Why Columbus, Ohio, is America’s Test Market

Fast food companies love Columbus, Ohio. It’s the perfect place to test new products because it’s located in the middle of the heartland, and companies believe its residents typify U.S. consumer behavior. For decades, its demographics have mirrored national numbers. The bonus is that it’s a college town, which means there are tons of young customers who are setting trends. The median household income is between $45,000 and $50,000, which means residents are financially able to eat out with increased frequency. Another reason Columbus is the best place to test new products is because advertising there is inexpensive. If launching an advertising campaign is too expensive, no one will hear about the product. Last, but not least, major interstate highways pass through Columbus, which broadens the city’s consumer base. Interstates 70 and 71 go through Columbus, which brings in lots of visitors who might pass through and make a pit stop at fast food restaurants. Bonus…...20 fast food chains are headquartered in Columbus, which makes it easier for companies to test products in their own backyards.