baby boomer shopping habits

Baby Boomers Do Not Enjoy Shopping

Whole Foods Market strive to appeal to the broadest demographic.  Do they benefit from Baby Boomer shopping habits?

Whole Foods Market has a reputation of being the “in place” to shop.  The aisles are with X-Gens and Millennials.  For them, the wide, clean isles and bright colors are appealing.  They enjoy shopping.

Baby Boomer shopping habits are on the other end of the spectrum.  They do not enjoy shopping.  They want to get in and out as quickly as possible.

They do not spend much time browsing and reading the labels on new products.

According to a Revel Systems study, “Just 37% of baby boomers say they are likely to browse for new products, the majority of this generation isn’t interested in trying and testing out new products, and much more likely to buy what they originally intended on buying.”

Baby Boomers and Online Shopping

Younger generations are quickly becoming internet shoppers.  For sure they are the majority of order online and pick it up in the parking lot type of shoppers.

Baby Boomer Shopping habits are quite the opposite.  84% of them prefer to shop in-store, according to Chain Store Age.

Baby Boomer Shopping Habits Are Green Conscious

Whole Foods grocery stores seem to be gaining some momentum, according to The Sizemore Letter, a stock market newsletter, on December 13th, 2011. The newsletter attributes the growth to “benefits from several macro themes.”  The number one theme is “As the Baby Boomers age, they are taking their health a lot more seriously, and part of this is having a healthier diet, including more natural, organic food. This is a theme that will likely have some staying power.”

baby  boomer shopping habits

Whole Foods Sweet Spot

Those concerns are right at the sweet spot of product delivery for Whole Foods.  Baby Boomers are loving it.  When I have visited there stores recently I have noticed that many of the customers are my age.  There is something about the arrangement of the store as well.  It gives one the feeling of shopping in a bistro or a posh farmers market.   They offer products that you cannot find elsewhere.

Baby Boomer shopping habits are as varied as their fashion tastes.  That makes it difficult to make generalizations about their impact on Whole Foods Market bottom line.

Whole Foods - Baby BoomersBaby Boomers Look for Bargains

If Baby Boomers can find the same products in another store, say ALDI, they are sure to pay less than you will at Whole Foods.  Yet, boomers like Whole Foods Market and have the money to spend.

Americans spending habits differ along economic fault lines.  A recent’  Wall Street stock newsletter highlights this difference.  “The other theme is the divergence of the Two Americas. Working class and younger Americans have taken the brunt of the recession and slow growth. But highly-educated and wealthier Americans are doing just fine for the most part.”  So, the “better off than others” boomers seem to be attracted to luxury goods, especially luxury foods.

So, it can be correctly said that wealthier baby boomer shopping habits are more in line with the offerings at pricey Whole Foods Market.  Those on fixed incomes are shopping elsewhere.

Baby Boomer shopping habits are catching up to Whole Foods green and organic thrust of their product line.  Baby Boomers the first generation to become more aware of the deterioration of the environment.  They celebrated the first earth day in 1970.  They were still young when the Clean Air Act was enacted.

Sorry Trees

For sure, Baby Boomers will many “organic”, “green”, and “no additives” products at Whole Foods.  They are surprised at the checkout stand when their “green” purchases are put into paper bags …. sorry trees.



By Chowning

Richard Chowning was a teenager during the 60s. Being a Southern California resident during those years, he experienced many of the events and trends that distinguished those times.