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Seven Types of Eaters Shaping the Foodservice Landscape

CHICAGO — Today’s foodservice consumer culture is rapidly evolving, leaving little room for error. To help foodservice operators know who their customers are and what drives them to dine out, Technomic's Consumer4Sight research platform released the 7 Eater Archetype (EAT) segments that compose the foodservice consumer landscape. 

"EAT segments get at consumers' underlying needs and motivations, helping brands understand their customers at a deeper, more meaningful level that isn't readily available on the surface," explained Sara Monnette, senior director of consumer insights and innovation at Technomic.

According to the researcher, the following profiles go beyond demographics to understand the behaviors, attitudes and dining-occasion drivers of today’s consumers. 

The segments are defined as:

  • Functional Eaters: Comprised heavily of millennial males, these consumers treat food as fuel and typically look for low prices from familiar restaurants.
  • Foodservice Hobbyists: Comprised mostly of females with children, this value-conscious group dines out at new and familiar restaurants as a hobby.
  • Busy Balancers: Comprised substantially of middle- and upper-income millennial females. For this on-the-go, multitasking group, foodservice makes life easier.
  • Affluent Socializers: Comprised of upper-income baby boomer males, this group finds dining out as entertainment and values quality service over price.
  • Bargain Hunters: Comprised of low- and middle-income male baby boomers, these consumers are unconcerned with health, driven by low prices and regularly seek out specials and deals.
  • Health Enthusiasts: A mixed group of male and female low- or fixed-income baby boomers and matures. Health drives their dining choices, and they live simply and believe cooking at home is the healthiest option.
  • Habitual Matures: Comprised of male baby boomers and matures with low- or fixed-incomes. Driven by convenience and prices, this group typically sticks to familiar foods and are loyal to just a small number of restaurants.​

These seven EAT segments were compiled using years of consumer research combined with Technomic's deep industry knowledge, the company noted. 

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