YOU KNOW THE foodies. They give themselves away when they take photos of their fare with their smartphone. While the practice may seem a little glutinous to some, it helps to realize the foodies cannot help themselves. It’s in their blood … or taste buds.
The World Food Travel Association studied the psychology of culinary travelers who responded to a survey for its 2016 Food Travel Monitor. More than half (60 percent) take photos of their food; 61 percent post the pics and their comments on social media.
The association’s “psyco-culinary profiles” aim to differentiate culinary travelers from others on leisure trips. The profiling proves there is “a great variety of culinary travelers,” said the association.
The most common profiles are: authentic (46 percent); eclectic (44 percent); localist (35 percent); social (30 percent); innovative (23 percent); and budget (22 percent). Other lower-ranking profiles are “ambience” and “novice.”
“Local and authentic food and beverage are important,” said researchers. “But serving only regional food may not be enough for the eclectic traveler who seeks a variety of experiences.”
When trying to appeal to American foodies, the report reveals leisure travelers in the innovative and gourmet groups tend to spend more on F&B activities, while ambience, budget and novice spend less. Innovative and trendy participate in the most different types of F&B activities; authentic and novice took part in the fewest.
Of all the respondents, the majority said F&B is a social and an educational experience. They learn about food and drink when they visit an area, and they believe sampling local cuisine helps them learn about and understand other cultures.
And, lest you think non-leisure travelers could care less about F&B, the report notes 60 percent of the respondents who identified as business travelers say culinary experiences are important to them while traveling. Of those road warriors, 75 percent classified themselves as culinary travelers.
The World Food Travel Association, headed by Erik Wolf, offers F&B purveyors short and sweet advice on how to appeal culinary travelers’ tastes.
• Offer variety
• Focus on authentic and local experiences
For more information about the World Food Travel Association and the 2016 World Food Monitor, visit www.worldfoodtravel.org