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

Download 190KBK pdf file ("jeewani_canadian_baby_boomers_part2_aug2.pdf")PDF
     Subscribe to our free E-Newsletter, "Agri-News" (formerly RTW This Week)Agri-News
This Week
 Background | Canadian generations | Consumption habits of boomers by meal occasions | How has consumption changed since 2001? | Source of information


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

  • 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
Toasted Bread
Toasted Bread
Toasted Bread
RTE Cereal
RTE Cereal
Hot Cereal
Hot Cereal
Hot Cereal
Non-Toasted Bread
Non-Toasted Bread
Non-toasted Bread
  • 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”.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Other Documents in the Series

  Consumer Corner
Consumer Corner: Snack Food
Consumer Corner: Local Food
Consumer Corner: Halal Meat Market Demand - what does it look like?
Consumer Corner: The 2016 Canadian Census - An Alberta Perspective
Consumer Corner: Sugar - The Sweeter Side of a Unique Canadian Industry
Consumer Corner: Understanding Consumer Trends and the Push to Innovate
Consumer Corner: Genetically Modified (GM) Foods and Consumer Concerns
Consumer Corner: Canadian Consumer Perceptions of Meat Preparation
Consumer Corner: Demand for Processed Meat
Consumer Corner: Millennials - who are they and what do they like when it comes to food?
Consumer Corner: Demand for Dairy Milk and Milk Alternatives
Consumer Corner: Generational Differences and Demand for Food
Consumer Corner: Insect Protein, a Fad or Future Need?
Consumer Corner: Snacking and Mini-meal Trends in Canada: How to take a bite out of Canada's snack food market.
Consumer Corner: Functional Foods
Consumer Corner: Barley -- A Nutritional Powerhouse!
Consumer Corner: Growth of the U.S. Organic Market
Consumer Corner: Pet Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats in the U.S. -- 2013
Consumer Corner: Benchmarking Domestic Consumption of Pork
Consumer Corner: Understanding the Consumer Mindset on Sustainability
Consumer Corner: Gluten-Free -- What's it all About ?
Consumer Corner: The Morning Rush: Breakfast Trends in Canada
Consumer Corner: Canadian Pet Market Outlook, 2014
Consumer Corner: Emerging Consumer Trends and New Opportunities for Small and Medium Business
Consumer Corner: Market Trends for Fruit and Vegetables
Consumer Corner: Yogurt Market: Current Status and Consumption Trends
Consumer Corner: Changing Food Retail Landscape in Canada and Alberta
Consumer Corner: Canada's Ethnic Landscape: Eating Patterns among the Asians
Consumer Corner: Snacking Trend, an Opportunity for Restaurants
Consumer Corner: Millennials: Meet the Boomer's Kids (Part 2: Consumption Habits of Millennials by Meal Occasions)
Consumer Corner: Millennials: Meet the Boomers' Kids (Part 1: Profile, Food and Beverage Consumption Habits and Attitudes)
Consumer Corner: Local Impact of a Global Crisis: Increasing Food Prices
Consumer Corner: Fresh Pet Food in North America
Consumer Corner: Snacking in Canada
Consumer Corner: Canadian Baby Boomers - Part 2: Consumption Habits of Boomers by Meal Occasions - Current Document
Consumer Corner: Eating Pattern Recession - Part 3
Consumer Corner: Canadian Baby Boomers - Part 1: Profile of Boomers, Their Food Consumption Habits and Attitudes
Consumer Corner: Sodium/Salt and Canadian Diet: Pass the Salt Please! or Hold the Salt Please!
Consumer Corner: Eating Patterns in Canada -- Part 2
Consumer Corner: Eating Patterns in Canada - Part 1
Consumer Corner: The Impact of Health on Eating Behavior of Canadians
Consumer Corner: Emerging Consumer Demand for Premium Foods & Beverages in Canada (Qualitative Research Evaluation)
Consumer Corner: Factors Influencing Pulse Consumption in Canada
Consumer Corner: Health and Wellness
Consumer Corner: Dinner Trends in Canada
Consumer Corner: Breakfast Trends in Canada
Consumer Corner: Canadian Food Trends 2009
Share via
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.