Anatomy of Whole Foods Market Customers in Austin, Texas

We’ve zeroed in on foot traffic at Whole Foods locations in one city, Austin, Texas, to gauge how well the grocer is serving its customer base. 


Customers of your brand aren’t created equal. Your top customer base at one location may differ significantly from top customers at another location. The method in reaching your primary shoppers appropriately is to understand exactly who they are in each of your target markets.  Locate can help you do just that.  For example, we recently performed an analysis of Whole Foods Market locations across the U.S. to understand shifts in customer migration patterns. Next, we’ve zeroed in on foot traffic at Whole Foods locations in one city, Austin, Texas, to gauge how well the grocer is serving its customer base.  Using Locate’s mobile data technology, we geofenced Whole Foods stores in Austin and studied the behavior patterns of mobile devices tagged as Whole Foods customers. Our trade area encompassed 10 minutes for each store based on where the customers were before and after visiting Whole Foods. 

Demographics and Psychographics Tell the Story

We identified four primary types of Whole Foods customers in Austin, defined as Esri LifeMode classifications, or markets that share a common experience. Read more about each of these groups here.
  1. Affluent Estates describe established wealth-educated, well-traveled married couples. They make up about 24% of Whole Foods customers but only 15% of the trade area population. This finding tells us that Affluent Estates customers are over-indexed in Austin. In other words, this top customer base is under-served. 
  2. Ethnic Enclaves are up and coming families and American dreamers with an average yearly income range of 32k to 72k. This group comprises 11% of customers, 6% of the trade area population.
  3. Uptown Individuals, the young city-living singles, are the highest educated market, comprising 11% of customers and 14% of the trade area population.
  4. Middle Ground, a group of millennials who mostly attended college, comprises 10% of customers and 19% of the trade area population. In contrast to our Affluent Estates finding, this is an example of under-indexing. 
Then, we examined the primary Whole Foods customer types further, breaking them down based on psychographics. We identified the top two psychographic groups in Austin to be Boomburbs and Up and Coming Families, followed by Metro Renters and Young and Restless (in Esri terminology): 
  1. Boomburbs make up 11% of Whole Foods customers and 6% of the trade area population. They represent a new growth market, resembling the original group of young professionals with families who prefer newer suburban housing. 
  2. Up and Coming Families comprise 8.5% of customers, 3% of the trade area population. This is a transitional market with residents who are younger, more mobile than the previous generation, as well as ambitious and motivated. 
  3. Metro Renters comprise 8% of customers, 11% of the trade area population. This is a highly mobile and educated group including people who either live alone or with a roommate in an older building or condo, often located in a city’s urban center. 
  4. Young and Restless comprise 4% of customers, 11% of the trade area population. They are young, well-educated, and generally work in specific professionals, like sales or office-related jobs. 
Our analysis reveals that Whole Foods locations in Austin are over-indexing in the top two psychographic segments. Ergo, the grocer could be serving its top customer base more effectively.

How You Can Know Your Customers at Every Location

Armed with the type of customer data presented here, retailers can open new stores in locations that have dense pockets of consumers with an affinity for their brand and make informed decisions about markets where they’re over-indexing. Locate is the only tech-enabled brokerage leveraging millions of mobile devices to help retailers determine sites with confidence.  

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