Meet the Thoughtful Eater – Is the Chicken Local?


By Max

They eschew Starbucks, buy local, own a juicer and know how to use it, and they don’t see what’s funny – at all – about this Portlandia sketch:

Meet the Thoughtful Eaters, raising the standards for foodies everywhere.

Thoughtful Eaters are young consumers who treat their daily diet as an exercise in health, responsibility and sustainability. You won’t find them at fast food joints, and the only thing carbonated in their refrigerators is sparkling water. Where you will find them is in the organic section of the grocery store, reading labels on boxes and stocking up on fresh fruits and vegetables for their Vitamix smoothies.

Hot topics for Thoughtful Eaters

If you sit down with a Thoughtful Eater for a nice chat over kale juice, a few conversation topics are sure to please. Take some cues from their favorite online publications:

• Food Babe – Vani Deva Hari’s blog in which she investigates the food industry and delves deeply into questions like “Green Juices or Green Smoothies – Which One is Better?” and shares 2-minute travel hacks for “Organic Coffee Anytime Anywhere!”
• 12 Tomatoes – Share recipes from this new cooking and recipe community.
• Juicing Vegetables – A website, YouTube channel and Facebook page devoted to, well, juicing vegetables.
• Mindbodygreen – A health, wellness and nutrition publication that discusses everything from meditation to herbal remedies to beauty product ingredients.

The Thoughtful Eater demographic actively supports green initiatives, cares deeply about the environment, is highly suspicious of GMOs, and deeply cares about social issues, advocacy, and sustainable practices. Name drop Michael Pollan and you’ll fit right in.


Cooking or dining – They do it best

Clearly, Thoughtful Eaters know their way around the supermarket aisles and their own kitchens. Not only are they not afraid to cook, they are eager to do so and love finding new recipes (and their associated health benefits) to share with their friends.

But, they also appreciate fine dining too. More than appreciate – they actively seek it out. These are dedicated connoisseurs. They want the best, know it when they taste it, and actively tell everyone they know when they’ve found it. Restaurants they follow include Commanders Palace in New Orleans, Louisiana, Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, and the chain Seasons 52 (multiple locations, all with seasonal menus and impressive wine lists).


Trends they’re driving

Thoughtful Eaters have been changing the way Americans eat for the past decade. Salads didn’t end up on the McDonald’s menu by accident (and neither did gourmet coffee). This is the work of Thoughtful Eaters, driving trends towards healthier, more mindful living.

Restaurant chains are competing now based not just on the flavor of their food, but how they source their ingredients.
Previously successful brands like McDonalds and Coca-Cola are losing money (and many Americans are, slowly, arguably, losing their taste for junk food).

And, in California, foie gras – fatty goose liver produced by force-feeding birds – was outlawed for several years before being recently overturned.
Thoughtful Eaters have clout. They not only drive sweeping trends – they change laws. Ignore them at your peril, for they are the wave of the future. And that wave is green and made of kale juice.


Find out more

We took a deep dive into the passions and preferences of the Thoughtful Eater demographic – everything you need to know to attract and delight this audience of gourmands. You can download our free, in-depth research here. Bon Appetit!



Topics: Knowledge; Infographic; New Business Pitch