The Demographics of Shopping

Where people shop has much to do with where they are in life — i.e. their age, economic status and family situation.

As part of a recent “Channel Blurring and Consumer Trends” presentation, Todd Hale, senior vice president, ACNielsen, shared a few top-line insights into who shops where. A few sample findings –- based on data drawn from ACNielsen and its sister company, Spectra –- are highlighted here.
• Big-box retailers (mass, grocery, supercenters and club stores) draw a disproportionate number of their shoppers from large households.
• Top-spending grocery store patrons are large households with children, but couples are important as well.
• Top-spending supercenter couples tend to be less affluent families, but rural couples are important too.
• For mass merchandisers, top-spenders tend to be young families with children.
• Top-spending drug channel shoppers tend to be empty nesters or senior couples.
• Established couples and singles are top-spending convenience shoppers.    
• Mass and supercenter channels were the only channels to draw more than half of their top spenders from female shoppers age 44 and under.
In addition to the preceding facts and figures from the ACNielsen report, Confectioner has compiled some “Generational Snapshot” data on our nation’s key demographic subsets.
AKA: The Internet Generation, Echo Boomers, the Boomlet, Nexters, Generation Y, the Nintendo Generation, the Digital Generation
Ages Now: 5-24
They number: 78.2 million
Defining life changes: the oldest are just entering the work force
They don’t like: to be talked down to or trivialized by marketers; they are overly sensitive to this
A good candy marketing idea: Use the Internet and other creative technologies to reach out to them; they love games and online interaction
Generation X
AKA: Gen X, Xers
Ages Now: 25-41
They number: 47 million
Defining life changes: 9/11 left a major impact on this group, perhaps more so than any other generation as some of the younger Gen Xers were in college when it occurred
They don’t like: the news media in general; the internet is much more their outlet for news and information
A good candy marketing idea: Nostalgic candy works with this crowd, especially with those of them who are parents and want their kids to try “their” candy
AKA: Baby Boomers, Me Generation
Ages Now: 42-60
They number: 76-78 million
Defining life changes: the oldest are just turning 60, but they are delaying retiring
Don’t underestimate: their consumer savvy or their ability/desire to still spend into their approaching “senior” years
A good candy marketing idea: Target them with the “healthier” lines of functional treats and dark chocolate, concurrent with that which is premium. Even though “health and fitness” could be this generation’s middle names, they love to indulge in the “really good stuff” in moderation
AKA: The Silent Generation or “Silents,” the Bob Hope Generation, Silver Birds; the youngest of this group are “Pre- Boomers”
Ages Now: 61-plus
They numbered: 50 million at their peak
Defining life changes: 95 percent of them are retired
They don’t like: being dismissed or bombarded with health issues.
A good candy marketing idea: Use print ads and signage that target them (and their grandchildren) specifically — just make sure it’s in large type n