It's way more than just a headcount -- it's market intelligence used by companies to make decisions about what people buy, what they eat, and even what they watch on TV.
Mark Roden owns 48 Subway franchises in Arizona and plans his beverage offerings based on census demographics distilled by third-party market researchers like PopStats or Nielsen Claritas.
When Roden looked at the data, he realized that in west Phoenix, where there is a large Hispanic presence, Fanta would be a big seller. In suburban Tucson, home to a lot of families with children, Hi-C pink lemonade sells well. Populations with a lot of older folks, on the other hand, seem to prefer root beer and Cherry Coke.
Soda selection isn't just a question of regional tastes, but a major revenue driver. Sandwich price points like the $5 Footlong may bring customers into the store, said Roden, "but selling added drinks -- that's where you make the money."
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