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Domenick Celentano

Natural/Organic Food Selections Are Key to Retailer Choice for Baby Boomers

By May 30, 2011

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nullPackaged Facts' Food Shopper Insights survey reveals opportunities for food entrepreneurs.

I am excited to have Packaged Facts here on the Food & Beverage site. Packaged Facts is a leading source for market data, trends, and analysis in consumer industries, including food, beverage, personal care, financial, pet products and services, and demographics. They produce detailed and in-depth research related to food and beverages and consumer trends.

We all know the extent to which the Baby Boom generations has and continues to impact the economy, new product development and politics. They represent approximately 28% of the US Population and approximately half of total U.S. spending power (according to the Food Marketing Institute). The media tends to portray the baby boomers as a homogeneous, which they are not, and consumer brands recognize that there are many segments within baby boomers to take advantage of consumer food opportunities in the future. Packaged Facts recent research is a good example of segmenting the Baby boom generation.Packaged Facts' Food Shopper Insights survey (an online survey 2,000 adults who had shopped for groceries within the last 24 hours)  shows that 15% of grocery baby boomer shoppers consider natural and organic food products "most important" when deciding where to shop for groceries.  For perspective, that's nearly twice the rate as what Packaged Facts calls "special-formulation products". You call them gluten-free, dairy-free, diabetic, kosher, etc. Sometimes they are also referenced as "special needs" products. Some recent examples of brands focusing and positioning to the gluten free market are Barbara's Bakery and Cabot Creamery.

The Packaged Facts Food Shopper Insights Survey 2011 and Food Shopper Insights:  U.S. Consumer Trends is represented in the following table.  It outlines the types of Products Most Important to Baby Boomers in Deciding Where to Shop for Groceries (March 2011, % of U.S. grocery shoppers age 45-64).

Product Type


Fresh Fruit & Vegetables


Fresh Meat/Seafood


Store Brand Products


In-Store Bakery


Non-Food Products


Local Farm Foods/Produce


Store-Prepared Foods


Natural/Organic  Foods


Local/Regional Specialty Foods


Special-Formulation Product Types (such as gluten-free, dairy-free, diabetic, kosher, etc.)


Watch Trends

Watch the trends carefully. This table shows the potential for category convergence, such as Natural/Organic Foods sold in the In-Store Bakery. If you are thinking of creating or already sell baked goods in the In-Store Bakery section, can you credibly execute Natural/Organic.? You don't need exotic research or market strategy to see the possibilities.

Re-think Categories

Think about categories and work to redefine your products so they may work in other categories. The categories in the table above are great examples combining one or more in your new product development to give the consumer interesting and different foods.

Natural/Organic foods and beverages are segments of the food industry where food entrepreneurs can start and excel. The Baby Boomer example illustrated here is just one example for you to consider in your  journey from Kitchen to Shelf to the Consumers Plate.

If you want to learn more about food trends, visit Food and Beverage Reports  at Packaged Facts.


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