Bellevue, WA — Retailers marketing and merchandising to baby boomers — about 35 percent of the U.S. population — should focus on smaller portions, healthy ingredients, and individuals in their home environment, according to research conducted by The Hartman Group.
Data from a survey of 33,000 adults older than age 18 suggest consumers 55 years old and older associate healthy living with improved quality of life as they age, and they are focused on weight management. As a result, they are concerned about nutrition and avoid processed foods and certain fats and sweeteners, Hartman claims in its white paper “Understanding Today’s Aging Consumers.” Consequently, they shop for perceived “healthier” foods at specialty retailers and the ethnic and gourmet sections of local supermarkets. They experiment with new cuisines and flavors and premium foods and healthier versions of classic American meals.
Eighty-one percent of boomers eat at home, whether alone or when entertaining; restaurant visits are perceived as an indulgence. Ingredients are purchased from a variety of retail sources, and might include prepared foods from grocery stores or restaurant carryout.
Compared with adults between the ages of 18 and 54 years, this group is more likely to select foods with perceived health benefits: high in protein, fiber, whole grains and probiotics and lower in calories, fats and carbohydrates. Younger adults are more inclined than those older than age 55 to eat cheaper staples and processed snacks, spend less overall on food and select items that are convenient.