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A new study by Information Resources Inc. (IRI) suggests that while baby boomers represent a $46 billion marketing opportunity, some of the conventional wisdom about this demographic group may in fact be incorrect.

Among the conclusions of the study:

• In some key categories, baby boomer shoppers are more likely to buy branded products than younger shoppers.

• Americans older than age 60 are leading the spending shift towards supercenters.

• Since 2002, baby boomers without kids have increased their food and beverage spending at twice the rate of total category growth.

• During the next decade, an enormous share of CPG spending will be generated by “Truman boomers,” those currently in their 50s, who are moving into their 60s. Spending is expected to decline for shoppers in their 40s due to large-scale demographic shifts.

• As boomer segments age, their spending across food, beverage, and non-food categories can have significant differences, highlighting the need for retailers and manufacturers to tailor their marketing approach to each boomer segment.
KC's View:
We’re actually surprised to find that boomers older than 60 are supercenter enthusiasts…and wonder if, in fact, this is because for many of them, Wal-Mart is the only place left to shop.

We think that there may be a pretty good argument that as Wal-Mart embraces organic foods and environmental causes, the aging baby boomer generation may be precisely the demographic target that it wants to get the message. Which could mean that it is aligning itself correctly.