How to cash in on the census

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.

1 of 6
BACKNEXT
What's on the menu -- Subway
What's on the menu -- Subway
You can order a meatball sub at any Subway store in the country, but you can't necessarily order the same drink. The line-up at the soda fountain can vary by zip code -- and that's thanks to census data.

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."


NEXT: What you watch -- Telemundo
Last updated March 16 2010: 5:24 PM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
17 cool gadgets that tease the future Smart telescopes, surveillance for dogs, an electric roadster and more from CES 2018. More
These 12 airplane beds let you really sleep on a flight For the price of a premium class ticket, you may just get a space that's comfortable, private, and quiet enough to ensure a good rest. More
CES 2018 kicks off with oddball gadgets The biggest tech show of the year opened with a collection of quirky gadgets. More

Special Offer