Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Can food preference predict voting tendency?

Some say yes indeed. According to an article in today's New York Times, " If there’s butter and white wine in your refrigerator and Fig Newtons in the cookie jar, you’re likely to vote for Hilary Clinton. Prefer olive oil, Bear Naked granola and a latte to go? You probably like Barack Obama, too. And if you’re leaning toward John McCain, it’s all about kicking back with a bourbon and a stuffed crust pizza. "

There has been a trend in consumer research over the past decade to micro-segment target audiences and to reach beyond demographic information to potentially more telling psychographic data. Pollsters and retailers can tell a lot about consumers by what they buy- it provides a roadmap to potential sales and votes.

"So, for example, Christopher Mann of MSHC Partners, a political communications firm, knows that someone who subscribes to lots of gourmet cooking magazines is more likely to be a Democrat or at least more open to progressive causes. That can help a campaign decide if it’s worth spending money courting that person’s vote. "

However, some issues cross partisan boundaries. Rising food prices affect all of us and might be the tipping point. The question may not be, what do you eat, but for some, can you afford to eat?

For the full story, take a bite and then go out and vote.

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