Marketers shouldn’t risk deprioritizing the over-50s, says Nielsen

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Marketers shouldn’t risk deprioritizing the over-50s, says Nielsen

Related tags Consumer packaged goods Marketing

Marketers traditionally have focused their attention on the under-50s – but over-50s in the United States still have enormous spending power, and food marketers shouldn’t ignore them, says a new report from the Nielsen Company.

Food marketers may be ever more focused on the up-and-coming generation dubbed the Millennials, but the Boomer generation still accounts for about 50% of all consumer packaged goods spending in the United States – and it is only set to increase in the years ahead, says the market research organization.

In a new report, titled “Introducing Boomers: Marketing’s Most Valuable Generation”​, Nielsen says that Boomers – born from 1946 to 1964 – are set to control 70% of disposable income in the US over the next five years, and they are gradually moving from a lifestyle dedicated to making money to one dedicated to spending it.

“There is a presumption that as people age into their late 50’s, they cross some imaginary line into a realm of entirely new, age-driven issues and needs,”​ the report says. “Brands that embrace this notion either stand at the ready to market to the maladies of old age or they “de-prioritize” these consumers as they believe their potential has somehow diminished with age.”

It goes on to say that although some Boomers may indeed fit this description, most are not “diminished or disabled by age” and their consumption habits are similar to those of younger cohorts.

“It is estimated that less than 5% of advertising dollars are targeted to adults 35-64,”​ the report says.

It also challenges some of the preconceptions some marketers may have of older consumers, highlighting that although Millennials may be the earliest adopters of new technologies, Boomers are highly connected, and now account for a third of all social media use.

“The Boomer is a dynamic consumer and a very valuable one. It’s clear that taking their loyalty for granted, or forsaking them for being too loyal or set in their ways, are both risky approaches for marketers.”

The full report is available to download here​.

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