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Traveling Foodies: A Pairing of Savvy and Influential

by Paul Gold , 22.01.2014

As the world comes closer together, tastes and traditions blur and people from all walks of life can appreciate any culture and cuisine. "Global Vacation Foodies" are US adults who enjoy fine dining while abroad for leisure. They seek tartufo in Tuscany, tapas in Barcelona and escargot in Paris. According to a new GfK MRI report, Traveling Foodies, these culinary savants know how rare spices can enhance signature dishes – and how to influence others on topics such as politics, books and computers.

According to our definition, Global Vacation Foodies (the elite of “traveling foodies”) are adults who have traveled outside the lower 48 states at least three times in the past three years and engaged in fine dining during each of those trips. These powerful influencers account for only two percent of all adults, but they’re more likely to be heavy users of magazines (index 250), internet (133) and newspapers (121).

The complete Traveling Foodies analysis is based on data from GfK MRI's Survey of the American Consumer ® which captures demographics, product and media use, and psychographics of global and domestic vacationing epicures.

A silver platter of influence

Global Vacation Foodies (GVFs) are more likely than other adults (even global vacationers who are not foodies) to be “category influencers” in several areas. Such influencers have been identified as deeply familiar with a specific category, based on their answers to the Survey of the American Consumer.  GVFs are highly trusted word-of-mouth leaders, making frequent recommendations across broad social networks.

It's no surprise, then, that these gastronomes are category influencers for vacation travel, wine, restaurants, and cooking. But they also are more likely than others to influence people’s beliefs and behaviors regarding politics, news, books, movie, healthcare, and computers.

Buying Styles: The "why" behind the "buy"

Global Vacation Foodies’ attitudes differ in many respects from those of typical adults. For example, they're more likely to seek style and quality and to be socially and environmentally conscious.

Buying Styles of Global Vacation Foodies
Agree with statement Index
I buy brands that reflect my style. 124
I would pay extra for a product that is consistent with the image I want to convey. 123
I am willing to pay more for a product that is environmentally safe. 126
I expect the brands I buy to support social causes. 114
Brand name is the best indication of quality. 110
Source: GfK MRI Traveling Foodies
GfK MRI's Survey of the American Consumer, Fall 2012

Behind the wheel with Traveling Foodies

There are significant differences between Global and Domestic Vacation Foodies. For example, Domestic Vacation Foodies look for different attributes when shopping for a new car than Global Vacation Foodies.

Traveling Foodies' Automotive Attitudes
(Indices above 110 and below 90 indicate interesting
differences compared to Total Adults)
Agree with statement Domestic Vacation Foodies Index Global Vacation Foodies Index
Having a vehicle that is fun to drive is a top consideration in my purchasing decision. 136 115
I look for vehicles that offer spirited performance and powerful acceleration. 134 97
My first consideration in choosing a vehicle is its exterior styling. 133 98
The vehicle a person owns says a lot about him or her. 120 104
I look forward to technology advances in new vehicles. 120 102
I seek out vehicles with bold, innovative designs that stand apart from others on the road. 118 121
Rebates and incentives strongly influence my new vehicle purchase decisions. 114 102
Source: GfK MRI Traveling Foodies
GfK MRI's Survey of the American Consumer, Fall 2012


Beyond vacations and dining, Global Vacation Foodies can help marketers connect with – and influence – other consumers.

For more information on the complete analysis, Traveling Foodies, please contact Paul Gold, Vice President Advertiser Services, GfK MRI at paul.gold@gfkmri.com