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Younger adults to drive US economic recovery: Report

By Caroline Scott-Thomas , 24-Sep-2010

Younger consumers aged 18 to 29 are likely to play an important role in US economic recovery due to optimism and a willingness to try new things, according to a new report from Packaged Facts.

The report, “Millennials in the US: Trends and Opportunities Surrounding Gen-Y Adults”, found that even though 18- to 29-year-olds – dubbed ‘millenials’ or ‘generation Y’ by many marketers – were hard-hit by the recession, they are less likely to have cut their spending than those in other age brackets.

Publisher of Packaged Facts Don Montuori said: "The older Gen-X consumers are at a 'big-spending' stage of life, while Gen-Y consumers offer a bright note in an otherwise dismal spending picture because throughout the recession they have been more willing than older shoppers to spend more in coming months. Additionally, Gen-Y consumers are at a stage in life where most of the income they earn is likely to be spent.”

In terms of food and drink in particular, the market research organization found that 18- to 29-year-olds are more likely to enjoy trying new drinks than any other age group, and those aged 25 to 29 are most likely to try new food products – even more so than younger adults.

There are 51 million Americans who fall into the 18- to 29-year-old age bracket and they have a combined income of nearly $1trn, according to Packaged Facts, therefore offering “significant opportunities” to marketers.

However, the report notes that consumers in the group are reputed to be notoriously difficult to reach.

“Although they have been bombarded with commercials and ads from their earliest years, Gen-Y consumers are seen as multi-taskers who have learned to filter out and discriminate among the vast number of commercial messages they receive in the course of their lives,” the report said, urging marketers to use creative and experimental strategies to target younger adults.

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