There's little room for error in today's rapidly evolving foodservice consumer culture. Operators need to know who their customers are and what drives them to dine out. To help industry stakeholders get ahead of consumer expectation, Technomic's Consumer4Sight established the 7 Eater Archetype (EAT) segments that compose the foodservice consumer landscape. From Functional Eaters to Affluent Socializers to Habitual Matures, these profiles go beyond demographics to understand the behaviors, attitudes and dining occasion drivers of today's consumers.

"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," explains Sara Monnette, senior director of consumer insights and innovation at Technomic.

Compiled through years of consumer research combined with Technomic's deep industry knowledge, EAT segments can help position a restaurant brand in a targeted manner while supporting menu development and marketing efforts. These 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: Dining out at new and familiar restaurants is a hobby for this value-conscious group composed mostly of females with children
  • Busy Balancers: For this on-the-go, multi-tasking group substantially comprised of middle- and upper-income Millennial females, foodservice makes life easier
  • Affluent Socializers: Dining out is entertainment for these upper-income Baby Boomer males, who also value quality service over price
  • Bargain Hunters: Unconcerned with health, these low- and middle-income male Baby Boomers are driven by low prices and regularly seek out specials and deals
  • Health Enthusiasts: With health driving dining choices, this mixed group of male and female low- or fixed-income Baby Boomers and Matures lives simply and believes that cooking at home is the healthiest option
  • Habitual Matures: Driven by convenience and price, this group of male Baby Boomers and Matures with low or fixed incomes typically stick to familiar foods and are loyal to just a small number of restaurants