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Fast food facts to chew over

emma data shows Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) can grow campaign reach by adding newspaper media to their channel plan.

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Infographic_QSR_DIGITALThe fast food industry in Australia is facing challenges. Rising food costs, increased competition and changing perceptions on healthy eating have altered trading conditions for QSR brands.

The industry has reacted admirably, adopting new practices and adapting menus to appeal to time poor consumers looking for healthier food to go.

Recent consumer data collected by emma highlights just how much Australians love fast food.

On the go

According to the data, some 12.2 million consumers, or 68% of the population, have visited a QSR in the last four weeks. The average amount spent per QSR customer in this period was $25.14.

Looking at QSR visits by time of day, emma shows a large portion of consumers are open to buying food earlier in the day. Some 28% of customers prefer to eat at QSRs between 9.30am and 2pm.

Forty-one percent of newspaper readers look at a paper between 6 to 9 am, making them an ideal environment to promote breakfast and café offerings.

Health versus Wealth

The majority of QSR customers (41%) choose their QSR based on price.  Health, however, is fast becoming a major factor in choice of fast food restaurant.

Some 3 million consumers choose to visit healthy QSR chains such as Pure & Natural, Sumo Salad or Healthy Habits.

News to go

emma shows the majority of fast food consumers interacted with newspaper media in the last four weeks.

Some 11.3 million QSR customers read a print or digital newspaper in the past four weeks.

Data shows a large number of print newspaper readers are frequent fast food buyers. Figures tell us that 5.1 million of these readers visit a QSR once a week or more.

The digital audience are also fast food fans. They are 6% more likely to visit a QSR than the general population.

Table 1 shows the top 5 QSR brands by visitation among newspaper readers.

McDonalds is number one for the newspaper audience, with 6.8 million readers visiting the golden arches in the past four weeks. Subway and KFC are next in line with 3.6 million and 3.3 million readers respectively.

Table 1: Top Five QSR Brands by Newspaper Readers by Visitation

  • McDonalds – 6.8million readers (41% of readers)
  • Subway 3.6 million readers (21%)
  • KFC 3.3 million readers (20%)
  • Hungry Jacks 2.2 million readers (13%)
  • Dominos 1.6 million readers (10%)

Food for thought

QSR brands are big TV advertisers. The medium works well for the category as it reaches a mass audience quickly. However, emma shows that, by adding newspaper advertising to a campaign, QSRs can increase campaign reach by hitting consumers missed by TV commercials.

Of the 12.2 consumers who visited a QSR in the past four weeks, one in four are either non- or light- TV watchers. That’s more than 4 million fast food consumers potentially overlooked by TV advertising.

The following table shows the breakdown of QSR customers by their level of TV and newspaper consumption as recorded by emma.

Table 2:  TV and Newspaper consumption levels of QSR audience.*

Low TV, High Newspaper


High TV, High Newspaper


Low TV, Low Newspaper



High TV, Low Newspaper


Data shows that adding newspapers to the equation increases reach dramatically.

Some 2.5 million the QSR consumers who watch little or no TV are regular newspaper readers.

Using newspapers alongside TV can supersize campaign reach for QSR brands and attract consumers who regularly look for food on the go.


*Quadrant segment descriptions

Low TV – watch less than 2 hours of TV each night

High TV – watch more than 2 hours of TV each night

Low Newspaper – read newspapers twice a week or less

High Newspaper – read newspapers 3 times a week or more


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