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In today’s rapidly-changing economic and media environment, many companies are chasing to keep up with the Millennial generation, introducing apps and tweaking ingredients to appeal to their tastes.
But recent studies show they shouldn’t move so quickly as to leave the Boomer generation behind. Millennials and Boomers make up almost equal parts of the population at about 75 million each. Even beyond that, Boomers account for 49 percent of all spending on consumer packaged goods (CPG), valued at approximately $230 billion, and dominate almost every category, according to Nielsen. By 2017 half of Americans will be 50 or older, and are projected to account for 70 percent of total disposable income.
Clearly, this is a generation that can’t be ignored. And the International Food Information Council's (IFIC) 2016 Food and Health Survey sought out the differences in the Boomer and Millennial generations in their perceptions of healthy eating. Among its findings:
- Boomers view moderation and portion size as more important than the general population (32 percent vs. 22 percent)
- Boomers were also more likely to define healthy eating as including certain foods (30 percent) than Millennials (17 percent)
- Many of those foods considered “healthy” by a large percentage of Boomers are not held in the same esteem by Millennials, including whole grains (80 percent vs. 70 percent), protein from plant sources (75 percent vs. 63 percent), and omega-3 fatty acids (71 percent vs. 59 percent).
- Even beyond particular food types, Boomers are more interested than the general population in the health benefits of foods, particularly weight loss, healthy aging, and bone health
- When it comes to whom they turn to for information on what to eat, Boomers are more likely than Millennials to trust traditional experts like healthcare professionals (73 percent vs. 58 percent) than less conventional sources like bloggers (8 percent vs. 18 percent)