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Chinese still our favourite cuisine, but for how much longer?

May 16, 2016 Statistics & Trends No Comments Print Print Email Email

More than seven out of every 10 Australians 14+ say they like Chinese cuisine, making it the most popular cuisine in the country. Although this figure has fallen since 2011, it maintains a convincing lead over other international cuisines — for now. The thing is, while our taste for Sweet-and-Sour Pork, Chow Mein, Fried Rice and the like has slipped slightly, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal that a growing number of us are enjoying cuisines from other countries.

Between January 2011 and December 2015, the proportion of Aussies who reported liking Chinese cuisine declined from 73.6% to 70.4%. While not a huge drop, it is the only cuisine in the Top 10 that lost, rather than gained, popularity.

In second place, Italian food is now enjoyed by 62.9% of the population, marginally up on 60.8% in 2011. In third and fourth places, Thai and Indian cuisine also gained in popularity over the last five years, while Mexican (42.6%, up from 38.5%) and Japanese (37.9%, up from 33.3%) appear to be on the up and up.

Australia’s 10 favourite international cuisines


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January-December 2015 (n=15,367).

While the figures above show which international cuisines are most enjoyed by the overall population, some striking variations are revealed when we examine the cuisines favoured by different generations*. Chinese tops the list for all generations, but beyond that, the landscape changes.

For one thing, the popularity of most of the cuisines in the Top 10 cannot be attributed to the Pre-Boomer generation. Pre-Boomers are dramatically less likely than the other generations to enjoy eating Italian, Thai, Indian, Mexican, Japanese, Other Asian, Lebanese and Greek cuisines. An above-average proportion of them like Chinese food (72.1%), and they inch in ahead of Gen X for French cuisine.

Generation X is over-represented among Australians who like Italian, Greek, Thai and Lebanese. Gen Y, in contrast, are the group most likely to enjoy eating Japanese, Other Asian, Indian, Mexican and French food – which works well with the fact that they are also the generation most likely to dine out at cafes, licensed and BYO restaurants, and order home-delivered food!

**NB: Roy Morgan ‘Generations’ definitions: Pre-Boomers — Born pre-1946; Baby Boomers — born 1946-1960; Generation X — born 1961-1975; Generation Y — born 1976-1990; Generation Z — born 1991-2005.

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