The Great British Chefs Foodie Survey

February 17, 2017

Our Take on Understanding Foodie Consumer Behaviour for Paid Search & Social


When it comes to paid online advertising, one question you may be asking is, which channels should I be investing budget into? The answer comes down to the behaviour of your target audience, or the behaviour change you want to drive.


As consumer behaviour continues to change and evolve with each generation, it’s so important brands and marketers understand their target audience in order to reach them in the most efficient and effective ways.


Truly understanding your audience is a recipe for success, and here we’ll take a look at the results from a recent survey by Great British Chefs, after listening to their webinar on a recent foodie survey.


Great British Chefs ( is a UK-based website dedicated to food lovers, offering recipe inspiration, cooking tips and advice as well as the latest news from the world of food. They’ve built a real community of people passionate about food.

The Survey

Great British Chefs conducted a foodie survey, targeted at their website users and promoted on Twitter, which achieved 5000 responses in the UK, 93% of which stated they either love or really like cooking. Being the most comprehensive survey on foodies in the UK, the results brought to light some really interesting data on these people.

Great British Chef foodie survey

The foodie survey whipped up real treats in terms of insight, including how being passionate about food will determine the ingredients a foodie will buy, where they shop, where they eat out, and even behaviour away from food such as where they go on holiday. In a nutshell, valuable information like this can better inform how you should communicate with your audience, and where they may be more receptive.


Some findings from the survey were that foodies are an adventurous bunch when it comes to cooking and tend to eat, or at least try most things. 80% stated they have no restrictions when it comes to food.


As expected, foodies have been exposed to a more diverse range of cuisines, whether it be from travelling to exotic places or living in a multicultural society, and on the whole, consider themselves better at cooking than their parents.

foodie cupboard essentials

This has a direct impact on the everyday cupboard items with 92% of respondents having soy sauce, 72% having coconut milk and 52% having anchovies in their cupboard stores. Foodies are happy to pay more for quality and regularly source speciality products from farmer markets, butchers and fishmongers.


Out of the 130 different proteins that were included in the survey, findings show that amongst this group, duck is more popular than turkey. 33% of respondents occasionally cook rabbit and 46% occasionally cook venison. Ostrich, crocodile and buffalo were also churned out as being consumed occasionally, indicating that when it comes to exotic proteins, the taste buds of foodies has certainly spiralised out of control!


Foodies also favour cooking meals from scratch rather than opting for ready meals, takeaways and premade sauces (although occasionally find themselves down the local chippy). They also like to make their own jams, pickles, chutneys and curry paste, rather than buying popular brands that are staples in most UK households. Interestingly, a learning from the webinar is that foodies still rely heavily on cookbooks for recipes and inspiration, as well as online food communities like websites and blogs.


Why is all of this information so important for brands and marketers?

It essentially gives you a clearer picture of this audience’s passion points, how this target audience is behaving and therefore how best to reach them.

foodies search for recipes

In the case for foodies, with 88% searching for recipes in cookbooks, 85% using search engines and 70% using food websites, one approach to reaching this audience could be with paid search campaigns as well as using the Google Display Network (GDN) with placement/topic targeting, to have visibility on relevant websites, perhaps with demographic targeting applied should more narrow targeting make sense. Another option could be targeting relevant cookbook titles or foodie site subscribers through Gmail ads, getting relevant eyeballs on your brand or promotion.


Comparing this to social media, 20% stated they use Facebook to search for recipes, 6% use Instagram and 3% use Twitter, meaning in this particular case, perhaps less emphasis should be on providing recipes through social channels. Instead social could be used for trying to engage the community in different ways and for branding. This does all depend on your objectives and target audience of course.


To read more about this, Great British Chefs have summarised the survey results in a downloadable whitepaper, available here. Or take part in a foodie quiz to find out what type of foodie you are here.


Louis Austin, Biddable Account Manager

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