Direct Marketers Find Success With This Savory Demographic
Edited By Kate Mason
They'd rather stay in on a Saturday night and try a new Manchurian pork and zucchini dumpling recipe they've recently read about in their favorite culinary magazine.
They know the difference between a cassoulet and a casserole, and they'd even travel 100 miles out of their way in search of the perfect cabernet for their next dinner party.
Who are they? They're gourmet cooking enthusiasts—and, as a group they have enough discretionary income to whet direct marketers' appetites.
The Cooking Crowd
"Gourmet cooking is a hobby shared by the affluent," declares Randi Moriarty, senior client representative from The Millard Group. "These people are definitely upscale, and are interested in surrounding themselves with anything that is similarly upscale."
The average epicurean enthusiast is interested in preparing exotic, hard-to-find (and often, hard-to-
pronounce) cuisine—and has the discretionary income to support this hobby.
For example, the median household income of a Food & Wine Magazine subscriber is $112,400.
"These people have the money and time to spend on their hobby," says Allison O'Neil, sales manager for The Lake Group. "They're also homeowners who are educated and entertain at home. As you can imagine, the usage with these lists is excellent."
What's Out There?
There are multiple lists and media for marketers to choose from to reach this desirable demographic.
One major source is the diverse selection of subscriber lists for the most popular cooking, food and wine magazines.
For example, the typical Saveur magazine subscriber is a married woman in her 40s with an average household income of $86,780. She is interested in anything to do with food, wine, travel and adventure.
Similarly, the popular Cook's Illustrated magazine boasts a mostly female subscriber list, with an average age of 45 and an average income of $75,000.
For both Saveur and Cook's Illustrated subscribers, mid-priced offers would likely get the best response.
In contrast, Food & Wine Magazine boasts a more exclusive subscriber base. Its readership is more evenly split genderwise, and 77 percent of it consists of college graduates. The average net worth of subscribers is an impressive $908,700.
"This list is very popular with many types of mailers," says Moriarty, who manages the subscriber list for The Millard Group. "High-end mailers find this particular group to be responsive to many, many offers."
Bon Appetit readers are another well-to-do audience attractive to marketers. The average net worth of these people is $414,835. Their average age is 49, and 70 percent are women.
Several catalog lists also are available to reach this target market. Among them is Gourmet Marketplace, a catalog of hard-to-find gourmet food items, recipes and entertainment tips. Also available: several book club memberships with cooking selects.
What They'll Buy
This group frequently is targeted for specialty items associated with their hobby, such as high-end cookware, silverware, accessories and food items. For example, retail-catalog giants Williams-Sonoma and Crate & Barrel are two mailers that might want to target this audience.
In addition, sellers of other related products have recognized this market's profit potential. "Publications—both regional and national—are doing well marketing to this group, as are membership clubs, such as books, wines and specialty items like the Gevalia catalog and gifts," says Moriarty.
And due to the affluence of the majority of the people in this group, investment and banking services have found success targeting this demographic, as well.
Marketers of the following types of products and services also might be interested in this target demographic: