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Toluna market research shows Australians prioritising health and fitness in 2021

Toluna market research shows Australians prioritising health and fitness in 2021
February 18, 2021

New market research from Toluna shows that Australians are prioritising health and fitness in 2021, planning to eat better and cut back on drinking and smoking.

Despite reduced case numbers, 85% of respondents are still concerned Australia will be hit with another wave of COVID-19.  

Toluna’s ‘Understanding the 2021 Consumer: Global Barometer’ is a regular index that taps into a community panel of 30+ million members providing accurate and timely information on the world’s perceptions regarding the Coronavirus. The latest research surveyed 1,077 respondents in Australia between 14th and 18th January 2021.   

Key findings from Toluna’s latest Global Barometer show  health and fitness to be high on the agenda for Australians in 2021, with losing weight and eating healthier some of the key priorities for this year, along with giving up sugar, alcohol and smoking. The research also showed that most people are willing to get the Coronavirus jab once it’s available, and a massive 85% are still concerned Australia will be hit with another wave.   

Toluna Country Director Australia and New Zealand, Sej Patel notes “after a very worrying 2020, it’s not surprising that health and fitness is a key concern for Australians right now. The research shows us that eating more healthy foods, exercising more and getting rid of bad habits are high on the agenda. This renewed focus on health, paired with a continued focus on spending more time at home, will create a different kind of consumer in 2021.   

“Gyms and fitness providers can take advantage of growing demand by increasing the number of online fitness classes available, while food delivery businesses and restaurants can look at ways to increase the number of healthy options provided – particularly with the view to accommodating a wider variety of dietary requirements. As consumer sentiment continues to change over the course of the pandemic, it’s important for businesses to stay on top of evolving consumer perceptions and habits and adjust their services accordingly.”

After a year of various lockdowns, gym closures and binge eating, Australians are determined to improve their health and fitness in 2021:

• 49% want to be healthier this year 
• 42% want to lose weight
• 36% want to start eating more healthy food
• 21% plan to start taking more vitamins or other supplements  

A change in diet is also on the cards for some this year:

• 10% plan to try an alternative diet (such as keto)
• 6% plan to become vegetarian
• And 4% are planning to go vegan in 2021  

Australians are also planning to cut back on various unhealthy vices:

• 9% plan to give up alcohol this year
• 8% want to give up caffeine
• 17% want to kick their sugar habit 
• While 14% want to give up smoking  

Mental health was also listed as important, with respondents wanting to think more positively (41%) and spend more time with friends and family (39%) this year.  

Despite gyms having been reopened for some time, the ongoing restrictions around the number of people allowed in gyms and fitness classes are taking their toll, with only one in four respondents (24%) stating they’ve been able to maintain their fitness routines over recent weeks:

• 16% have found it hard to keep fit due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions
• While 14% having had to change their routine because of the restrictions  

Some keen exercisers are taking matters into their own hands, with:

• 9% having bought or hired gym equipment to use at home
• 9% have taken free online fitness classes
• 5% have paid for online fitness classes
• While 19% have simply done more outdoor exercise   

As lockdowns forced Australia to stay at home in 2020, many gave up eating out in favour of home cooking; a trend that looks to continue in 2021:

• 50% of respondents plan to continue cooking and eating more at home this year
• 34% have experimented more with their cooking 
• 16% have bought new cooking / food prep equipment
• And 9% have subscribed to a paid food menu delivery service, where you’re sent the recipe and ingredients to cook from home  

Although 31% of respondents are very eager to get back to enjoying local restaurants and 33% missed the social aspect of dining out, 13% are still worried about eating out - something that is expected to change following the vaccine rollout.   

84% of respondents said they were prepared to take a Coronavirus vaccine. However, while 42% said they’d be happy to take it immediately, a more cautious 38% said although they’re willing to take it, they’d want to hold off until it has been further proven.   

Once they’d had a vaccine, respondents said they would be more comfortable:

• Travelling overseas - 40%
• Travelling domestically - 70%
• Return to in-store shopping - 80%
• Going to the hairdressers - 67%
• Going to the gym - 37%
• Going to pubs, bars and clubs - 58%
• Going out to eat - 74%
• Going to cinema - 60% 

The results come as Australians are still bracing for another wave, despite having very low numbers of active cases in the country. According to the research, the majority of respondents (85%) are still concerned that Australia will be hit with another wave of COVID-19.

For more information on Toluna research go to

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