The Nielsen Co. Reveals Generational Shopping Habits

The Nielsen Company recently analyzed the shopping habits of four key generations (Greatest Generation, Boomers, Gen X and Millennials) to understand generational differences in purchasing practices and gain insights into opportunities for CPG companies.  

Results showed that the Greatest Generation consumers, shaped by the Great Depression and World War II frugality, are the most frequent shoppers and more deal prone than other age segments. Millennials, meanwhile, don’t like to waste time in-store, shopping less than other age groups but buying more per trip as a result.

Millennial and Gen X shoppers favor mass supercenters and mass merchandisers over more traditional formats like grocery or drug stores, which remain a draw for the Greatest Generation as well as Boomers, who also shop club, dollar and convenience/gas channels more frequently.

Nielsen reported that the Greatest Generation is less likely to enjoy shopping than any other age group, yet also the most likely to walk up and down each aisle on a shopping trip, thus extending their time in-store.  As a result, merchandising opportunities to pepper products that appeal to older consumers should be pursued. Millennials enjoy shopping, but are less likely to shop the entire store.  Engaging this “in and out” shopper with products such as music or other in-store entertainments could extend their time in stores and get them to shop more aisles. The Greatest Generation are savvy shoppers, spending most of their online time using email and message boards, providing ready avenues for delivering targeted offers and initiating value-add discussions about health issues and special wellness programs. 

Lastly, Boomers are big spenders who would likely welcome monthly or quarterly cash-back savings programs that reflect spending levels. And, time is a precious commodity for the Gen X group, and child care activity centers or computer kiosks would keep kids engaged while parents shop, The Nielsen Co. reported. 
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