Apparent consumption in this publication measures the amount of food and non-alcoholic beverages purchased from the food retail sector (major supermarkets and smaller outlets such as convenience stores, butchers, seafood shops, bakeries, delis and fresh food markets). Apparent consumption data does not include food purchases from fast food outlets, cafes and restaurants, nor food obtained by other means such as foraging, hunting or fishing. As apparent consumption in this publication is based on sales data, it does not account for food purchases that are stored, wasted or otherwise not consumed. While apparent consumption therefore does not necessarily represent total dietary consumption nor the consumption patterns of individuals or groups, it can provide valuable insights into the overall nutrition profile of foodstuffs sold in the food retail sector in Australia, and how this profile changes over time.
Apparent consumption in this publication is reported by 12-month period (2020-21 refers to the period from 01 July 2020 to 30 June 2021) and by calendar month.
While changes in consumer behaviour associated with COVID-19 were generally less marked in the 2020-21 period, compared with the earlier year, estimates are still likely influenced by ongoing household substitution of home prepared meals instead of dining out. For general information on the scope and methods see Explanatory Notes.