A study of 2,000 Americans examined the rise of the foodie phenomenon and found that 62 percent would go to an event just for the food.
It turns out that food plays a major role in helping Americans decide whether or not to attend an event or social gathering.
Seventy-seven percent say food is important when attending any public event.
And food is the second top consideration for people when choosing which events to attend, ranking above the quality of the performers or speakers and who else is attending.
With food being top of mind for Americans, it’s no wonder that 66 percent remember a bad meal they’ve had at an event — with 56 percent revealing they would never be willing to go back to an event that served bad food.
On the other hand, 80 percent say they’re more likely to go back to an event that served good food.
In fact, a whopping 74 percent would make sure to show up to an event if they knew the food served was going to be good.
Sixty-six percent revealed they would make sure to arrive early to an event if they thought the food might run out early — with the average early arrival coming in at more than 25 minutes prior to the actual start time.
When it comes to the types of food-related events Americans are interested in attending, over half (52 percent) said they enjoy attending food festivals where they can try many types of food, while a further 46 percent enjoy a food truck gathering as a way to get a taste of different foods. Forty-four percent say they usually discover new foods and restaurants at events and festivals.
Adele Maynes, Head of Anthropological Research for Eventbrite, stated, “Food has been a powerful cultural connector for decades. Now, we’re seeing a focus on trying delicious, unique foods at events of all kinds. Whether at a bustling food festival or an intimate pop-up chef’s dinner, foodies are seeking out experiences they can share with their friends and family.”
For Americans, food is a community affair. Fifty-five percent say their friends look to them for food recommendations, and 44 percent definitely prefer trying new foods with their community instead of eating alone.
A majority (60 percent) said they would put up with a long line for food to try something new. Other reasons for standing in long lines to get their hands on the trendiest treats include out of curiosity (54 percent), simply because they want to eat it (44 percent) and to share the experience with friends and family (37 percent).
However, standing in line isn’t always worth it when it comes to trendy food. Nearly half (48 percent) of those surveyed revealed that they have been disappointed by a trendy treat after waiting in line.
For some, waiting in line is worth it for the photos they can share online. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed have taken a picture of their food — with a quarter (26 percent) also posting a food photo on social media in the last month. Forty-five percent reveal that their food actually tastes better after they’ve taken a picture of it.
Adele Maynes, Head of Anthropological Research for Eventbrite, stated, “Foodies have risen the bar at all types of experiences. It’s not just the food festivals that people expect delectable bites at. From conferences to half marathons, food and drink is a part of the package now. The events that surprise and delight their attendees with unique flavors and combinations will see the most success in the years to come.”
Americans are opening their horizons — and their mouths. Forty-eight percent of those studied have tried or want to try bee pollen. Thirty-seven percent have already tried or want to try coffee beer while a further 34 percent have tried or want to try drinking collagen.
TOP 10 FOODS AMERICANS WANT TO TRY BUT HAVEN’T YET
Rolled ice cream 22%
CBD infusions 21%
Avocado toast 21%
Chickpea pasta 21%
Artisanal doughnuts 20%
Forbidden rice 20%
Smoothie bowl 20%
TOP 5 REASONS TO WAIT IN LINE FOR TRENDY FOOD
To try something new 60%
To see what it tastes like 59%
Out of curiosity 54%
Because I want to eat it 44%
To share an experience with friends and/or family 37%
TOP 5 FOOD-RELATED EVENTS PEOPLE WOULD LIKE TO ATTEND
Broad food festival (where I can try many types of food) 52%
Food truck gathering 46%
Cooking demonstration from chef 41%
A farm-to-table meal 41%
TOP 5 REASONS TO ATTEND A FOOD EVENT OR FESTIVAL
To try something new (for the novelty of it) 70%
For the taste 65%
For the shared experience with others 55%
To find a new food (to tell family and friends about) 51%
To take a picture and share to social media 21%