Agency News

P+N identifies “Fast Food High Rollers” as Next Audience to Disrupt Food and Restaurant Marketing

March 24, 2024

New report shows the higher an American’s income, the more fast food they’re enjoying, creating opportunities to rethink media, messaging and content strategies.

Partners + Napier, a leading integrated creative and media company, has released its newest research report, "Hidden in Plain Sight: Is Fast Food the New Status Symbol?" It sheds light on the 7.95 million real people they’ve named Fast Food High Rollers, and explores what’s motivating them to hit their favorite fast food joints and at what times of day, as well as emerging opportunities for marketers to meet their needs. This is the fourth installment in the Hidden in Plain Sight series, where the Partners + Napier strategy and media teams combine forces to uncover new, high-value audiences across categories.

“A lot of us are back at the office,” says CJ Gaffney, VP, Group Strategy Director at Partners + Napier. “As our work days have shifted, so have our food attitudes. Fast food has become our new ‘not-so-guilty’ pleasure. 80% of the people we spoke to with a household income over $100k are eating fast food at least once a week.”

The report revealed that Fast Food High Rollers are collectors of experiences who view fast food as a sensory one that easily fits into their day. It’s an antidote to monotony, a way to break up the workday, and an indulgent treat. 79% say that while they can afford better, they still love indulging in fast food. 61% say they’d much rather grab fast casual than have a formal business lunch. It doesn’t matter where they’re working. 74% eat fast food to treat themselves on days they're in the office, while 61% indulge in fast food when working from home to get out of the house.

“Because this audience is both image and health conscious, we asked if they’ve ever hidden the fact that they’ve eaten fast food from friends, family or coworkers,” said Greg Smith, Partners + Napier Group Director, Media and Communications Planning. “88% said no. They wear their passion with pride.” There is an opportunity for brands to pair this insight about the Fast Food High Roller audience with a media strategy designed to tap into their ongoing craving for regularly indulgent experiences throughout the workday, and to engage this audience in a deeper, more emotional and culturally relevant way.

Download the full report here