Mutant Powers in the Aisles: How X-Men '97 Reflects Modern Food Trends

Mutant Powers in the Aisles: How X-Men '97 Reflects Modern Food Trends

Remember those thrilling Saturday mornings with the X-Men? Well, the vibrant comeback of "X-Men '97" isn't just a nostalgic trip down memory lane — for Millennials and Gen Xers their childhood obsession might be shaping their grocery list. Okay okay, correlation doesn't always equal causation—but when it comes to the X-Men, there are some intriguing parallels worth exploring! From unique superfoods to nostalgic snacks, the themes of the X-Men are surprisingly mirrored in what we crave. Let's dive in and discover the unexpected ways pop culture influences modern food trends. 

Drawing on Brightfield Group's robust survey data of 65,000 consumers from 2021 to 2024, with a significant focus on Marvel enthusiasts, we'll uncover how the themes of the X-Men resonate with modern consumer preferences. This analysis goes beyond mere entertainment – it's about understanding what makes this audience tick and offers brands valuable insights into the evolving market.

Supercharged Superfoods

Embracing the Extraordinary

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 Much like the X-Men embrace their unique abilities, Marvel fans are drawn to ingredients that offer extraordinary health benefits. They're seeking out the most potent and unusual options, like seaweed (consumed at a 9% rate compared to just 1.54% of the general population) and elderberry (11% vs. 5.4%). 

Additionally, while Marvel fans and recent X-Men '97 followers generally underindex in most product subcategories, their interest in cognitive health supplements is noteworthy. Consumed at a rate of 8% compared to 6% of the general population, this highlights their focus on mental sharpness and overall well-being. 

Use of Cognitive Health Supplements-1


Need States: Community and Performance Fuel the Fandom 

Finding Your Tribe and Fueling Your Mission

Marvel enthusiasts show a unique profile when it comes to consumer need states, particularly in areas that resonate with superhero narratives such as community and self-improvement:

  • 👫 Community Connection: Like the X-Men, who find strength in their chosen family, Marvel fans over-index in community connection (55% compared to 45%). They seek out brands that foster a sense of belonging.
  • 🏋️ Athletic Performance: With 37% prioritizing athletic performance (compared to 31% of the general population), it's clear these fans are ready for action.
    • Protein Power: This dedication to performance is reflected in their diets. Marvel fans are more likely to reach for protein-rich options like protein cookies (10% vs. 6.81%) and high-protein frozen meals (13% vs. 11.8%) to fuel their active lifestyles.
    • Intermittent Fasting: They also show a preference for disciplined eating patterns, with 19% practicing intermittent fasting compared to 14% of the general population.

These dedicated fans actively seek products that reflect their values. They want to support brands that foster a sense of community, through local events or online forums. They're also interested in products that enhance their athletic performance.

Nostalgia Cravings: Snacks from a Simpler Time

Comfort Foods and the Longing for Connection 

"X-Men '97" taps into a deep well of nostalgia, triggering a desire for familiar comforts of the past. Just as the show rekindles childhood memories, the food preferences of Marvel fans reflect this yearning. Fans overindex in their enjoyment of snacks like popcorn (54% of Marvel fans vs. 41.09% of the broader population) and tortilla and potato chips (64% compared to 52.9%).

Snacks Consumption

These classic snacks may be connected to a deeper need for connection, not just with a beloved cartoon but with simpler times and the sense of togetherness associated with childhood.

Tailored Messaging 

Understanding these nuanced motivations allows brands to tap into the emotional side of these preferences. Messages that focus on shared experiences, community, and the simple joys of the past will resonate more effectively than simply emphasizing a return to childhood favorites.

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Tying Trends Across Profiles

The insights from your data offer a fascinating way to connect consumer trends across personas, needs, and preferences. Consider the juxtaposition of the health-focused mindset seen in some Marvel fans with their surprising tendency toward traditional, 'unhealthy' snacks. This highlights a desire for balance, mirroring the internal conflict between embracing who you are, and striving for something more – themes that are central to the X-men experience.

By highlighting these contradictions, alongside the over-indexing in personas like Self-Focused Savers, you can paint a complex and realistic picture of the modern consumer. This understanding is vital for creating compelling brand strategies that offer not just products, but a sense of belonging and identity, both vital for engaging enthusiastic fan communities.

Data Attribution 

Data analyzed in this post derives from Brightfield Group’s comprehensive surveys involving 65,000 participants from 2021 to 2024, focusing on Marvel Studios fans and "X-Men '97" enthusiasts.


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Updated: 5/15/2024