Redbox Research: Watching Movies at Home Makes You Hungry

New Redbox research finds that watching movies tends to stimulate the appetite.

The retailer, which rents Blu-ray Discs and DVDs through a national network of kiosks and rents and sells digital movies online, says its latest customer surveys found that 72% of Redbox customers paired their movie night with a full meal and 50% grabbed a snack or treat during their film.

The surveys were part of Redbox’s “Back to the Movies” initiative, launched in August 2018 to encourage people to watch movies together, with family or friends. The promotion includes tie-ins with quick-casual or fast-food restaurants and a pledge for consumers to put away their phones, laptops and other electronic distractions and simply share a movie at home with others.

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Redbox claims to host more occasion-based movie nights than any other home-entertainment retailer — several hundred million movie night occasions annually. Redbox kiosks alone account for more transactional home movie nights than iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, and the large cable video on-demand providers.

The company coined the term “at-home concessions” to capture all movie night food-pairing options.

In 2018, Redbox estimates that its customers spent between $3.5 billion and $4 billion on at-home concessions, and projects customers will spend between $14 billion and $17 billion on at-home concessions in the next five years.

The Redbox surveys, conducted in May and June 2019 with more than 1,000 responses, also were used to determine where customers purchased their at-home concessions, and if a Redbox promotion could drive even more sales.

For a one-night free movie promotion (value of $1.75), Redbox found it could influence over 60% of the market by getting customers to switch their original choice for at-home concessions. For example, 41% of the service’s customers would switch from their preferred pizza provider to a Redbox partner, 63% would switch coffee shop loyalty, 74% would switch in the Mexican food category, and a whopping 88% would switch in the burger category.

Redbox provided some share-shift specifics within categories. In the burger category, for example, for a free movie 57% of Burger King loyalists would switch to McDonald’s, 66% to Wendy’s, 43% to Sonic and 47% to Five Guys. In the Mexican food category, 61% would switch from Taco Bell to Chipotle, while 59% would switch the other way.  In the coffee and donut category, 73% would leave Starbucks for Dunkin’ Donuts, while only 59% would go the other way. For pizza, 55% of Pizza Hut customers would leave for Domino’s, 45% for Papa John’s and 39% for Little Caesars.

This summer, Redbox is partnering with meal-delivery service DoorDash to offer customers three free movie nights and free delivery on their first three orders through DoorDash.

“Redbox believes this is a prudent first step to gain valuable data and benefit our customers while we flesh out our partnership strategy in light of all this new data,” said Ash ElDifrawi, chief marketing and customer experience officer at Redbox. “For example, should we create an open marketplace for any restaurants to partner with us, or pick strategic partners in each category to provide them with significant competitive advantage and share gain?”