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Dining Survey Shows Preference for Home Grown



Dining Survey Shows Preference for Home Grown

Auckland, 25 November 2013 – The latest American Express Dining Insights survey examining the nation’s dining habits shows strong support for dishes made with New Zealand sourced ingredients.

Three quarters of the 1,000 respondents said they liked to eat home-grown produce when dining out. One-in-five took things even further, saying they preferred dishes made with ingredients from their local area and seven per cent said they would pay a premium to do so.

Marisa Bidois, CEO of the Restaurant Association of New Zealand says that - internationally - a new culinary term has been coined to describe supporters of the local food movement; locavore.

“This term describes a person who exclusively eats food or produce raised within a 100 mile radius of their home. Here in New Zealand diners are showing increasing interest in where menu items are coming from.

“A large proportion of Restaurant Association members are making an effort to use locally sourced items on their menus. Thirty five per cent have already embraced hyper local sourcing using their own grown produce – predominantly herbs and vegetables - in their business, and more operators have expressed an intention to do so.”

Support for local ingredients has highlighted regional and demographic differences across New Zealand:

• Aucklanders have lowest preference for local area ingredients at 18% and are the least willing to pay a premium for local ingredients
• Christchurch diners have the highest preference for local area ingredients at 29%, and are more willing to pay a premium for them
• The strongest preference for local sourcing is amongst rural New Zealanders
• Younger New Zealanders care less about where ingredients come from than older kiwis
• Men (30%) are more likely than women (18%) to say they don’t worry about where their food is sourced from

Bidois adds: “Most diners prefer to eat New Zealand sourced ingredients, while less than a quarter saying they don’t differentiate between local, wider New Zealand or imported ingredients.

“What is most important to diners is the quality of the food. Some ingredients like Bluff oysters, unless you’re from the region, can never be local. Similarly speciality products and ingredients such as some chocolate products, risotto rice and some seafood are almost always sourced from overseas.”

With menu affordability of a key influencer of dining choice, and household finances under pressure, there is still evidence of trading down by diners over the past 12 months. Twenty three per cent say they choose less expensive establishments and 11 per cent share entrees and desserts to manage costs.  Around 10 per cent employ a variety of measures to manage their dining spending including using vouchers, dining on specials nights, having fewer courses, drinking less wine or going to a BYO establishment.

Dining intentions look set to hold firm in the year ahead with nearly 70 per cent of survey respondents saying they expect no change in their dining frequency and a further nine per cent saying they expected to eat out more often.


*Research conducted by UMR Research. A nationwide online survey of 1,000 New Zealanders aged 18 years or older. Fieldwork conducted 30 July – 11 August. The margin of error for a 50% figure at the 95% confidence level is +/- 3.1%.

© Scoop Media

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