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Not another boomer consumer study

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Truth be told, we were skeptical of consumer research firm IRI’s latest report on baby boomer buying habits. Yes, we know they consume like locusts. We know their ideals fluctuate with the size of their bank account. It’s only been reported … oh, about a million times. But this one’s actually pretty good. And while not specific to advisors, it can tell you quite a bit about your clients’ spending habits. We especially like how they segmented older, middle and younger boomers by the presidents in office when they came of age (Truman, Kennedy and LBJ). According to the report:

  • When consumers age into their 60s, they shop more frequently and a greater share of their total CPG spending is done at smaller format stores, including drug stores and dollar stores, at the expense of grocery, mass and super-centers (except for Wal-Mart greeters). For instance, Truman Boomers make 15 trips to drugstores annually versus 11 trips by LBJs.
  • More than 85 percent of all boomers still make unplanned purchases (they lack impulse control. Who’d have thought?).
  • The propensity to buy private label in food and beverages does not carry over to nonfood categories, including OTC medications (yeah, anyone hear of this whole health care cost control problem we seem to be having?).

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