Top of Chops: iconic leg of ham ranks as Australia’s number one Christmas food in 2021


Despite Aussies welcoming more cuisines to the Christmas table than ever before, leg ham, seafood, and pork take out the top spots for our favourite seasonal food.

  • The iconic leg of ham ranked the #1 Christmas food in Australian households, followed by fresh seafood and roast pork

  • The top cuisines Australians are offering at their Christmas gatherings this year are Australian (55%, up 4% since 2020), British (16%), and Italian (15%, up 1% since 2020), and Chinese (10%).

  • Australians are also introducing new diets to their Christmas meals, the most common being Vegetarian (12%, up 1% since 2020), gluten-free (9%, up 3% since 2020) and lactose intolerant (7%, up 3% since 2020).

SYDNEY, December 09, 2021: New research from IGA released today names the iconic leg of ham as Australia’s #1 Christmas food in 2021 for the second year running. Roast pork has shot up in popularity going from number seven in 2020 to number three in 2021. But, it seems we’re falling out of love with Christmas traditions as the humble pud has been bumped down to the fifth spot.

The research, commissioned by IGA to uncover Aussie Christmas food habits and trends, reveals the 10 most popular Christmas foods this year include:

  1. The iconic leg of ham (38%)

  2. Fresh seafood (32%)

  3. Roast pork (26%)

  4. Baked vegetables (24%)

  5. Christmas cake/ pudding (23%)

  6. Salad (22%)

  7. Fresh Fruit (22%)

  8. Chocolate (20%)

  9. Pavlova (17%)

  10. Roast lamb (16%)

Estella Young, Head of Trade, IGA Australia: “The iconic ham has always held a special spot on Aussie’s Christmas tables so it’s no surprise to see it come out on top as the most popular Christmas food for the second year running. It’s a great value versatile dish that can last over a few meals which is why we think it’s hard to beat.”

Although a leg of ham is the most popular Christmas food across all generations, this is particularly true for the older generations. Baby Boomers (54%) are more likely than Gen X (35%), Millennials (23%), and Gen Z (31%) to say that the iconic leg of ham is the number one Christmas food in their households. However, it’s Queenslanders and Western Australians who are enjoying it the most.

Yet, South Australians are a “flock” unto their own, with 37% placing roast lamb at the top of their lists.

The modern Australian Christmas will showcase a diversity of meals this Christmas, with the top cuisines Australian homes are offering at their Christmas gatherings this year being Australian (55%, up 4% since 2020), British (16%), and Italian (15%, up 1% since 2020), and Chinese (10%).

Although the majority of Baby Boomers (62%) will eating an all Aussie spread, it seems as though traditions are changing with younger generations revealing they are trying new cuisines. Gen Z and Millennials are more likely than Baby Boomers to say they are likely to include Japanese (9% and 8% compared to 3%) and Spanish (7% and 5% compared to 1%) into their Christmas food plans.

The top Christmas Cuisines in 2021 are:

  1. Australian (55%)

  2. British (16%)

  3. Italian (15%)

  4. Vegetarian (12%)

  5. Chinese (10%)

  6. Gluten-Free (9%)

  7. Thai (8%)

  8. Lactose intolerant (7%)

  9. Greek (6%)

  10. Japanese (6%)

Taste isn’t the only factor in Aussie’s evolving preferences. An average of 21 family meals per person were missed this year, equating to almost 300 million meals across the nation which means Aussies are looking for ways to spend less time cooking, and more time with the people they love. More than two in five (44%) Aussies say they will be integrating some ready-made or partially prepared, no-fuss meal options this Christmas in order to save on time spent in the kitchen.

Estella continued: “With more Aussie families looking to catch up on lost meals over the past couple of years, we’re looking for tasty food with added convenience. A leg of ham fits that bill perfectly!”

/Public Release.