For food aficionados, food offers much more than nourishment. It offers a framework through which they can build relationships, make new friends, explore the world and even examine which behaviors are ethical. They use food to define who they are in greater society. The term foodie, which first appeared in the early 1980s, has entered the English language to describe this new type of food lover and a surrounding new culture of food. Foodies are distinct from gourmets in that their interests tend to be more wide ranging. Foodies enjoy high-end gourmet food, to be sure, but they also seek out hole-in-the-wall BBQ shacks, taco trucks and Chinatown markets. Foodies enjoy the thrill of the hunt and being the first to catch on to new food trends, and food outlets considered “authentic” carry the most prestige in the foodie world. As authenticity frequently equates to a degree of separation from big food conglomerates and corporate marketing campaigns, foodies can be an elusive target for marketers. At the same time, foodies are a desirable demographic, as they are avid, tech-savvy consumers who embrace all sorts of trends, not just those that are food-related, and who introduce these trends to their communities and peers.
Through an analysis of selected lifestyle statements in Simmons Market Research Bureau’s national consumer survey, Packaged Facts has determined that 14% of U.S. adults—or 31 million—are foodies. Drawing on cross-tabulated Simmons data, this report examines foodies’ demographic characteristics in depth while also discussing foodies’ values and consumer habits. Following a thorough trend overview chapter, the report profiles the foodie cohort known as foreign/spicy foodies, pinpointing their unique characteristics across areas including demographics and attitudes, media responsiveness, shopping habits and restaurant behavior.
Read an excerpt from this report below.Report Methodology
The information in Foodies is based on primary and secondary research. Primary research entails in-depth interviews with consultants and industry insiders to obtain information on food trends and the people that drive them. Secondary research entailed data gathering from relevant sources, including consumer and industry publications, newspapers, government reports and company literature. Dozens of charts and tables from diverse sources are included. Consumer demographics are derived from Simmons Market Research Bureau data.
What You’ll Get in This Report
This report helps companies understand what motivates foodies and how to appeal to them, even in difficult economic times. It makes important predictions and recommendations regarding the future of this market. Plus, you’ll benefit from extensive data, presented in easy-to-read and practical charts, tables and graphs.
How You’ll Benefit from This Report
If your company is involved in the grocery or restaurant industry or launches new food products regularly, you will find this report invaluable. Because foodies also like to lead the way in other consumer areas—from shopping to fashion, nutrition matters to “green” pursuits—marketers of non-food products will also benefit from learning how to reach this trend-setting demographic.
This report will help:
Market Insights: A Selection From The Report
Food Shopping Patterns
Foreign/spicy foodies are even more likely than foodies overall to spend $150 or more
weekly on grocery shopping expenditures, indexing at 124 (24% above the U.S.
norm), compared with the overall foodie index of 116. Foreign/spicy foodies also are
more prone to shop at fresh format stores such as Ralph’s (index of 175) and Von’s (index of
149), the latter of whose slogan is “Ingredients for Life.” In contrast, foreign/spicy foodies
are less likely than average to shop at Food Lion (index of 84), whose slogan is “Good
neighbors. Great prices.” Discount stores such as Walmart Supercenter and Sav-a-Lot (at
indexes of 90) also have a relatively weaker draw among this cohort, indicating that lower
prices are not a primary appeal for this group. Regardless of which grocery chain they shop,
foreign/spicy foodies tend to be very receptive to in-store marketing, being significantly more likely than average to notice grocery-related Internet promotions (index of 150), video monitor displays (index of 127), radio/PA announcements (index of 123), and in-store demonstrations (index of 120) or samples (index of 118). [Tables 3-2 and 3-6]
A Taste for Alcohol, Preferably Imported
Across food and beverage product categories, alcoholic beverages are where foreign/spicy foodies stand out the most as prime consumers. From the wine rack, they are particularly fond of French White (index of 236), Spanish Red (index of 221) and French Red (index of 216). Foreign/spicy foodies also post high indexes for micro-brewed or imported beers, cognac, rum, tequila, champagne and specialty liqueurs such as Grand Marnier (index of 215), Amaretto Di Saronno (index of 193) and Frangelico (index of 182). Foreign/spicy foodies, in addition, are drawn to tangy fruit juices and citrus flavors such as lemon/lime (index of 158), white grapefruit (index of 152) and pink grapefruit (index of 135), along with turbo-charged drinks such as Starbucks Doubleshot ready-to-drink coffee (index of 212), Café Bustelo espresso coffee (index of 167) and energy drinks (index of 152). Soy milk (index of 147) is another favorite with this crowd.
Ethnic Foods in Grocery Stores
Foreign/spicy foodies, who by definition enjoy venturing into ethnic eateries and markets throughout America, have helped introduce foreign flavors into the country’s mainstream grocery stores. According to the “U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2008” report from the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), 7% of grocery shoppers shop at specialty ethnic stores fairly often or most of the time, and 54% say that having a good selection of ethnic or cultural foods is a “very” or “somewhat” important factor in choosing where to buy their groceries. The report also shows that 21% of shoppers prepare or eat ethnic meals at least one or more times a week, up from 17% in 2007. Two emerging flavor trends, according to the report, are curry (which can be found in a number of cuisines) and Moroccan foods’ “warm” spices like cinnamon and cardamom.In the News
Foodies Pilot Consumerism Beyond Obvious Culinary Curiosities
New York, December 16, 2008 - Foodies are passionate and curious and a truly American phenomenon. In the all-new report, Foodies in the U.S.: Five Cohorts: Foreign/Spicy, Restaurant, Cooks, Gourmet and Organic/Natural, market research publisher Packaged Facts reveals that the 31 million U.S. adults (14% of the population) who qualify as foodies strive to lead the way in other consumer areas such as shopping, fashion, nutrition, and automobiles.
“Some foodies don’t think of themselves as trendy, but overall they are open-minded, curious, and eager to experiment with the new. Research shows that they are significantly more likely than average adults to be the first among their friends to shop at new stores or try new styles,” says Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts.
Outside interests exist, but for Foodies it always comes back to pleasing the palate. For them food is more than body fuel. It is what defines who they are in a greater society. Their food passion provides a framework through which they can build relationships, forge new friendships, discover the world, and even examine which behaviors are ethical. It is for these reasons that Packaged Facts forecasts that even as most consumers seek ways to tighten spending, Foodies will continue to dine out almost daily, purchase gourmet and organic foods exclusively, or indulge themselves in exotic ingredients.
Packaged Facts uses data from Simmons Market Research Bureau to segment the overall foodie demographic into the five foodie cohorts reflected in the report title. Foreign/spicy foodies and restaurant foodies are the two largest foodie cohorts. Approximately 71% of foodies representing 10% of all U.S. adults, or about 22 million, fall into the foreign/spicy cohort. This cohort is helping to introduce the next wave of international cuisine to the American palate. Meanwhile, 65% of foodies fall into the restaurant cohort, representing 9% of all U.S. adults, or approximately 20 million. Unlike most Americans who eat at fast food chains for the sake of convenience, foodies avoid fast food and consider dining out to be a hobby or leisure activity.
Foodies in the U.S.: Five Cohorts: Foreign/Spicy, Restaurant, Cooks, Gourmet and Organic/Natural examines foodies’ demographic characteristics in depth while also discussing foodies’ values, attitudes, culinary interests and consumer habits. The report includes separate chapters on the five titular foodie cohorts. Foodie trends and opportunities, including trends among children and teens, are also explored.
About Packaged Facts - Packaged Facts, a division of Market Research Group, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer industries, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet, and financial products. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services.