Market Overview

Truffled Mashed Potatoes or Green Bean Casserole? MaxPoint Interest Index Reveals U.S. Cities Most Likely to Dine on Modern Gourmet vs. Traditional Comfort Fare this Thanksgiving


MaxPoint Interactive, the company that helps retailers and brands drive local in-store sales with its innovative Digital Zip® technology, today issued the results of an indexing study that reveals neighborhoods in Atlanta and Oklahoma City as those most interested in gourmet and comfort foods, respectively. This data helps advertisers get the most out of their digital ad spend by targeting Thanksgiving diners with ads that speak to their specific tastes in food, whether it be modern, farm-to-table dishes or classic comfort food.

MaxPoint analyzed offline and online data points—including point-of-sale data and consumption of social media, videos, music, local Web pages and online magazines—to pinpoint the U.S. cities most interested in gourmet and comfort foods. Not surprisingly, the lists look very different.

The top 10 cities interested in gourmet cuisine are:

1.   Atlanta, GA
2. New York, NY
3. Milwaukee, WI
4. Tampa, FL
5. Charleston, SC
6. Lexington, KY
7. Seattle, WA
8. Portland, OR
9. San Antonio, TX
10. Memphis, TN

The top 10 cities interested in comfort foods are:

1.   Oklahoma City, OK
2. Green Bay, WI
3. Grand Rapids, MI
4. Kansas City, MO
5. Little Rock, AR
6. Indianapolis, IN
7. Omaha, NE
8. Burlington, VT
9. Paducah, KY
10. Buffalo, NY

The index data further reveals the specific neighborhoods within each city most interested in different food types. In Atlanta, residents of the Poncey-Highland, Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park and Atkins Park neighborhoods are the most likely buyers of gourmet and fresh ingredients, while residents of Oklahoma City's Tribbey, Maysville, Ninnekah and Farwell neighborhoods are most interested in comfort foods.

Shopper Profiles

The differences between gourmets and “comfort foodies” go beyond location. These diners also differ in their demographics, interests and purchases:

  • Those who can't get enough of gourmet foods and ingredients from local supermarkets and restaurants tend to be between 18 and 35 years of age. They also have college educations or advanced degrees, make between $100,000 and $150,000 per year, and love to research the latest cooking trends and consume ingredients that are rare and expensive.
  • Comfort foodies have college educations or advanced degrees too, but they also have children, make between $40,000 and $60,000 per year, cook for their families using common ingredients, and enjoy the basics, such as macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, meatloaf and spaghetti.

Interest Data in Action

Using the data gleaned from the October Interest Index, MaxPoint implemented hyperlocal digital advertising campaigns, including the following:

  • A premium olive oil brand wanted to increase sales of its products within six to eight miles of select retail locations. Using a combination of online display and video ads, MaxPoint targeted gourmets who over-indexed for consumption of premium olive oil within the desired radius. The brand saw a 20% lift in dollar sales in one major metropolitan city and eliminated 46% of waste by targeting the right audience with the right ads.

“Competition is fierce among retailers, brands and restaurants, and making the most of digital advertising dollars is a priority for every advertiser this holiday season,” commented MaxPoint Interactive COO Gretchen Joyce. “By taking a hyperlocal digital advertising approach and reaching consumers with ads that speak to their specific tastes in food, marketers can make the most of their Thanksgiving campaigns.”

About the MaxPoint Interactive Interest Index

Using its unique Digital Zip technology, MaxPoint Interactive analyzes billions of data points consumed by neighborhoods across the United States such as: offline point-of-sale data, social media, videos, music, local Web pages and online magazines. For the October Interest Index, the company scored each neighborhood across hundreds of online topics related to consumers interested in cooking, including those looking for gourmet ingredients, various types of recipes and advanced cooking techniques. In addition, MaxPoint evaluated neighborhoods' past purchases of gourmet products (e.g., Ghirardelli chocolate, Biscotti Brothers cookies) and comfort foods (e.g., HERSHEY'S chocolate, Keebler crackers).

About MaxPoint Interactive

MaxPoint Interactive's retail advertising platform drives in-store traffic for retailers and brands. The company's Digital Zip® technology delivers the most effective and scalable neighborhood-level online campaigns. MaxPoint can pinpoint qualified customers interested in purchasing a product with more precision than using traditional zip codes, ultimately offering accurate neighborhood-level targeting with national reach and local results. Founded in 2007, MaxPoint has offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Bentonville, Austin and Raleigh-Durham. For more information visit:, follow us on Twitter @maxpoint_int and subscribe to the OnPoint blog.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:

fama PR
Keri Bertolino, 617-986-5007

View Comments and Join the Discussion!