Radio Grabs: Families Eat Healthy In Economic Downturn

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28th April 2009, 06:17am - Views: 744

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Jessica Ramsden

H.J. Heinz Company Australia Ltd

P: (03) 9861 5015  M: 0418 573 657

27 APRIL 2009


AUSSIE families appear to be cooking more meals at home, cutting back on take away and eating healthier in the

face of the economic downturn, a new survey has found.

Research on the shopping habits of 1500 consumers by Heinz shows that in addition to cutting back on take away

and eating out, one third has started a vegetable patch in the last six months, almost 90 per cent are making a

conscious effort to reduce food waste and 28 per cent are avoiding snacks like biscuits and ice cream.

The Heinz survey also found:

Families are cooking more vegetarian meals;

Consumers are adding baked beans, vegetables and lentils to make meat dishes go further; and

90 per cent of consumers are preparing meals that can be spread across more than one mealtime.

The survey analysed how the cooking and shopping habits of Australian families have changed in the last three

months due to the economic downturn.

Reflecting the trend away from take-away and eating out, grocery budgets have either increased (40 per cent of

respondents) or remained level (36 per cent) with only 14 per cent reporting that their budgets had decreased. 

Heinz General Manager, Marketing, Melissa Jones said that the results show families are generally changing their

shopping and cooking routines in the face of tougher economic times.

“While the family food budget has remained largely intact, what is happening is a reappraisal of the household

shopping list,” Ms Jones said.

“Shoppers are eating more vegetables and making a conscious effort to reduce waste. Discretionary items are being

dropped altogether or made at home and certain brands are only being bought when on special with the shopping

destination being determined by what's on special,” she said.

The results also reveal some not-so-gloomy approaches to saving money - one idea was to “stop inviting the mother

in law over for dinner, since she is on a diet but always wants seconds and dessert!”

Other tips included:

Replace one quarter of the meat with mashed cooked beans or lentils. 

Get a couple of chickens to provide eggs. They are cheap to feed and eat all left-overs.

Make up new names for cheap meals. A new name often creates a new favourite especially with kids.

Share shopping and cooking with friends. 

Keep a list of what’s in your freezer so nothing gets forgotten or wasted.

This month’s Australian’s Woman’s Weekly magazine includes a bonus Heinz Healthy Value Cookbook. All the

recipes are designed to feed a family of 4 for under $10 per meal. The full survey results, selected hints/tips and a



Telephone Hotline: 1300 732 445 Menu 1, Option 5

Spokesperson: Heinz General Manager, Marketing, Melissa Jones


H.J. Heinz Company Australia Limited (“Heinz Australia”) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the H.J. Heinz Company, one of the world’s leading marketers and producers

of branded foods. Heinz Australia prepares and supplies leading brands for our consumers, including Heinz® sauces, soups, beans, pasta, infant foods, meals, frozen

vegetables, condiments, canned and packaged fruits, Golden Circle® fruit, vegetable and beverages, Greenseas® seafood products, Original Juice Company®

beverages, HP® and Lea & Perrins® sauces, Weight Watchers® meals and desserts, Watties® beans and pasta, Tom Piper® and Hamper® canned meals, Cottee’s®

jams, toppings and jellies among others.  Information on Heinz Australia is available at  

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