PsychoCulinary profiling was first identified by the World Food Travel Association as a way to explain how people make different food purchase decisions. For some, the eating experience is more about the bragging rights of experiencing the most exclusive restaurants. For others, it could be more about the ambiance or whether the restaurant uses locally-sourced ingredients. We identified 13 major categories of food lovers, and applied this understanding in research for our 2010 State of the Industry Report, where we analyzed the profiles of 11,235 consumer food-lovers in nearly 100 countries. Groups of people from the same city or country showed a common "food-lover personality".
The 13 PsychoCulinary profiles are: Adventurer; Ambience; Authentic; Budget; Eclectic; Gourmet; Innovative; Localist; Novice; Organic; Social; Trendy; and Vegetarian.
Findings from our 2010 report confirmed our suspicions with tangible, quantifiable data. It was a revolution in how we understand food-loving consumers. The implications in product development and marketing for both destinations and foodservice business professionals is profound.
Because people like variety and food lovers are not all the same, consumers can have up to 3 (out of the 13) major PsychoCulinary profiles. The same logic applies to destinations. For example, someone whose own profiles are Adventurer, Localist and Budget will respond favorably to a destination with the same profile. That same person would struggle to enjoy a destination whose profiles are Gourmet, Trendy and Innovative. Marketing to the wrong kind of foodie costs you time and money, and in today's highly competitive marketplace, you cannot afford to waste either of these precious resources.