Grandparent Market – Where the Money is for Marketers?

Grandparents.  70 million of them in the US.  They buy $2 trillion worth of goods and services annually.  High levels of income and eduction. And they spend alot of money on their grandchildren.  And a whole lot of them are baby boomers!

The new report from takes a comprehensive look at the grandparent market — who they are, how they spend their money — and why marketers should pay attention.

Here are some of the facts:

  1. Three in every ten adults are grandparents.
  2. Medican age of a first time grandparent is 50 for women and 54 for men.
  3. By 2010, more than half of grandparent’s will be baby boomers.
  4. By 2010, households headed by 55-64 year olds will earn the highest average income, surpassing that of families headed by 45-54 year olds for the first time.
  5. Grandparent spending on grandchildren has grown an average of 7.6% per year since 2000.
  6. Grandparents make 45% of the nation’s cash contributions to nonprofit organizations and account for 42% of all consumer spending on gifts.

If you attended the Boomer summit in Las Vegas you might have had a chance to hear Jerry Shereshewsky talk about this market.  This is new research and well worth a read if this is your target market.

Find the report here

posted by Laura Rossman


Are baby boomers ready to look their age?

Will the change in the economy lead to changes in the way we think about aging –again.  So much has been written in the past decade about 60 becoming the new 40; how boomers will change aging etc.

This from Peggy Noonan at the Wall Street Journal OpEd page on Saturday April 18 in a column about return to simplicity…

“People will be allowed to grow old again. There will be a certain liberation in this. There will be fewer facelifts and browlifts, less Botox, less dyed hair among both men and women. They will look more like people used to look, before perfection came in. Middle-aged bodies will be thicker and softer, with more maternal and paternal give. There will be fewer gyms and fewer trainers, but more walking. Gym machines produced the pumped and cut look. They won’t be so affordable now.”

I think the changing economy and retirement reality will influence boomer thinking about a lot of issues.  Some out of necessity– like money and work– and some because the pendulum did swing too far — just as in too much credit maybe too much emphasis on youth. 

What do you think?

posted by Laura Rossman

Baby Boomer Restaurant Visits Up?

The demographics of the restaurant business are changing with the economy.  The kids are staying home: baby boomers are eating out more.  That’s according to a recent survey by the NPD Group.  NPD’s CREST®, which has tracked consumer purchasing and consumption patterns at commercial restaurants since 1975, shows that in 2008, restaurant visits by parties with kids declined by three percent, and restaurant visits by young adults, the most lucrative restaurant market, dropped from 254 per capita in 2007 to 233 in 2008.

One group that has increased their visits to restaurants over the past year is Baby Boomers, ages 50 to 64, according to NPD’s foodservice market research. In 2008, the number of per capita visits by adults, aged 50 to 64 was 209, up from 204 in 2007 and 201 in 2003.

“Restaurant operators need to understand that their customer profiles are changing and it’s just not about the economy,” says Riggs. “There are long-term behavioral shifts occurring and they need to have a greater understanding of who their customers are and what those customers are looking for in their restaurant experience.”

Both quick service and full service restaurants experienced traffic losses in 2008 with kids under 13 years old. Losses were particularly pronounced at supper, but occurred at other parts of the day as well.

Although kids’ absence from the restaurant scene is a recent phenomenon, young adults have been scaling back on restaurant visits for the past five years, with the decline from 2007 to 2008 being the steepest. According to the NPD report, Holding Onto“Generation Next”… The Coveted 18-24 Year-Old, young adults’ preferences are shifting. Health and food quality is top-of-mind with them. The study finds they feel restaurant food is often too high in calories, and there aren’t enough healthy/nutritious options. They also reference poor food quality, not freshly prepared, and no fresh ingredients when evaluating restaurant food.

 While other reports we’ve seen indicate boomers are eating out less, it is interesting to see what’s happening with younger generations and their attitudes.

Posted by Laura Rossman


Aging at Home Gets Push from GE and Intel

Any doubt that technology that helps you age at home should be brushed aside with the annoucnement  that Intel and GE are joining forces on home health care. Clearly the aging of the baby boom population is getting the attention of big companies and big dollars.

GE and Intel are joining forces to develop devices that help your doctor monitor the health of elderly and chronically ill patients at home.  The companies are putting more than $250 million behind research and marketing.

This is a clear signal that more of us will be receiving long-term care at home in the future rather than in a facility.  That’s good news since that’s where most of us say we want to stay! If you attended the Boomer Summit you probably heard Laurie Orlov  from Age  in Place Technology Watch talk about the potential growth in this market.

GE has a system called Quiet Care that lets physicians monitor patients for potential emergencies or waning signs, including falls.  Intel has a product called Health Guide, a lap-top sized device that collects vital signs and issues patient reminders.

We are at an inflection point on health care,” Paul Otellini, Intel’s chief executive, said Thursday during a press conference announcing the alliance. “It’s a topic that affects everyone on Earth.”

Baby Boomer’s Love for Facebook Growing

Baby Boomer's Love for Facebook Grows

Baby Boomer's Love for Facebook Grows

We noted just a couple months ago that boomers were discovering Facebook.

Well, the latest numbers show they LOVE it — esepcially women.  Move over kids. Mom’s sharing your space.  The number of women 55+ on Facebook now total more than 1.5 million.

No surprise to those of you at the Summit who heard from panelists about the growth of women interacting online at,,, LiveWorld, EONS , and WomanSage.

With the rapid growth amongst older users, the majority of US Facebook users are now over 25. There are now 6 million users 13-17, 19.5 million 18-25, 13.4 million 26-34, 9.7 million 35-44, 4.6 million 45-54, and 2.8 million over 55. In other words, there are more Facebook users 26-44 than 18-25 today.

Facebook Demographics

What’s driving these women to Facebook?


Baby Boomer Word for 2009 – Recalibration

Recalibration— that’s the theme for consumers in 2009 as consumers reset the scales after a decade of dualities, highs and lows, according to Steve French, Managing Partner, Natural Marketing Institute (NMI).

Consumers are designing the “Middle Way” defined as a lifestyle approach grounded in comfort, safety, sustainability and moderation.  and boomers are leading the charge!

For marketers, it is important to understand how boomer paradigms are shifting, said French at the opening session of the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit.  Here’s how attitudes are shifting:

From consumption to sustainability

From possessions to purpose

From retirement to employment

From trading up to trading off

From perceived value to real value

The findings were based upon research conducted in January and are par of NMI’s Healthy Aging Boomer Database.(

“Boomers are being forced to look in the mirror and they want to change the reflection that is looking back,” French said. “they are trading off or even down:  successful “down market” products will make benefits tangible and relevant.”

New Boomer Research at the Boomer Summit

March 19, 2009  Bally's Las Vegas

March 19, 2009 Bally's Las Vegas

Entrepreneurs and  executives from innovative companies around the country will be gathering at the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit in Las Vegas.

Here are some highlights.  If you haven’t registered there’s still time to register for the boomer summit.

Boomer behaviors and attitudes:  new research on what they are thinking now and how your marketing message needs to change to reach them.  Steve French, Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) shares the new research at 9:30 on March 19.

50+ Women on the Web: releases a new white paper on social networking and women 50+. 

The study’s findings are of particular interest to marketers in this recessionary economy, where Vibrant Women are one of the dwindling number of consumer groups with available discretionary funds. Vibrant Women are in the prime of their lives and the healthiest, wealthiest, best-educated generation in history. Defying the stereotype of increasing marginalization as they age, this study confirmed that not only are their networks growing, they are growing online.


Trends in aging in place technology:  It is a $2 billion segment today that promises to be a $20 billion industry by 2020, according to Laurie Orlov’s new report. This is the first major market research report to take a comprehensive look at the technology that will help people live in their own homes She’s releasing her findings at the Summit on March 19.


Media should contact for further information.