Consumer Corner: Canadian Baby Boomers - Part 1: Profile of Boomers, Their Food Consumption Habits and Attitudes

 
 
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 Background | Profile of boomers | Overall consumption habits | Health and diet: behaviors and attitudes | Sources of information
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Background

Canadian Baby Boomers- Part 1 and Part 2 are devoted to understand the most significant age group in Canada. The Baby Boomer market segment, while a broad source of market demand, is also the market with the highest purchasing power. Boomers consist of 29% of the Canadian Population. Baby Boomers are different than their parents. They have grown up in a different culture and have formed a unique set of values and ideals. One way that Boomers are different from their parents is by staying longer in the workforce. This generation plans to work as they think it keeps them alive. Baby Boomers are in a major state of change with many moving from family households to empty nester households. Food consumption patterns are also changing with their life stage changes.

Profile of Boomers

Canadian generations
    Generation Y: Age 15 -35, often referred to as Boomers’ kids or Millennial
    Generation X: Age 36-43
    Baby Boomers:
      Back end Boomers: Age 44-55
      Front end Boomers: Age 56-65
    Seniors: Age 65+


Regional distribution of Boomers
Based on the survey sample, a large percentage of Boomers live in Ontario, Western regions and Quebec.



Life stages of Boomers
A majority of Front End Boomers are couples without kids whereas Back End Boomers are families with kids.



Presence of kids
A majority of Boomers do not have kids living with them.



Household income of Boomers
About 50% of boomers have income over $60000.



Overall Consumption Habits

Back End BoomersFront End Boomers
Carry more meals from home, use take-out and restaurant more often than Front End Boomers.Eat more meals that are prepared and eaten in home, which is a behavior that becomes more important with age.
Skip more meals than Front End Boomers.Skip fewer meals and eat less carried from home meals than Back End Boomers.
Use microwave more than Front End Boomers, and use the kettle and coffee-maker more than the following Generation X.Use the stove stop, toaster oven, kettle and coffee maker in more meal occasions than Back End Boomers.

Health and Diet: Behaviours and Attitudes
  • Back end boomers want to please the whole family, in terms of food choices, while experiencing a hectic and rushed lifestyle whereas front end boomers focus on health and nutrition, perhaps as a reaction to changing medical conditions or as a proactive approach to the coming issues.
  • Less than a third of Boomers are very cautious about calories they serve.
  • Well over half check labels for contents to avoid.
  • Almost of all Boomers want to lose weight but without exercise.
  • Boomers are more likely than to be on a diet. More Back End Boomers are on diet as compared to Front End Boomers.
  • Medical conditions are more common amongst Front End Boomers than Back End. The most common condition is high blood pressure.
% of individuals
Index vs. total adults
Reported medical condition
Total Adults
Back End Boomers
Front End Boomers
Seniors
High blood pressure
40.1
83
134
139
High cholesterol
30
109
135
117
Gastro Disorders
16.8
86
90
88
Diabetes -type II
15.8
106
134
128
Food Allergy
13.9
106
42
36
Osteoporosis
10.1
N/R
133
168
Heart Disease
10
N/R
86
203
Bold Items indicate greater consumption than average adult
  • Salt, fat, cholesterol, sugar and carbohydrates are of greater concern for Front End Boomers than Back End Boomers
“A person should be very cautious in serving foods with……………..”

% of respondents agreeing mostly or completely with the statement
Nutrients
Total Adults
Generation X
Back End Boomers
Front End Boomers
Seniors
Salt/Sodium
59.3
53.0
57.4
65.8
69.5
Fat
57.4
51.9
55.4
64.1
69.2
Cholesterol
52.6
46.0
51.7
62.5
63.9
Sugar
40.1
36.9
35.8
47.5
48.2
Carbohydrate
25.1
19.6
25.4
30.2
31.1
Bold Items indicate greater consumption than average adult
  • More Front End Boomers are trying to add fresh fruits and vegetables, reduce cholesterol, and fortify their diet compared to Back End Boomers
“I am trying to eat ……….”

% of respondents agreeing mostly or completely with the statement
Total Adults
Generation X
Back End Boomers
Front End Boomers
Seniors
More fresh fruits and vegetables
73.7
67.7
69.1
77.4
82.9
More Fibre
58.2
48.9
56.1
71.0
72.6
More vitamin fortified foods
24
18.3
22.9
28.1
32.8
More anti-oxidants
34.5
26.4
34.8
43.1
43.0
Less cholesterol
45.8
33
43.5
61.8
68.4
Bold Items indicate greater consumption than average adult

Front End Boomers are more likely to choose items with special labels, particularly those indicating low/no cholesterol, no salt, added artificial sweeteners and all natural ingredients.
Source od Information

The NPD Group report on Canadian Baby Boomers 2010
The primary source of the Baby Boomers Report is based on three different NPD Group services:
  • National Eating Trends (NET) which tracks consumption behavior relating to retail and restaurants
  • CREST Canada which collects information about purchase of prepared food and beverages at restaurants.
  • Health Track Canada which adds attitudes and diet status to NET data base
  • Snack Track, which tracks the consumption and sourcing of snack foods by individuals
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Jeewani Fernando.
This document is maintained by Erminia Guercio.
This information published to the web on March 22, 2011.
Last Reviewed/Revised on January 18, 2013.