the state differences but also the detailed profiles of their customers and competitors if they are to maintain their market share in the future," said Morris.


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