Fruits And Vegetables Spell Out 2018 In Honor Of Eating Healthy This Year
A Young Woman Eats Granola After Working Out
A Young Man In Supermarket Comparing Bottles Of Oil
A Five Guys Burger Oozing With Cheese
Subway's Iconic Sign Is Shown Outside A Restaurant
New Year, New Me

I’m currently two weeks and three workouts into my somewhat disappointing New Year’s resolution. And while I may not have rock-hard abs quite yet, it’s still better than the way I treated my body over the holidays. This got me thinking, if my behavior is at all indicative of the general public, then the two weeks to end the year and the two weeks to start the year may just be the most diametrically opposed weeks of the year in terms of consumer habits.

So I dug in, and here’s what I found.

The obvious

Gym visitation goes way up to start the near year! When looking at Sense360 data I saw a nearly 25 percent increase in gym visits from the last two weeks of 2017 to the first two weeks of 2018. I was curious if our “Healthy and Wealthy” persona would show a greater spike in gym visitation but 25 percent was the magic number for them too. However, while everyone increased gym visitation by 25 percent, “Healthy and Wealthy” guests went to the gym 70 percent more than the general public to begin with.

The Intuitive

Many folks have time off in December. And what else is there to do with your free time than eat? Apparently nothing, because food service visitation dipped across all verticals from the end of 2017 to the beginning of 2018. The biggest dip came from grocery shopping, followed by family dining and frozen desserts. The drop in grocery is driven by a significant spike in grocery shopping just before Christmas.

The Ham

In terms of fast casual brands, there are a few brands that saw significant upticks in market share from the end of the year to the beginning of the year, and some that saw the inverse behavior. Notable declines came from Five Guys and Honeybaked Ham, with both brands losing about 50 basis points of their fast casual market share from end of December to beginning of January. While the two more indulgent brands saw a decline, some brands that are often considered healthier showed up on the winners list. Notable increases came from Chipotle, Einstein Bros Bagels, and Jimmy John’s, with all three increasing share by 24-36 basis points.

The Donald

Subway was by far the biggest gainer in quick service to start the year, increasing quick-service market share by 50 basis points. McDonald’s—on the other hand—saw the largest decline in January. They lost 60 basis points to start the year. It is rare these days to see McDonald’s on the naughty list of any quick-service metrics, so it was surprising to see a decline for the golden arches to start the year. All that said, last year we saw a similar start to the year for McDonald’s, followed by nearly 12 months of consistent market-share increase. So this is very likely a seasonal trend, but one worth keeping an eye on nonetheless.

Friends vs. Family

Likely a result of the shift from family bonding time in December, to workplace Happy Hours in January, Cracker Barrel saw the largest decline in market share among full-service brands (37 bps) to start the year, while Chili’s saw the largest increase (36 bps). And it’s worth noting that Applebee’s saw the second largest increase in market share among full service (30 bps), likely driven by their endless riblets and tenders.

Hit the gym

That’s all I’ve got. Now I’m going to head over to Applebee’s for endless riblets. .. and then I swear I’ll hit the gym. 

Mike Renan is Head of Partner Development for Sense360, and is the glue that holds the team together, doing all things related to business, operations, and marketing. Prior to joining Sense360, Mikey served as Product Manager for Thinknear. He holds a BA from Northwestern University.

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