Foodies Lead Consumers to New and Exotic Foods: Study

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Foodies Lead Consumers to New and Exotic Foods: Study

While most consumers are tightening food spending, foodies will continue to dine out almost daily, purchase gourmet and organic foods exclusively, or indulge themselves with exotic ingredients, according to a study by market research firm Packaged Facts.

"Some foodies don't think of themselves as trendy, but overall they are open-minded, curious, and eager to experiment with the new," said Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts. "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."

According to "Foodies in the U.S.: Five Cohorts: Foreign/Spicy, Restaurant, Cooks, Gourmet and Organic/Natural," although other outside interests exist, 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.

The study reveals that the 31 million U.S. adults (14 percent of the population) who qualify as foodies strive to lead the way in other consumer areas such as shopping, fashion, nutrition, and automobiles.

The report uses data from Simmons Market Research Bureau to segment the overall foodie demographic into the five segments reflected in the report title. Foreign/spicy foodies and restaurant foodies are the two largest foodie groups, with approximately 71 percent of them -- representing 10 percent of all U.S. adults, or about 22 million -- fall into this group. It is the foreign/spicy segment that's helping to introduce the next wave of international cuisine to the American palate.

Meanwhile, 65 percent of foodies fall into the restaurant segment, representing 9 percent 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.

The study examines foodies' demographic characteristics in depth while also discussing their values, attitudes, culinary interests, and consumer habits, and includes separate chapters on each of the five foodie segments.

The full report is available for purchase at: