The rising cost of food bites Australians at the checkout


Almost half of Australians (47%) can’t afford to fill their trolley with groceries, as the rising cost of food hits shoppers at the checkout, according to new research from Suncorp Bank.


The rising cost of food bites Australians at the checkout

Partnering with Australia’s leading food rescue organisation OzHarvest, Suncorp Bank today released its 2023 Cost of Food report*, to understand Australians’ food habits and how we’re spending at the grocery store.

Suncorp Bank Executive General Manager Everyday Banking Nick Fernando said Gen Z** had been hit the hardest by increasing costs in the past 12 months.

“It’s been a tough year, with rising cost-of-living challenging many people. It would come as no surprise that four in five people are actively trying to reduce their food costs with younger generations making the biggest effort to curb spending,” Mr Fernando said.

“While two in five people told us they have stopped dining out to save money, that number rises to one in two for Millennials”.

Nick Fernando, Suncorp Bank EGM Everyday Banking

To help save money, shoppers have switched to cheaper brands during their regular shop, while half of those surveyed admit to eating the same meal, multiple days in a row.

Mr Fernando added, “Despite the increased cost of food, the average Australian household still throws the equivalent of up to $2,500 worth of food in the bin each year***. The quickest way to get money back in people’s pockets is to fight food waste at home.”

“That’s why Suncorp Bank has teamed up with OzHarvest. We want to increase education around the impact of food waste, how much it costs your hip pocket and its impact on the planet with up to 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions coming from wasted food in landfill****” he said.

“A quarter of Australians we surveyed admitted they were not aware of the impact that throwing away food has on the environment.”

OzHarvest CEO and Founder Ronni Kahn AO said over half of people surveyed (60%) said they wanted help to limit their food waste.

“Tackling household food waste is a top priority and people are ready to help. If you can make one change at home, which would have the most impact it would be to ‘use it up!’,” Ms Kahn said.

“That includes checking what you already have in your fridge or pantry that needs using before buying more and then making sure you cook it into something delicious!

“Our Use It Up tape makes it easy to waste less at home. It acts as a visual reminder of what needs using up in your fridge, pantry and on food containers. Studies from households using the tape showed it can reduce food waste by 40 per cent and halve waste of fresh produce like fruit, veg, dairy and meat.

A simple change can make a big difference.

*This research surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Australians and was conducted by Kantar in April 2023 on behalf of Suncorp Bank

**Australians born between 1997 - 2012

***Reducing Australia's Food Waste by half by 2030 (

****UNEP Food Waste Index Report 2021 | UNEP - UN Environment Programme

#The following food tips are available for those looking to tackle their food waste at home:

Storage matters – how you store your food can have a significant impact on how long it lasts. Pack leftovers in airtight containers and label them, don’t overload your fridge and keep produce in the crisper.

Check your fridge and pantry – before you head out for a grocery shop, see what food you already have that needs using up. You’ll be surprised at what you already have.

Use it up – using up food you already have can have the biggest impact on your food waste total. Need some recipe inspiration? OzHarvest has plenty of recipes and tips:

Suncorp Bank’s full 2023 Cost of Food Report can be downloaded here.

Suncorp Bank and OzHarvest are partnering to help save what matters. Visit the Suncorp Bank website to find out more and see more food waste tips

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