Nielsen: Shopping Habits by Generation

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Nielsen: Shopping Habits by Generation

03/07/2010
NEW YORK -- The Nielsen Co., parent of Convenience Store News, analyzed the shopping habits of four key generations -- Greatest Generation, Boomers, Gen X and Millennials. Understanding these generational differences reveals opportunities for both CPG companies and retailers. For example, the study found Boomer and Greatest Generation shop club, dollar and convenience stores/gas channels more frequently. Also, Greatest Generation consumers, shaped by the Great Depression and World War II frugality, are the most frequent shoppers and more deal-prone than other age segments, according to Nielsen.

The study also found Millennials don't like to waste time in-store, and shop less than other age groups by buying more per trip as a result, and both Millennial and Gen X shoppers favor mass supercenters and mass merchandisers over more traditional formats like grocery or drug stores, which remain a draw for the Greatest Generation and Boomers.

Findings and advice for CPG companies and retailers include:

-- Greatest Generation is less likely to enjoy shopping than any other age cohort -- yet also the most likely to walk up and down each aisle on a shopping trip, thus extending their time in-store. As a result, merchandising opportunities to pepper products that appeal to older consumers should be pursued.

-- Millennials enjoy shopping, but are less likely to shop the entire store. Engaging this "in and out" shopper with products such as music or other in-store entertainments could extend their time in stores and get them to shop more aisles.

-- Boomers are big spenders who would likely welcome monthly or quarterly cash-back savings programs that reflect spending levels.

-- Time is a precious commodity for the Gen X group, and child-care activity centers or computer kiosks would keep kids engaged while parents shop.

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