What makes Baby Boomers tick in 2024? For starters, research suggests today’s senior citizens are more tech savvy than many assume.
But let’s backtrack. First, here’s an overview of the influential generation of consumers: Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are the second largest demographic cohort (71.6 million) after Millennials at 72.1 million, yet they control more than half of the nation’s wealth, according to the Federal Reserve.
Modern senior citizens are more tech savvy than the families they grew up watching on TV, like “The Beverly Hillbillies.” Today, seven in 10 Americans above the age of 50 own a smartphone and nine in 10 own either a computer, according to Statista. Daily mobile time has increased 2.8 times since 2013, hovering at 2 and a half hours in 2023, per Insider Intelligence.
Marketers would be well-advised to give their digital plans a check-up if marketing to Boomers.
Baby Boomers’ brands
Canned soup, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, American Cheese slices, Jell-O, frozen dinners, and canned fruit are foods that still find favor with Boomers but lack popularity with Millennials, according to healthmakesyou.com.
The broader health trend that has raised awareness of the benefits of fresh, locally grown food combined with plant-based protein is impacting all generations’ taste, with Boomers being no exception. Boomers are taking a proactive approach to aging by making ingredients like turmeric, omega-3s, protein, fish oil, and vitamin D that support brain, bone, digestive health, and immunity popular. Social media has made it possible for consumers to share experiences with new products and brands, as well as advice on what foods to eat or avoid, via social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, as CNBC noted.
Reaching Baby Boomers via digital marketing
Boomers’ food choices are impacted by technology more today than ever before.
Baby Boomers are on their smartphones 5 hours a day compared with Millennials’ 5.5 per day, according to Forbes. They regularly engage with social media platforms with 35% of Boomers using them to discover new brand. Additionally, it’s estimated that 22 million consumers 55+ will purchase on social media in 2024, according to Insider Intelligence.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube all are popular amongst today’s seniors. While it may be true that social media purchases occur at a much lower level amongst Boomers, the high level of engagement makes it a prime opportunity for building brand awareness and consideration.
Activating with social media
Brands targeting Boomers should incorporate ways to deliver on brand reputation to build a sense of trust, which is the top factor when it comes to purchasing a brand across all generations but even more so for Boomers, Forbes wrote.
Some methods to deliver on trust include emphasizing high levels of quality, technical superiority, heritage, and using authentic, clear language (no marketing speak). A great way to test that messaging is producing trust is A/B testing using social media.
The Food Institute Podcast
It appears plant-based products have hit a bit of a lull in the U.S., but what’s next for the sector on the whole? David Benzaquen of Mission: Plant and Moonshot Collaborative breaks down the demographics of plant-based eating, common health attributes consumers are looking for, and where the sector could be headed in the future.