The ARA and Roy Morgan has found Australians are set to spend big on Easter treats this year, however experts express ongoing food pricing concerns.
Following the Australian Retailers Association’s findings from Valentines Day, the ARA in collaboration with Roy Morgan is similarily predicting a ‘sweet spending boon’ for Easter retail. Despite cost-of-living pressures, Australian families will indulge in Easter treats, with Australians tipped to spend almost $1.7 billion on hot cross buns, easter eggs or other special food for Easter this year up 14.5 percent or more than $200 million from 2022.
Seventy-five percent, or 16.3 million Australians surveyed by the ARA and Roy Morgan say they plan to indulge and buy food such as chocolates and hot cross bun.
More than a third of Aussies, at 7.9 million plan to celebrate Easter with alcohol this year. That group is expected to spend $275 million on alcohol over the Easter break or an average of almost $35 each. People aged 50-64 have the highest planned spend at $47 each – totalling around $100 million for this age group.
According to regional data, people in NSW are set to spend the most on Easter food and chocolates, at almost $515 million and an average spend of $108 per person. Victoria is tipped to spend $455 million, at an average of $97 per head.
People in South Australia ($140 each) and Tasmania ($112 each) have the highest average forecast spend on Easter foods and chocolates.
“Australians are under severe pressure right now due to the rising cost of living and interest rate hikes, but for many Easter is time to relax and enjoy special time with family and friends,” said ARA CEO Paul Zahra.
“For many Australians, Easter is the last break before winter sets in, and a respite from an intense start to the year. Whilst shoppers are already beginning to tighten their purse strings, these special occasions are a welcome time of indulgence.”
Mr Zahra said that while inflation would bolster Easter food spending this year, natural spending growth was still evident.
“We’re seeing an increase of more than 14 percent on Easter food spending compared to last year, which does outstrip inflationary gains.
“An additional 1.8 million people are planning to stock up on hot cross buns, easter eggs and other Easter-centric foods. Aussies simply want to treat themselves during a tough period,” he said.
However, data from Finder’s Cost of Living Report 2023 revealed that cost of living might deal a harder blow to this Easter food spend than expected with many Aussies not having the means to indulge in the Easter holidays festivities. Over 70 percent of Australians – equivalent to 14.2 million people – have admitted to adapted their eating behaviour as a result of rising costs.
Australian households reported spending $185 a week on groceries in February 2023, up $37 a week compared to 12 months prior – with 94 percent of consumers noticing an increase in their grocery bill.
The research found 32 percent of Australians have cut back on their alcohol intake in response to price increases. While 16 percent of Aussies have cut back on fruit and vegetables, and 14 percent are consuming less dairy products.
Graham Cooke, head of consumer research at Finder, said households are looking for ways to save on their weekly shop. “Eating on the cheap could be here to stay as households battle with the rising cost of living. For some it’s a case of making changes or going hungry.”
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