Consumer Corner: Canadian Baby Boomers - Part 2: Consumption Habits of Boomers by Meal Occasions

 
 
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 Background | Canadian generations | Consumption habits of boomers by meal occasions | How has consumption changed since 2001? | Source of information

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 ideas. 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.

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+

Consumption Habits of Boomers by Meal Occasions

Breakfast
  • The number of in-home breakfast increase with age.
  • Compared to 2001, in 2010, Front End Boomers are eating more breakfast meals away from home.
  • Ready to eat (RTE) cereal is the top breakfast food for Back End Boomers, but becomes second choice for Front. End Boomers. Front End Boomers eat more toast, fruits, eggs, hot cereal, yogurt and bacon.
Back End BoomersFront End BoomersSeniors
RET Cereal
92.2
Toasted Bread
100.4
Toasted Bread
123.8
Toasted Bread
75.1
RTE Cereal
90.5
RTE Cereal
121.8
Fruit
43.8
Fruit
51.4
Fruit
80.7
Eggs
23.7
Eggs
29.1
Hot Cereal
48.3
Hot Cereal
21.7
Hot Cereal
26.6
Eggs
30
Sandwiches
15.2
Yogurt
15.2
Sandwiches
17.6
Yogurt
12.5
Sandwiches
13.1
Non-Toasted Bread
16.3
Bagels
9.6
Bacon
10.6
Yogurt
11
Bacon
8.7
Non-Toasted Bread
9.5
Bacon
7.3
Non-toasted Bread
7
Bagels
7.8
Muffins
6.5
  • At in-home breakfast, coffee, juice and tea consumption increases with age while consumption of milk decreases.
  • At breakfast consumed Away From Home, Front End Boomers are more likely to eat bacon, eggs, and potatoes and bread while Back End Boomers eat more sandwiches and sweet baked goods.
  • At breakfast, Front End Boomers are more likely than Back End Boomers to consume items with special labels indicating “all natural”, “cholesterol free”, “low fat” and artificial sweeteners.
  • Boomers who eat RTE Cereal pay more attention to special labels at breakfast, such as “low fat/ diet/ light”, “whole grain” and “vitamins added”.
Lunch
  • Front End Boomers eat almost 10% more in-home lunches than Back End Boomers and the number of lunch meals prepared and eaten in-home increases with age.
  • Sandwiches dominate the in-home lunch. Soup and fruit show a considerable increase in consumption moving from Back End to Front End Boomers.
  • In carried-from-home lunches, Back End Boomers are more likely than Front End to bring healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, yogurt and salads.
  • Per capita consumption of tea, coffee, milk and carbonated soft drinks at lunch jumps for the Front End Boomers compared to the Back End Boomers.
  • Adults are drinking milk less often at lunch in 2010 compared to individuals of the same age in 2001.
  • Special labels addressing fat content are the leading special labels appearing at lunch.
Dinner
  • The share of dinners that are prepared and eaten in-home is about the same for all Boomers, and increases for seniors.
  • As restaurant importance is weakens among boomers, eating more Home Meal Replacement (HMR) tend to increase.
  • The number of dinner meals prepared and eaten in-home increases slightly with age, while away-from-home dinners decline.
  • When preparing a weekday evening meal, taste and nutrition are most important.
  • Dessert share of meal occasions tend to increase amongst Boomers, and especially seniors.
  • Combination Dishes and Pasta are eaten more often at dinner by Back End Boomers. The protein choice at dinner for Boomers is chicken, but is replaced by beef for seniors.
  • Front End Boomers and seniors eat more vegetables and potatoes as side dishes at dinner, compared to Back End Boomers.
  • When away-from-home, Boomers show some indulgence in ‘fast food’ in addition to eating vegetables and salads.
  • Boomers, especially Front End like dessert. Yogurt as a dessert is growing amongst both boomers and seniors.
Snacking
  • Boomers eat the most snacks.
  • In-home snacking increase with age, while away-from-home snack decreases.
  • Front End Boomers snack on more fruits, yogurt and nuts.
  • Older consumers, not surprising, are more concerned about healthy snacks.
  • Back End Boomers are more likely to choose better for you snacks, such as fruit and yogurt when snacking at work.
  • Morning snacking decreases while evening snacking increases with age.
  • Supermarkets, discount and club stores are the most important sources of snacks for boomers.
How Has Consumption Changed Since 2001?

Compared to 2001, Boomers are….
  • Eating more better-for-you foods, such as yogurt, RTE cereal, hot cereal, fish and vegetables.
  • Eating fewer family friendly, less nutritious foods, such as waffles, pancakes, hot dogs and French fries.
Source of 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 July 29, 2011.
Last Reviewed/Revised on February 12, 2016.