According to its 2017 Food and Health Survey, the International Food Information Council (IFIC) has found that consumers are more knowledgeable when it comes to nutrition and food quality, so they are more willing to find foods that align with their values at the cost of convenience and expense.

The six distinct groups of consumers identified by the survey include foodies, pleasure shoppers, diligent searchers, product selectors, unbiased buyers, and indifferent consumers. Foodies are a main driver of food trends, and thus it’s important to understand how they view food.

A foodie is someone who sacrifices convenience and cost in search of a quality product, particularly one that is tasty, healthy, and made in a way that aligns with their personal beliefs. While other groups of consumers view healthy food as part of an important food group, foodies define healthy food as being minimally processed; free from artificial ingredients and additives; and, high in healthy components or nutrients.

According to the IFIC, 60 percent of foodies are able to identify a food or nutrient associated with their most desired health benefit. They are also the least likely to doubt their food decisions when confronted with conflicting nutrition information.

For foodies, taste is incredibly important in food or beverage purchases. Less important is sustainability or packaging.

“As in previous years, the Food and Health Survey has shown us what drives consumers in their food purchasing decisions, but this is the first year we took a look at how foodies distinguish themselves from consumers generally,” says Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling, vice president of research and partnerships at the IFIC Foundation. “Our hope is that by better understanding the attitudes, perceptions, and habits behind consumer behavior, we can work with partners to enhance and develop effective nutrition education strategies.”