WOOLWORTHS has unveiled its annual Festive Food Report which reveals how the country will be preparing for Christmas this year.
The report found that Australia is a nation of Christmas planners with nearly half of shoppers (45 per cent) purchasing all their gifts by the end of November.
By the first week of December, two in five (39 per cent) have already completed their Christmas supermarket shop, half (50 per cent) have planned their Christmas meal and more than half (58 per cent) have put up their Christmas decorations.
Many people will be outsourcing their meal planning, with 56 per cent of hosts claiming they'll ask guests to bring a dish to the dinner table.
Gen Y are most likely to ask friends and family for a meal contribution (76 per cent), compared to only 39 per cent of Baby Boomers.
Roast chicken or turkey remain one of the most popular dishes on Christmas Day (42 per cent), followed by prawns (31 per cent), Christmas pudding (29 per cent) and cold ham (29 per cent).
This year will see more people opt for pre-prepared food. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, sales of pre packed salads will rise by 70 per cent and cheese by 15 per cent. Woolworths will also see sales of ready to eat hot roast chickens increase by 270 per cent on Christmas Eve.
Seafood continues to be a staple at the Christmas table. More than 200 tonnes of prawns will be purchased in the two weeks before Christmas and Woolworth's expert oyster shuckers will open more than 800,000 oysters by hand.
That's 15 dozen oysters a minute in just three days.
Woolworths Director of Marketing, Supermarkets, Andrew Hicks, said, "Christmas is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year. In the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day, we will experience our busiest trading period of the whole year, selling four million kilos of ham, 100 tonnes of prawns and 16,000 free-range turkeys.
"We know it's an extremely busy time for families across the country, who are busy planning and preparing a special day together in their own unique way.
"Whether you're a host or a guest, if it's Christmas Day or the entertaining period before or afterwards, Woolworths has you covered with a great range of seafood, specialty meats, fresh fruit, Christmas treats and much more to make every family's Christmas famous," he said.
Woolworths Festive Food Report key findings:
Planning for Christmas
- 42 per cent of Australians buy their gifts in early December
- 50 per cent of women have bought all of their Christmas presents by the end of November, compared to 39 per cent of men
- 41 per cent of Aussies shop for groceries a few days or even the day before Christmas, whilst 39 per cent plan ahead and complete their Christmas grocery shopping in early December
- 18 per cent don't put up Christmas decorations at all
The Festive Feast
The top 5 dishes that Australians are most looking forward to this Christmas are:
- Roast chicken or turkey (42 per cent)
- Prawns (31 per cent)
- Christmas pudding/Christmas cake (29 per cent)
- Cold ham (29 per cent)
- Salad (24 per cent)
The top 3 dishes that Australians claim they are famous for at Christmas are:
- Main meat dish (26 per cent)
- Dessert (25 per cent)
- Main seafood dish (12 per cent)
- 79 per cent say their Christmas meal will be 'screen free'
- 58 per cent indicate that they do not intend on watching any television on Christmas day
- On Christmas day, 36 per cent will have an afternoon nap
- 21 per cent will play sports such as backyard cricket
- 20 per cent will go for a swim in the pool
- 18 per cent will go for a walk together
Woolworths sales trends
This December, Woolworths will sell:
- 55 per cent of the season's cherries; 29 per cent of the season's mangoes and 25 per cent of peaches
- 4 million kilos of ham, up by 5 per cent compared to Christmas 2014
- 14,000 Macro Free Range Turkeys
- 10 x the volume of prawns and oysters compared to any other time of year
Results from a national study of 1,000 Australians conducted by McCrindle in November 2015 and Woolworths sales data, December 2014.