NEW YORK, N.Y. (PRNewswire) — A new study from local market consumer research firm Scarborough reveals that Health-Conscious Consumers, defined as American adults who belong to a gym and buy local or organic food, make up nine percent (21M) of the American adult (age 18+) population. Even these Health-Conscious Consumers however, can't resist the expanding healthy menu options or the convenience of quick service restaurants; 74 percent of these consumers visited a fast food restaurant for lunch in the past 30 days.
Health-Conscious Consumers who have had fast food in the past 30 days are more than twice as likely as all American adults who have done the same to dine at Panera Bread for lunch in the past 30 days and eight percent more likely to eat at Subway for lunch in the same time frame. Though they dine more at fast food establishments that have healthy options, more than one-quarter (26 percent) of all Health-Conscious Consumers dined at a fast food restaurant at least ten times in the past 30 days.
"This latest analysis reflects the enormous shift in the quick service restaurants' initiatives toward healthier menu options and branding," says Alisa Joseph, vice president of advertiser services for Scarborough parent company, Arbitron. "Fast food companies feel pressure to change their messaging to a more health-conscious tone as they are aware that the average consumer is now more aware of the healthier menu options available. Though price point is still important to their core customers, healthy menu options within that price point will satisfy the customers they have as well as grow their Health-Conscious Consumer segment."
As you would expect, Health-Conscious Consumers are active. In the past 12 months, 52 percent of Health-Conscious Consumers who ate fast food for lunch in the past 30 days also attended a professional sports event. They are 86 percent more likely than all American adults to have gone jogging or running, 78 percent more likely to have gone bicycling and 60 percent more likely to have gone swimming. Nearly half (44 percent) have done volunteer work in the past 12 months, 38 percent have visited a casino and 37 percent have attended live theater. The upcoming summer Olympics are another key outreach opportunity as Health-Conscious Consumers who have eaten fast food for lunch in the past 30 days are 37 percent more likely than all American adults to be interested in the Olympics.
Health-Conscious Consumers who dined at a fast food restaurant for lunch in the past 30 days are 13 percent more likely than all other fast food lunch diners to be female (58 percent) and they are 66 percent more likely to have at least a college degree. Sixty-one percent of all Health-Conscious Consumers are married and 41 percent have one or more children under the age of 17 in their household. They are 66 percent more likely than all fast food lunch diners to have an annual household income of $100K or more. More than half (51 percent) of all Health-Conscious Consumers who dined at a fast food restaurant for lunch in the past 30 days hold white collar employment.
This data is from Scarborough USA+, Release 2 2011. Scarborough measures 210,000 adults aged 18+ annually across a wide variety of media, lifestyle, shopping and demographic categories.