Pitching produce to grandma and grandpa

09/03/2013 05:53:00 PM
Tom Karst

Tom KarstI’m not a grandparent yet, but plenty of our friends and “contemporaries” are. We have one married daughter and two sons in their twenties, so perhaps we will experience that thrill someday.

The Census Bureau has sent out a fact sheet on grandparents, owing to the fast-approaching observance of grandparents day (Sept. 8).

The fact sheet focuses on the reality that many grandparents today are de facto parents; the Census Bureau reports 7 million grandparents in the U.S. had grandchildren under the age of 18 living with them.

I thought the great thing about being a grandparent was the fact you could give the grandkids back to the parents after “spoiling” them for an afternoon or weekend. This "giving back"advantage is apparently not true for many.

Recent statistics show that 2.7 million grandparents are responsible for the basic needs of one or more grandchildren under the age of 18. About 10% ( 7.7 million) of children in the U.S. lived with a grandparent in 2012, according to Census statistics.

Some say that despite their clout, aging baby boomers and seniors are largely ignored by marketers. From web site http://www.comingofage.com/:

A recent report by Nielsen in collaboration with BoomAgers, shows that in five years, 50% of the U.S. population will be 50+. Born before 1965, the baby boomer and senior consumers spend close to 50% of all Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) dollars yet marketers gear less than 5% of advertising towards them. These high potential and lucrative consumers have been largely ignored by online marketers since aging out of the popular 18-49 cohort.

For more detail from that site, check out some of the comingofage.com “learnings” about marketing to boomers.

What does the aging of America mean to produce marketers? How can marketers connect with the boomers and seniors in the most effective way? Here is a list  of “boomer trends” and how to profit from them. Find another paper here about marketing to generations.

For the produce industry, what does this all mean?

I think of strategies such as home delivery, online shopping, new boomer-oriented brands (and varieties) and consumer contests that appeal to nostalgia. Fitness, altruism, and a never give in attitude toward aging all have their appeal, at least in my mind.


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