Well you’re not alone!
Research shows that the average Australian eats out two or three times per week, every week. We’re spending $45 billion per year on eating out as a nation, approximately $100 per household each week. If you saw my bank statement last month you’d be in shock. I was spending $50-70 a day on food. Overall, this equates to 50 million meals out each week, or 2.5 billion in a year.
This got me thinking, why are Australian’s eating out more?
Well for starters, we have around 82,000 places to choose from. Out of this, we have 22,000 restaurants, 29,000 fast food outlets and 21,000 cafes to choose from. More than ever before we’ve been choosing to eat out. This means big business for the food industry. In fact, it is one of the largest industries in Australia, more valuable than Australia’s coal exports.
We don’t have time
Now I’m a busy boy. Always on the move and juggling what feels like a thousand things at once. Most of the time food is always at the bottom of my to-do list until it’s too late and I’m starving.
I know this sounds ridiculous but I honestly don’t feel like I have enough time in the day to cook three meals a day plus snacks seven days a week. Just thinking about it makes me exhausted. Is it time for a nap yet?
Apparently I’m not the only one! On average, 75% of Australians feel often or always rushed or pressed for time. Because of this, around 70% of us just feel like we just don’t have time to find recipes and cook.
Cooking is stressful
The pressure cooker isn’t the only one feeling the heat in the kitchen nowadays! Research shows that cooking is getting more stressful for Australians. In fact, just over 62% of us find deciding what to cook for dinner at least slightly stressful. A busy lifestyle and growing expectations around home cooking just adds to this and makes us feel overwhelmed when it comes to choosing what to cook.
Thought this wasn’t stressful enough? Why not add some guilt? 36% of us feel guilty about not cooking enough healthy meals. I often order my takeaway and feel like a king but there is always that little voice in the back of my head giving me guilt trip. I try to silence these thoughts with cake I ordered from Chester Street through UberEats. Most of the time it works.
We don’t know how to Cook
Maybe we’re just bad at cooking? Well stats say a lot of us are! My sister is 19 years old and struggles with toast. I think she’d honestly starve without someone to help her. Thankfully, I can cook and have made it this far in life. But it’s true, studies have shown that young Australians just don’t know how to cook for themselves.
Cooking shows raise the heat in the kitchen
Have you watched MasterChef or My Kitchen Rules and thought “WOW that looks incredible” every episode? Or just logged into insta or facey and saw all the endless #foodporn pics filling your newsfeed and just sat back in envy, drewl dripping down your face? So does everyone else! You’d think this would spark inspiration in us. More often than not, many of us feel a bit inadequate with our skills in comparison. Four out of five of us feel that cooking shows and other food inspiration such as #foodporn pics creates higher expectations for home cooks. We often feel reluctant to try new recipes as many of us, 67% of us make mistakes when cooking. I know whenever I cook I feel I have Gordon Ramsay on my shoulder screaming at me.
There are a few concerns, in particular the overweight and obesity issues our younger generations are facing. Obesity is high and rising in Australia and Obese adolescents are likely to have poorer health and reduced life expectancy. That is doubtless partly caused by eating out of home and not making the healthiest selections
The good news is that we’re slowly choosing healthier foods. Not all hope is gone for us! Less healthy offerings have seen a decline. Consumer health awareness has transformed the industry over the past few years. Our increased awareness about nutritional information and the curiosity of knowing what’s actually being put into our food has put a demand on the industry. We’re now wanting healthier, more premium options that are good for us and to know what’s being fed to us.
By the looks of it we’re not going to slow down on our trends to eat out anytime soon. My only advice would be to choose wisely and stay healthy!