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Boomers, Millennials seek different healthy foods: Survey

While both Millennials and Baby Boomers share an interest in health and wellness products, the age groups differ in the ways they shop, and the specific foods and product attributes they seek, according to a consumer survey by AlixPartners.

It found that Baby Boomers spend a larger percentage of their grocery budget on health and wellness products than Millennials, with 45% of those aged 65 and older spending at least 20%, and 19% spending more than 40% on healthy foods and beverages.

Additionally, Baby Boomers appear willing to pay more substantial premiums than Millennials for health and wellness attributes that seem more important to Millennials than they are for Baby Boomers, according to AlixPartners.

At a time when food retailers are honing in on Millennials, Baby Boomers also present significant opportunities, especially for traditional supermarkets.

“Baby Boomers are more traditional shoppers in terms of the channels they select and the loyalty they have to certain channels,” David Garfield, managing director and consumer products practice leader at AlixPartners, told SN. “While Millennials are more channel surfers in purchasing products from more than one channel based on characteristics of the channel or banner or retail outlet.”

One way to attract health-minded consumers is with a strong private label program, noted Garfield, since nearly one-quarter of all consumers surveyed said they often choose a store based on its private label program and nearly two in three do so some of the time.


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Assortment is also key. Baby Boomer report plans to add more seafood, fiber and vitamins to their diet and reduce consumption of red meat, salt and processed food. And products with “unhealthy” things taken out of them, such as those making low carb, trans-fat free, sugar free and non-GMO claims, were cited as most important to Baby Boomers.

Millennials, on the other hand, reported plans to add more protein to their diets, count calories and reduce their consumption of fast food, and place greater importance on “all-natural” and “organic” attributes than Baby Boomers (28% vs. 19% and 44% vs. 29%, respectively.)

“Taste” was also found to be more important to Baby Boomers than Millennials with 44% deeming it an important attribute, vs. 29% of their younger counterparts.

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