Consumer Insight: Baby Boomers

April 8, 2020
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Life as we know is rapidly changing as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts all generations alike. For Baby Boomers, currently ranging in age from 56-74, the situation sparks questions about their next life stage as many are on the cusp of retirement or recently retired. While an uncertain time for Boomers, the generation is still “booming” through their proactive aging mindset, tech savviness and openness to “new” ingredients such as CBD. Let’s take a look at this numerous, changing and opportunistic generation to see what’s next.


Who Are They?


In the years following World War II, 77 million babies were born in the United States alone, comprising nearly 40% of the American population. The time period is now best known for its “Baby Boom”, economic prosperity, and thriving culture.

Today, many Boomers are still in the workforce, while others are close to or already in their retirement years. But with the COVID-19 pandemic quickly shaking Boomer’s and all generation’s world alike, this age groups’ plans for retirement, financials, and purchasing habits have all been greatly affected.

In our previous consumer insight on Baby Boomers, we discussed the life of Boomers, from their continuous redefining of their culture and existing markets to their pro-aging take on health, value-driven choices and interest in CBD. We’re taking a closer look at new-found insights on this generation to see what has changed and what has stayed true.

Boomer Basics


Born:  1946-1964

Ages in 2020: 56-74

Current Population: About 73 million in U.S.

Size: 2nd largest generational group after Millennials

Sources: Lexington Law, United States Census Bureau

The Boomers are OK


In the past few years, the “Ok, Boomer” meme has gained attention by younger and older generations alike. Created by younger generations, the saying somewhat dismisses Boomers or implies that they may not understand other generations. Though the meme has made waves, Boomers are now more tech savvy and connected than ever before.

  • 90% of baby boomers have a Facebook account | Kasasa

  • 67% of Baby Boomers own a smart phone | Lexington Law

  • More than half of Baby Boomers prefer shopping online than in physical stores | Lexington Law


Though Boomers are entering their senior years, this generation is staying in the workforce longer and are committed to their health and wellness. Focused on staying young through healthy aging and functional boosting products with beneficial ingredients, Boomers provide much opportunity for product developers in this space.
“Though Millennials often garner the most attention, the Baby Boomer generation represents a sizeable portion of the US population, making up more than one fifth in 2019.” -Mintel

“ Brands and businesses often overlook this group of 72 million consumers, but there are plenty of opportunities associated with this vibrant, but aging, population. They are staying in the workforce longer than previous generations, are tech savvy and feel good about the future.” -Mintel

The COVID-19 Impact


The impact of COVID-19 will affect each generation in differing ways. Boomers, who are the most susceptible to the virus will undergo some everyday challenges and changes especially. Boomer’s tech savviness will likely continue to improve as they are forced to embrace and find different ways to grocery shop and connect with friends and family.

Technologies such as online shopping, grocery pick up and video conferencing platforms such as Skype, Facetime, and Zoom may become the norm for boomers as they notice their convenience and benefits.
75% of Boomers have been swapping going to restaurants for grocery shopping as social distancing efforts increase. - Mintel


Proactive Aging is Still a Go


As mentioned in our previous Baby Boomer insight, consumers in this age group have continued to take a proactive approach to aging. Boomers no longer fear old age, yet instead they plan for it by purchasing and consuming products that make them feel, function, and age well. Products that promote health benefits such as eyesight, digestive health, improved energy and mood, cardiovascular and brain function are of interest to Baby Boomers.

Boomers are focusing more on their health and wellness with the realization that they will have longer lifespans than previous generations. According to Mintel, average lifespans in many countries reach 80+.

“Food and drink companies have a long-term opportunity to create products with bone, heart, joint, brain and eye health claims, and products that help consumers remain active and feel healthy as they age.” -Mintel



Products of Note


Healthy Natural Solutions Acai Berry Collagen Shot: Said to support radiant and glowing skin, healthy joints and connective tissues, this product is keto, paleo, and gluten-free friendly. | US
25% of consumers responded that they likely or definitely would buy this product.

Iglo Crispy Pretzel Coated Spinach Sticks: Creamy spinach flavored and rich in vitamin A, this product is said to support normal vision and is free from preservatives. | Austria

NUT-rition Heart Health Power Squares: Nut clusters with brown rice crisps, almonds, cashews and blueberries, this product is low in saturated fat to help reduce risk of heart disease and a good source of fiber. | US

44% of consumers responded that they likely or definitely would buy this product.

Most Valuable Ingredients


Ingredients specific to improving brain and digestive health and reducing inflammation have been increasing in popularity. Some of these ingredients include turmeric and ginger to help reduce inflammation, fiber to improve digestive health and omega 3s, olive and fish oils to help improve brain health.
Products featuring these ingredients could be of interest to Baby Boomers for their healthy aging benefits and functional properties.

Products of Note


Lipton Terrific Turmeric Herbal Tea: Featuring turmeric root, ginger and orange, this product is said to aid in digestion and support joint movement.

45% of consumers responded that they likely or definitely would buy this product.

Quaker Oats Rolled Overnight Oats: This product is described as thick rolled oats made for overnight oat recipes made with 100% whole grain kettle oats which are said to provide a source of fiber and energy.

65% of consumers responded that they likely or definitely would buy this product.

Lemon Blueberry IQ Bar: This lemon blueberry flavored bar is said to contain nutrients for the brain including MCTs, omega-3s, vitamin E and more.

19% of consumers responded that they would definitely or likely buy this product.


Getting Active


As boomers focus on their health and functionality, there is an increased opportunity for products in the sports nutrition space that supplement their commitment to wellness. Sports beverages, snacks and nutritional supplements could provide nutritional benefits to help support their goals. For example, benefits could include improving bone health, providing nutrients, increasing muscle mass or providing energy as these tend to decrease through the aging process.
59% of US adults aged 65 and over say getting exercise is one of the things they are focused on for their health.

66% of US adults aged 65 and older say eating healthy is one of the things they are focused on for their health.

-Mintel

Products of Note


Boost Peaches & Crème Complete Nutritional Drink: Nestle’s complete nutritional drink features a new taste as well as 10g protein and 27 vitamins and minerals. It is said to provide essential nutrients and maintain strong bones. | US

38% of consumers responded that they likely or definitely would buy this product.

Boomer Nutrition Chocolate Flavoured Energy Protein Powder: Designed for consumers over 40 years old, this protein product claims to help slow the ageing process by improving muscle tone, increasing energy, helping raise metabolism and promoting fat loss. | Canada.

Bang Energy Purple Guava Pear Potent Brain and Body Fuel Beverage: Said to be unlike other high sugar energy drinks that spike blood sugar, this product is described as an extreme energy source with branched chain amino acids, creatine and caffeine. | US

27% of consumers responded they likely or definitely would buy this product.


CBD is Boomin'


With increased recreational cannabis legalizations and popularity of CBD around the world, Boomers have maintained a positive perception for CBD. Claimed to treat pain, reduce anxiety, stimulate appetite and more, CBD could be a positive addition to products targeted to boomers who may be dealing with some of these health issues.

Trending Hashtags:


#selfcare
#wellness
#babyboomers
#cbd

Positive Perception:


CBD & Baby Boomer Social posts show 68% positivity, with 42% female voice and 58% male voice.

Source: Infegy Atlas


The Takeaways


Though the world is ever changing, Baby Boomers have stayed true as having a significant influence on the food and beverage industry. As the second largest generation, following Millennials, Boomers largely impact food and beverage trends providing opportunity for developers to follow the footsteps of the health and wellness trend specifically. Senior-focused products to functional ingredients, CBD and more – the generation is full of possibility. A sizeable force, with around 73 million Boomers in the US alone, they are ready for their next life stage and are searching for health-focused great-tasting products that make them function well and feel good. We believe the 2020 pandemic will change this group as well, especially when it comes to the influence of technology on their purchase habits.

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Sources in full report