Study Identifies Dining Styles

ARAMARK Corporation, a world leader in contract food services at colleges and universities, corporations and healthcare institutions undertook a research survey of 3,200 adults in January to determine the relationship between lifestyles and away-from-home eating patterns and preferences. The research findings identified six distinct customer profiles, or dining styles that the company is now using to revamp its dining services.

The dining styles population segments identified are:

Health Focused 23% of the population who are frequent exercisers, low-fat dieters and health- and nutrition-concerned. 62% of the segment are women.

Nutritionally Curious 19% of the population who current eat indulgently and are not on a diet, but express strong interest in healthier choices if they were easier and more convenient to find. 59% are women.

Menu Indifferent 16% of the population who are highly ambivalent about their daily nutritional intake. They rarely order healthy items, do not exercise regularly, tend to indulge themselves when eating out except at lunch, and rate variety as their top motivation when eating away from home. 56% are men and 44%, women.

Upscale Carb Counters 15% of the population trending towards higher incomes who are actively watching their weight and are heavy users of low-carb diets. They are heavily motivated by variety when eating out. This segment is very close to evenly split between men (51%) and women (49%).

Indulgent Super-Sizers 15% of the population who eat indulgently at every meal. They are not focused on diet or exercise, consume fried food and frequently super-size their value meals. Men are 64% of this segment.

Downside Health Riskers 12% of the population trending toward lower incomes who are struggling to lose weight and stick to a healthy routine. They have tried many diets, are currently preferring low-card, but also eat fast food frequently. They are motivated by convenience and are trying to control a specific health risk like diabetes or hearth disease. 55% are men.

We thought it would be interesting to look at how the six segments distribute among only women, since women are the major decision makers in where the family eats out.

Segment Percent of All Women
Health Focused 29%
Nutritionally Curious 22%
Upscale Carb Counters 15%
Subtotal 66%
Menu Indifferent 14%
Indulgent Super-Sizers 11%
Downscale Health Riskers 11%

The first three listed segments are women who are interested in or are regular diners of healthy and nutritious or low-carb foods. These three segments make up 66%, 2/3s of all women. The results clearly demonstrate how important it is to offer women and moms a good variety of healthy and nutritious foods, as well as low-carb options, if you want to attract the family market where mom is the primary decision maker.