Unilever shows retailers how to follow the money

Study provides insights and solutions on how to capture the Nation’s most influential consumer group.

Chicago, May 7, 2007 – Unilever U.S., one of the world’s largest consumer products companies, announced today the findings of its proprietary Trip Management Study at the Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) annual conference. Unlike other Boomer studies, this report, entitled Boomer Shoppers Today and Tomorrow: Following the Money, reveals how this demographic – whose disposable income is pegged at about $2 trillion a year – not only shops today, but more importantly, reveals what kind of shopping experiences they are likely to seek ten years from now.

“The time is long overdue to rethink Baby Boomers. This pivotal generation is anything but homogenous,” stated Kevin Havelock, President, Unilever U.S. “With their focus on health and well-being, they want to continue maintaining the vitality they now enjoy. As Boomers age, retailers who’ll know how to help them stay vibrant and connected to what they care for most in life will be the winners.”

Using Unilever’s Trip Management tools combined with a proprietary Nielsen data overlay, the report outlines how Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) take 58 percent of all consumer packaged goods (CPG) shopping trips and spend 60 percent of all CPG shopping dollars in the U.S.

The report is also the first to examine multiple aspects of Boomer behavior, including trip frequency and spend, channels they prefer, their most common needs and how they define value for the money in the stores they shop. To date, this is the third of a series of Trip Management Studies issued by Unilever U.S. (“Winning the Hispanic Shopping Trip” and “Trip Management: The Next Big Thing”).

The shopping paradigm for one of the largest and influential segments of the U. S. population is clearly shifting, according to one of the lead co-investigators.

“This group of shoppers is transforming the retail landscape,” states co-lead investigator, Eileen Kozin, Director, Consumer Futures, Unilever U.S. “Retailers must continue to be proactive if they are to meet the needs of this influential group.”

Boomer Shopping Groups & Scenarios

“This study finds that all Boomers are not the same in terms of their shopping needs,” said Mike Twitty, Senior Manager, Shopper Insights, Unilever U.S. “We identified four distinct Boomer shopping groups and projected them into the future, identifying what their wants and desires will be in 2017.” Within this future paradigm, six different sets of shopping desires emerged that identify what shoppers will be looking for ten years from now.

The six unique shopping scenarios include:

High Expectations: In this scenario, Boomers invest more time and money in their purchases. They are seeking a premium shopping experience, which could be driven by product range, atmosphere/environment, knowledge and/or service.

Neighborhood Connections: Boomers in this scenario believe that purchases are an extension of the people that they buy from. Personal connections, based on trust and knowledge, drive this locally focused shopping scenario.

Good To Go: Convenience and simplicity coupled with quality drive this scenario. Boomers in this scenario are looking for quick in and out service with fresh quality offerings for short term use.

Do It For Me: Disengaged from the shopping experience, in this scenario, Boomers rely on others to deal with the hassle of shopping.

Fun of the Fair: In this scenario, shopping turns into sport. Boomers are hunting for new products and experiences. They seek value in feeling smart about their choices.

Shop and Save: This shopping scenario is one dimensional. It is all about getting the best price with relation to value.

Boomers Redefine Life’s Stages: Add Vitality to Life

“There is no question that Baby Boomers are redefining the meaning of getting older,” added Kevin Havelock, President, Unilever U.S. “Unilever’s in-depth study reveals what drives the purchasing habits of the diverse Boomer population and what will drive them in the future. Our findings give retailers a keenly useful tool to win over an extraordinarily influential demographic today and into the next decade.”

“Boomers are the consumer group for whom vitality rings truest,” added Kozin. “With this study, Unilever brings a greater understanding to where their lives and shopping behaviors will be in the future and how their emphasis on ‘feeling alive’ will influence all.”

Sabrina Glavan

700 Sylvan Avenue

Englewood Cliffs

New Jersey 07632

T: 877-995-4483


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