Brandwatch released an extensive social data report focused on the restaurant, food and beverage industries. In the report, more than 2.5 million social media mentions were collected and analyzed. With an estimated 32 percent of all UK brand mentions on Twitter centered around the food and beverage industry, this indicates that there exists huge opportunities for businesses around the globe in this field to leverage social media data.

Key report findings include:

United States Alcohol Preference

  • Liquor was the strong leader in Colorado, with whisky leading the conversation about that specific alcohol type; Louisiana was second in liquor discussions
  • According to Twitter conversations, the Midwest favors beer as their alcohol of choice, with a majority of the discussion in Illinois; Vermont, touting its many craft beers, was a strong second state in the beer discussion, representing the Northeast
  • Unsurprisingly, the land of the vineyard, California, led the wine discussion on Twitter
  • While liquor and beer discussions deviated above and below national averages immensely, discussions of wine didn't deviate very much throughout the states

The Restaurant, Food & Beverage Social Index

  • Despite weak net sentiment scores (which may be the result of recent #PalmOil criticisms in the industry), Burger King led this brand index with high scores in social visibility, reach growth, and social engagement
  • Of the factors analyzed, a high social engagement score seemed to be the metric to best determine overall brand conversation leadership on Twitter and Facebook
  • Brand leaders by factor were: Taco Bell (Social Visibility), 7up (Sentiment), TGI Fridays (Reach Growth), Red Lobster (Social Engagement)

Brand Social Responsiveness Study

  • A key opportunity to engage with critics and reassure fans, brands did not respond to the majority of tagged complaints - or even praise - on Twitter (when user's @mention the brand's Twitter handle)
  • Brands responded to 0 untagged negative comments directed specifically at them
  • Chain restaurants performed far better than any other sector at responding on Twitter, reacting to 46 percent of negative tagged tweets and 38 percent of tagged praise

Which type of restaurant, food and beverage brand owns the conversation?

  • Quick serve restaurants, which include McDonalds, Burger King and Subway, account for over half of the Twitter conversations when broken down by sector discussions, with 57 percent share of voice
  • Chain restaurants, such as Nando's or Applebee's, are the second most discussed with those brands owning 20 percent of the conversation, closely followed by beverage brands
  • The beverage brand battle is as old as time itself (water vs milk perhaps), and in the study we saw Coke leading with 36 percent share of voice, while it's iconic counterpart Pepsi trailing with 14 percent dominance of the conversation.

"Today's consumers are becoming more passionate and knowledgeable about what they eat and drink," said James Lovejoy, content researcher at Brandwatch. "Empowered by social media, they now have a way to share ideas and opinions faster than ever before. Throughout this research, what became apparent is that the course of the restaurant, food and beverage industry may be determined, and at the very least will be documented, in the daily conversations on social media. The power of the social community to quickly disseminate information and rally around trends or social movements is impressive. For brands, listening, understanding and reacting to the inevitable tides of change will be crucial."


The Brandwatch social media listening and analytics platform was used to monitor and analyze over 1 million conversations around 50 of the top restaurant, food and beverage brands, as well as discussions regarding specific types of alcohol consumption. The sample of social data collected is designed to be an effective representation of the larger social conversation around each category. The social data analyzed in the development of this report is from January 1 through April 28, 2015.

The Restaurant, Food & Beverage Social Index ranks the performance of 50 industry-leading brands. Using a unique set of algorithms, each brand is evaluated from 0 - 100 across four categories:

  • Social Presence: Measures the amount of buzz a brand generates across social
  • Sentiment: Evaluates the net sentiment of conversation toward brands
  • Reach Growth: Measures the extent to which a brand's social presence is growing
  • Social Engagement & Content: Evaluates how effective brands are at communicating to their audience and how well their content performs

Download the free report here.