Younger Boomers Outspend Older Boomers, Seniors On CPG

September 18, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | CPG & FMCG | Pharma & Healthcare | Retail & E-Commerce

Younger Baby Boomers (Americans born between 1956 and 1964) outspend older boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) on consumer packaged goods (CPG), according to [download page] September 2012 findings from SymphonyIRI. Younger boomers are outspending older boomers by nearly 10% in 2012 (index scores of 108 and 101, respectively), and are outspending more senior Americans (born 1925-1945) by an even greater amount (108 vs. 93).

Boomers’ CPG spending declined in 2010, though cuts by younger boomers were slightly less than those made by older boomers (2.3% vs. 2.7%). By contrast, the average shopper’s CPG spending decreased by 1.5% during the same year. CPG spending by baby boomers has rebounded, though, and is up this year by 0.5% for younger boomers and 1.4% for older boomers.

Boomers represent 44% of the US population, but hold 70% of US disposable income and buy 49% of total CPG, according to an August 2012 report by Nielsen and BoomAgers. In fact, Boomers dominate purchases in 119 of 123 CPG categories, and have the money to spend: despite the economic downturn, 63% still have at least one person in the household working full time.

Baby Boomer CPG Spending Varies By Product, Channel Type

Data from SymphonyIRI’s “Baby Boomers: Riding the Wave of Diversity” indicates that among baby boomers’ CPG shopping channels, drug channel spending rises with age. Based on share of dollar sales this year, younger boomers show below-average spending (index score of 87) on this channel, versus 98 for older boomers and 111 for seniors. The dollar channel demonstrates a similar pattern.

Conversely, supercenter share of spending declines sharply with age, with each bracket below the average. Younger boomers have an index score of 80, falling to 61 for older boomers and just 49 for seniors.

The consumer population as a whole spends 5.6% of its CPG dollars on healthcare. Healthcare spending by younger boomers is slightly lower at 5.1%, while older boomers allocate 6.5% of their CPG dollars to the category. Spending by older boomers is above-average in 70% of healthcare categories, and well above-average in categories such as home health kits and anti-smoking products (indexing at 161 and 152, respectively).

Conversely, their spending on beauty and personal care is far lower, with average spending on sanitary napkins/tampons, shampoo and deodorant (3 of the 10 largest beauty/personal care categories) far lower among older boomers than among their younger counterparts.

Baby Boomer Spending on Private Labels on Par With Average

Younger boomers are right around the average when it comes to spending on private label products, with an index score of 99 (compared to the average of 100). Older boomers are similarly on par with the average (with a score of 98), while seniors spend slightly more than average on private label products (103).

Among the various channels, private label share of spending by boomers is highest at drug stores.

About The Data: Findings compiled based on information from SymphonyIRI Consumer Networkâ„¢ and SymphonyIRI MedProfiler XI for the 52-week period ending July 22 2012.

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