It’s not Just Millennials: How Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. Segments Consumers

August 24, 2020

Group Of Friends Enjoying Meal In Restaurant

Beef caters to a wide variety of consumers. From young to old, East Coast to West Coast, beef is something almost everyone enjoys. But not all consumers approach how they eat in the same way. For example, consumers can have differing views when it comes to their protein choices, where their food comes from, and what’s important during mealtime. Unsurprisingly, factors such as age, marital status, or whether someone has kids can affect how they think about and eat beef. To understand more about these differences, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, on behalf of the Beef Checkoff, sought to learn more about consumers when it comes their behaviors that influence how they shop, eat, and dine. 

The overall objective of the approach was to find distinct consumer groups that are actionable and relatable. The quantitative approach created consumer segments by looking beyond demographical differences to focus on psychographics. Psychographics, in the context of a consumer segmentation, are consumers’ attitudes, aspirations, and motivations. Examples of questions asked of consumers in the study include who they dine out with, what health goals they have, what’s important in their meals, and what they consider in a protein choice, among many others. Using the psychographic data gathered, and through a cluster analysis, the results gleaned six distinct consumer segments.

Utilizing the cluster analysis allowed us to identify the segments that would create the greatest variation between groups, while minimizing the variation within a particular segment. As their names and descriptions imply, they each have a set of unique characteristics that make them targetable.

The Six Consumer Segments:

  • Family Food Enthusiasts live in larger households and care about a variety of factors such as their health, meal experiences, and where their food comes from. While they care about many factors, they are stretched thin and often their goals are more aspirational than reality.
  • Disciplined Doers are educated consumers who are conscious about their health and wellness, more likely to limit their diets, and have regimented eating habits. This group is the most likely to do what they say they are going to do.
  • Social Eaters are somewhat younger consumers who eat a wide variety of proteins and enjoy socializing with friends while eating. While they like all foods, the event or activity they are involved in comes first.
  • Convenience Seekers live in more hectic households. Since they are so busy, they tend to eat out more, particularly at quick service locations and look for ease and convenience in their shopping and eating patterns.
  • Confident Cooks are slightly older individuals with a passion for cooking who are confident in shopping and cooking beef.
  • Budget Basics are the oldest of the six segments with the lowest average income. They have simple diets and prioritize taste and price over nutrition. 

All segments enjoy eating beef. Each segment also makes up a specific percentage of the total population of consumers, as well as the often-sought-after Millennial Parents demographic. Specifically, Family Food Enthusiasts, Disciplined Doers, and Social Eaters make up the larger share of Millennial Parents and are a greater opportunity to target as these consumers are a driving force in the market.

Percent of Segment that are Millennials with Kids:

Identifying segments also resulted in a typing tool that can be applied to future research. This typing tool was derived from the full segmentation analysis by identifying the smallest subset of psychographics that still accurately predicts the segments in a robust manner. In short, it is a set of questions that can be applied in other market research that categorizes consumers into one of the six segments above. As a result, this tool is often used when it comes to evaluating Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. content and advertising to learn what messages and visuals appeal to which segments. 

In addition to helping the industry test the strength and relevancy of its communication prior to advertising, insights from this segmentation research also guides the implementation and placement of ads within the actual marketplace. For example, Disciplined Doers tend to be most interested in beef-related content that focuses on the nutritional benefits of the product and Social Eaters most appreciate content that is served within the context of entertaining and social gatherings. Once equipped with the most appropriate messaging approach, segmentation research is then used in conjunction with various digital platform-specific targeting parameters, such as targeting data from Facebook and YouTube, to “find,” isolate and advertise to the target segments within the actual market. The end result are communication efforts that direct the right messaging towards the right target, ensuring the beef checkoff’s advertising spend more fully maximizes its overall effectiveness and cost efficiency.   

Pairing information from the typing tool with what we already know about the segments continues to add a level of depth and understanding to beef consumers. For example, we’ve learned a great deal on the segments’ social media and music streaming habits. Stay tuned for a future update about that! 

  1. Directions Research, Segmentation Research, 2018