4316.0 - Apparent Consumption of Selected Foodstuffs, Australia, 2018-19 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/06/2020  First Issue
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Apparent consumption

Apparent consumption in this publication measures the amount of food purchased from sales data, but does not measure actual consumption as it does not account for food purchases from fast food outlets, cafes and restaurants, or foods not consumed due to waste or storage. For more information on the scope and methods see Explanatory Notes.

Key statistics

  • 14.1 million tonnes of foods and non-alcoholic beverages were sold throughout Australia in 2018–19.
  • This equates to 1,538 grams of food and drink per person per day.
  • The total dietary energy available from sales averaged 8,770 kJ per person per day.
  • Carbohydrate provided the greatest share of total dietary energy with 43.8%, followed by fat (38.8%) and protein (15.5%).
  • Discretionary foods contributed 38.2% of the total dietary energy.

Australian Dietary Guidelines

The apparent consumption of non-discretionary foods has been compared to the recommendations in the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines. The daily serves per capita available from food sales were lower than the average recommendations in the ADG for each of the five food groups. In particular, the apparent daily consumption of fruit was below the recommended average two serves per day, at 1.5 serves per person. In comparison, vegetables were well below the recommended average five serves per day, at just 2.3 serves.

Average daily serves of ADG food groups per capita(a)

Mean daily serves of ADG food groups per capita(a)
Note(s): Orange dots indicate the (population weighted) average recommended serves across life stage age groups.
Footnote(s): (a) Non-discretionary foods. See Glossary for more information. (b) Vegetables and legumes/beans. (c) Includes fruit juice. (d) Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives. (e) Meats, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans.
Source: Apparent Consumption of Selected Foodstuffs, Australia, 2018–19.

Sodium consumption

The average daily amount of apparent sodium consumption was 3,140 milligrams per person. This is 1.6 times the recommended daily intake of 2,000 milligrams per person. Typically consumed as table salt, sodium is also found naturally in a variety of food products. The largest contributors of sodium were from salt, stocks and seasonings (23.1%), followed by regular breads and bread rolls (8.5%), processed meat (8.1%), gravies and savoury sauces (7.5%), and cheese (5.0%).


Australian buying habits reflect seasonal patterns. The average apparent consumption of all foods was higher during the summer (1,622 grams) than winter months (1,476 grams), with non-alcoholic beverages the highest in the summer months due to a peak in the purchase of soft drinks over the festive season. Food consumption also reflects seasonal produce availability, with purchases of citrus fruit peaking in winter months.