According to ‘Australian Food Statistics’, a report produced by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) in 2013, with data extracted from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and other sources, the value of food and liquor retailing in Australia grew by 4% in 2012–13 to $141.4 billion Of that spending, supermarkets and grocery outlets accounted for 62%, cafes and restaurants 14%, takeaway outlets 11%, liquor retailing 7% and other food outlets 6%.
The value of food and liquor retailing had decreased slightly from the previous year when the growth of 4.2% had taken total spending to $135.8 billion. In 2012-13, food and liquor retailing outstripped general retailing in growth as the segment as a whole grew by just 2.5%.
For the 2012-13 year, the total number of supermarket outlets operated by the major food retailers, Coles and Woolworths, independent retailers supplied by Metcash and the relatively recent arrival, Aldi, was around 4,500. In December 2013, Woolworths accounted for 39%t of grocery expenditure, Coles 33.5%, ALDI 10.3% and IGA (supplied by Metcash) 9.5% (Roy Morgan 2014).
Data for the year showed that 1.6 million people were employed throughout the food sector, with food and beverage manufacturing accounting for around 23% of Australian manufacturing sector employment, up from 18% in 2002–03.