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Baby Boomers: Riding the Wave of Diversity

Baby Boomers: Riding the Wave of Diversity

SymphonyIRI's Times & Trends highlights new developments and critical events across all major CPG categories and channels, providing powerful benchmarking data to help guide your strategic decisions. The September 2012 report provides insight into current and emerging trends within the baby boomer marketplace that will enable manufacturers and retailers to develop and execute strategies that align with overall corporate goals while simultaneously addressing the rapidly changing needs of the country’s largest and most influential consumer group ever.


The consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry has been serving baby boomers for several decades now.  CPG marketers have helped boomers start their own households and raise their families.  Now, CPG marketers are working to guide boomers through their golden years.

The good news for CPG marketers:  the rewards of “getting it right” are sweet.  Baby boomers are big spenders, and they invest heavily in CPG products.  They are just entering the golden years, so their impacts on the CPG, retail and healthcare industries will be felt for years to come.  But, getting it right means truly addressing the most pressing needs of millions of shoppers spread across two decades—different life stages, household circumstances, and states of financial and physical health and well being.

It may be challenging to serve such a huge and diverse market segment, but it is certainly not impossible.  Rapidly evolving science and technology is allowing marketers to get to know consumers at a very microscopic level.  They can identify key shoppers and high-potential consumers by studying habits, purchase response and history across CPG channels.  And, they can create highly targeted and customized responses to consumer needs vis-à-vis new product introductions and marketing programs.

Select Findings

The baby boomer market is huge and incredibly diverse.  Despite having substantial spending power, CPG spending by boomers fell during 2010, due to the prolonged economic downturn.  Still, spending by younger boomers has consistently been higher than average throughout the economic downturn.

Total CPG Spending Index
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While the grocery channel holds similar share of spending across older consumer segments, drug and dollar channels demonstrate increasing relevance as consumers age.  Still, the drug channel lost share among boomers during the past year, while dollar and club channel share climbed.  Health-related programs, a broadening assortment of products, and geographical considerations are each playing a role in momentum evidenced by these channels.

Channel Share Indices
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**Download the entire report in pdf format.**

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