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Must Know Differences Between Millennials and Baby Boomers

Jan 02, 2016

It seems there has been a silence in the marketing landscape between the Boomers and the Millennials. I don’t know if Madison Avenue was feeling a void, a demographic to really grip onto ‘post Boomer’, but it seems when demographics are spoken, you hear either ‘Boomers or Millennials.

If you read my previous post on the Cultural Creatives, then you know I like to focus on values, values that are not limited by demographics of age, sex, financial status, race, etc.

That being said…there are some differences to know about if you are trying to highly target the demographics of the Millennials or the Boomers.

Both the Millennials and Boomers are investing in their health; and prevention and natural health are becoming more and more important to them both.

Madison Avenue has always targeted the 25 – 35 age demographic (the age group of the Millennials), as this group of people are just coming into their own, with their own money, and are at the stage where they are cementing brand loyalty. Get them when they’re young, the thinking goes, and they are yours for life.

Not so fast! Brand loyalty is not that simple anymore.

Baby boomers continue to spend a larger portion of their food and beverage budget on health and wellness. Once looked at as the Silver Tsunami, they continue to be a driving force in health, wellness, and all things pharmacy.

Baby boomers:

  • 45% spend at least 20% on health and wellness
  • 19% spend more than 40%
  • Food wise they plan on adding more seafood, fiber and vitamins, and eating less red meat, salt and processed food.

While their core values have time and time again proven to be:

1.Time saved

2.Life made easy

3.Not to be ripped off

Although, the Millennials are re-sculpting the landscape of how brands can gain their loyal following and how you brand yourself share your message with these groups can be the defining point.

To add to these three very valuable desires and necessities in a brand mentioned above for the Millennials is TRANSPARENCY AND TRUST…which are hardcore values of the cultural creatives.

Historically supplements have been looked at as pills containing vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Advancements in nutrition science has pushed forward our understanding of how nutrition affects health, although when it all comes down to it, standard belief is that people want the benefits.

Times are changing, and people (especially the Millennials) are looking for more.

With the increase in technology and access to information, more information has led to more requests for not just what’s in a supplement, but also the larger story of how the pill is made and where the ingredients are sourced.The operative word here is STORY.

And that’s the take home- Millennials what the WHOLE STORY and are focusing strongly on trust and transparency.

Jeff Hilton, CMO of BrandHive says, “Boomers were OK to hear the story about the benefits of supplements. Millennials want what precedes that and what’s after that -- what made you do that, is there another agenda here, why did you do that, what do you do with the packaging?”

Simply put, Boomers want the core proposition and benefit, while millennials want the complete story -- not just what brands want to tell them.

Through social networks and the power of the Internet, Millennials are able to get that information, or brands will pay the price for their opaqueness- and fortunately, you can use the power of the internet and social media to tell your story and the products which you carry.

Two other Millennial notions set them apart from previous generations, Hilton said.

One is related to the traceability and transparency of ingredients, and that’s the whole-food ingredient movement, which is being driven largely by millennials.

This has opened the door of desire for whole food supplement manufacturer’s such as Rainbow Light, Garden of Life, MegaFood, and practitioner related brands such as Premier Research Laboratories and Innate Response (sister co. of MegaFood)

And beyond whole-food ingredients in pills, a faster-growing area of supplements are nutritional powders, or the “greens” category.

“They love the concept that the nutrients are coming from our fruits and vegetables,” said Hilton. “It plays directly to the millennial audience who wants transparency, wants a source they can understand.

The other millennial challenge for supplement makers is that they are not pill takers. They want nutritional fortification, just not via pills. This opens opportunities for functional foods and beverages as well as for gummies and other alternative delivery formats such as satchels and powders.

“The challenge for supplement makers is new dosage forms -– Millennials won’t put a pill caddy in their backpack,” said Hilton. “So how do you get nutrients in a form they can take along?”

As you can see, as a retailer and practitioner, these are some amazing trends to make sure you are incorporating into your practice. Begin to bring on board some whole food companies, look for alternative forms of supplementation, and ALWAYS OFFER THE STORY- Choose your brands based on this, and readily share it with your customers.