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Generation Xers are more frugal than baby boomers and seniors, says SymphonyIRI

By Elaine WATSON , 07-Nov-2012
Last updated on 07-Nov-2012 at 15:08 GMT

Shoppers in Generation X (aged 35-44) are more frugal than baby boomers and seniors - but not quite as miserly as Millennials (aged 18-34), according to new research conducted by SymphonyIRI.

Susan Viamari, editor of Times & Trends, SymphonyIRI, said: “Sandwiched between baby boomers and millennials, Gen-Xers are sometimes referred to as the ‘ignored generation.’

“However, these consumers have well-established careers and families, and their spending power should not be overlooked by CPG retailers and manufacturers.”

Financial optimistic, but still cost conscious…

According to the market researcher’s latest MarketPulse survey, even though Gen-Xers are actually more financially optimistic than their parents, they are very cost conscious and careful about their purchases, says the report:

  • 37% of Gen Xers buy brands that are on sale rather than their preferred brands versus 45% of Millennials, 27% of boomers and 22% of seniors
  • 32% of Gen Xers select products to create more meals at the lowest cost possible versus 39% of Millennials, 27% of boomers and 19% of seniors
  • 33% of Gen Xers choose products based on loyalty card discounts versus 35% of Millennials, 25% of boomers and 16% of seniors
  • 20% of Gen Xers steer clear of certain aisles to avoid unplanned purchases versus 22% of Millennials, 15% of boomers and 11% of seniors

Bleak inheritance?

Gen-Xers graduated from college after the 1987 stock market crash and the recession that followed, leaving many jobless and living with their parents, says the report.

“This somewhat bleak inheritance shaped their future financial attitudes and shopping behaviors much like The Great Recession has influenced Millennials.”

Web-savvy

While Millennials are often touted as the most tech-savvy generation, Gen Xers are almost as wired, claims the report.

  • 55% download recipes off websites and other online sources
  • 52% download coupons from manufacturer websites
  • 51% download coupons from retailer websites
  • 51% download coupons from couponing sites, such as SmartSource
  • 38% research products online
  • 35% visit deal sites, such as Woot and Groupon
  • 31% use social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, to get coupons
  • 23% look for updates from retailers/manufacturers via email/text message
  • 18% research products on blogs
  • 7% purchase groceries online and have them delivered

Check out FoodNavigator-USA's new series of articles exploring how product developers and marketers can get closer to Millennials:

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Datamonitor: Millennials have a love-hate relationship with private labels…

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