Functional teas are a real driver for Boomers: Marketing guru


- Last updated on GMT

Success with Boomers – people born from 1946 to 1964 – is dependent on tapping into what they know, with functional teas a particularly hot driver, says marketing guru Jeff Hilton.

Speaking with FoodNavigator-USA at the recent IFT Annual Meeting and Expo, Hilton, chief marketing officer for BrandHive, explained that “in terms of lifestyle and attitudes, boomers are a bit more traditional, they tend to be more solution-driven, which is part of what’s driving the move to condition-specific in a number of categories, they tend to be more brand loyal, more trusting of brands, they tend to be more trusting of traditional advertising and communications."

Boomers still account for about 50% of all consumer packaged goods spending in the United States – and it is only set to increase in the years ahead, according to Nielsen. A report from the market researcher predicted that the demographic will control 70% of disposable income in the US over the next five years.

Hilton said that, for Boomers, they like what they know: “Protein and fiber”​. Protein is going through a huge rejuvenation, he noted, and the attraction for Boomers is partly because they know protein, they know the benefits. Omega’s are the same, he said. “I think they are comfortable ingredients for boomers.

“Functional tea is really a driver for boomers. We grew up with teas. We know teas. We consume teas. So, you add functionality to teas? That makes sense, that’s logical for us.”

On the flip side, Millennials are much less brand loyal, particularly big brands,he said. “They are more niche brand loyal; they are more apt to be looking for products that enhance their lifestyle.”

 “For Millennials, there’s much more openness to innovative ingredients; like coconut water for fitness and activities.”


On the topic of convenience, Hilton said that both groups are looking for it, but they’re driven from a different place.

“Boomers have so much in their lives, so they need something convenient. Millennials are a little bit more ambivalent. If it fits their lifestyle and fits with their agenda then great. If not, then no big deal.” 

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