Analysis of tweets reveals surprising demographics of consumers interested in healthy fast food



Analysis of tweets reveals surprising demographics of consumers interested in healthy fast food


What other things do people who mention a given brand tweet about? Starting with this question, the team at Buzzmonitor, a social data analysis tool, performed a study using 1.8 million tweets from timelines of people who mentioned one of the 9 healthy fast food chains chosen for the project.*


The goal was to find out if, by looking at these timelines, it would be possible to discover more about consumer behavior. “There is classic brand monitoring, centered on brand mentions, which we’ve been doing for years. But now we are interested in looking at peoples’ entire timelines, which might show us a broader perspective on the consumer,” says Jairson Vitorino, Chief Data Scientist from Buzzmonitor.


Searching through data gathered from 9,000 Twitter users’ timelines, it was possible to identify, for example, meal preferences: the study found out that consumers tweeting about new fresh fast food restaurants, like Chop’t and Lyfe Kitchen, divide their preferences between traditional burger menus and soups, salads, and vegetarian foods. “36% of the people mentioning Chop’t also mentioned soup, vegetarian dishes, or salad, exactly the same rate for people mentioning burgers and chicken”, says Alessandro Lima, CEO from Buzzmonitor.


Also, by examining the Bio field from these users, the place on Twitter that people use to describe themselves, frequent terms such as food lover, health, nutrition, fashion, writer, student, girl, husband, father etc. provide information on the Twitter users’ occupations, aspirations, concerns, hobbies, and even marital status.


Investigating hundreds of these attributes extracted from free text on tweets, it was possible to establish several demographics that gravitate toward the new healthy fast food style. Take Malory J., for example. She lives in Brooklyn has approximately 1,000 followers, joined Twitter in 2009, plays the piano, and works at an agency. Or T. Mathews from DC, a journalist and writer who also has around 1,000 followers and declares that he is a proud father in his bio. Both cases represent slightly different demographics sharing the same interest in healthy nutrition.


Two other dimensions analyzed in this study were sports and videos games. Apart from the popular basketball and football, running and yoga are also often cited. 20% of the people in the sample mentioned running, and 7% mentioned yoga. Regarding video games, 30% of the people mentioned Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo.


The main conclusion of the research is the apparent diversity of consumers drawn to healthy lifestyles, including single women, fathers, vegetarians, and even gamers. “Maybe this new wave will hit faster than well-established chains like McDonalds are imagining. It’s still a small sample, but as people go on tweeting, we’ll keep looking at this trend to see how far this phenomenon stretches across society,” says Mr. Vitorino.


The complete study is available at


Brands analyzed: Justsalad, Lyfe Kitchen, Sweetgreen, Smashburger, B.Good, Lemonade, Protein Bar, Dig Inn, and Chop’t


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