7 key consumer types
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To Martin, food means fuel. Low-income and struggling to make ends meet, he’s working as much overtime as he can get. Meals and snacks are eaten on the go, often in the car or break room, and whenever time allows. Trying the next new thing or worrying about nutrition or ingredient sources isn’t a priority; even price takes a backseat to convenience and just getting through his stressful day.
Opportunities for operators
- Promoting drive-thru and easy takeout features such as curbside pickup might pique their interest. They’re fickle, but serve their needs and they’ll become loyal customers.
- Larger portion sizes signal overall value. Emphasizing more food and combo meals may play to their value-minded, food-as-fuel sensibilities.
- There’s promise in mobile technology. The option to place an order and pay remotely and seamlessly may boost both loyalty and satisfaction.
- In-your-face discounts could trigger a sale, given that Functional Eaters don’t enjoy spending money on food, but also don’t have the time or patience to look for deals. Integrating offers into mobile technology, where this diner already is, might win some loyalty points.
Frequency of visits
|Percent meals at foodservice||21||31||31|
|Number of foodservice occasions per person annually||78||114||114|
Share of meal occasions
What they eat
Functional Eaters give the highest ratings to:
- Firehouse Subs
- McAlister’s Deli
- Ben & Jerry’s
- Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza
These chains see more Functional Eaters than other chains:
- Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers
- Big Boy
Since they aren’t as discerning, Functional Eaters will hit up the competition—namely convenience stores—for quick, cheap meals on the go. No matter the source, taste is the most important attribute to them.
This group will likely place the least complicated set of expectations on restaurant operators. As portability, value and convenience matter more to these consumers than any others, the trend toward smaller, simplified menus may resonate with the somewhat less-choosy Functional Eater.” —Robert Byrne, manager, market insights at Technomic