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Starbucks vs. McDonald’s Poll February 12, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Food, Lifestyle.
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Would you prefer to live in a place with more McDonald’s or more Starbucks? A new report from the Pew Research Center tells of the results it got when posing that oddball question last October in one of its Social & Demographics Trend surveys. Overall, respondents preferred a place with more McDonald’s (the choice of 43 percent) to one with more Starbucks (35 percent, with the rest declining to choose). As you’d guess, though, the pattern of response differed significantly among different demographic cohorts.

via Starbucks America vs. McDonald’s America.

Age was one sharp dividing line: Among the poll’s 18-29-year-olds, Starbucks beat McDonald’s by 49 percent to 36 percent. McDonald’s had the edge over Starbucks among the 30-49-year-olds (45 percent vs. 37 percent), the 50-64s (43 percent vs. 33 percent) and those 65-plus (48 percent vs. 18 percent). Gender was also a factor. While McDonald’s easily outpolled Starbucks among men (46 percent to 30 percent), it eked out just a one-point win among women (41 percent to 40 percent).

In a breakdown of the data by race and ethnicity, McDonald’s outpointed Starbucks among white respondents (43 percent vs. 35 percent) and, by a much wider margin, among their black counterparts (56 percent vs. 27 percent). Among Hispanic respondents, though, it was nearly a tie, with Starbucks getting 39 percent and McDonald’s 38 percent.

The only one of the survey sample’s income brackets in which Starbucks beat McDonald’s was the $75,000-plus cohort (48 percent vs. 34 percent). McDonald’s had its biggest win among those in the under-$30,000 bracket (51 percent to 28 percent). These numbers dovetail with the breakdown by educational attainment, in which Starbucks won among college graduates (47 percent to 32 percent) while McDonald’s won among those with a high school diploma or less (50 percent to 26 percent). Among respondents with “some college,” McDonald’s had a negligible edge over Starbucks (42 percent to 40 percent).

Regionally, Starbucks had its best showing in the West, where it won by 47 percent to 28 percent. McDonald’s won everywhere else, with its biggest margin of victory coming in the Midwest (49 percent to 30 percent). The obvious caveat is that the regional numbers may reflect the real-life distribution of Starbucks and McDonald’s outlets around the country as well as consumer preference in the abstract.

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