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Why Boomers are the Greenest Generation

Posted on | January 16, 2009 | 1 Comment

By Marti Barletta

You may think that Boomers “buy green” because they are “older shoppers” who are spending more time in the store, looking at packaging and reading product claims, which suggests you think of Boomers as retired people who have plenty of leisure time and nothing better to do than read that oh-so-fascinating package copy.
Think again — Boomers are not retired.  At ages 44-62 not only are they working, but in fact at the peak of their careers. They are SVPs and EVPS, tenured professors and blue collar workers with the most seniority, hardly people with time on their hands.
Boomers buy more Green products because they are, and have always been, the activist generation. Think about protesting the war in Vietnam and winning advances in civil rights.  Moreover, they are at a stage of life where their priorities are starting to move beyond mere lifestyle, to legacy. For both reasons, they are far more likely than younger people to put their money where their mouths are; in this case, toward buying products that are at least making an effort to help the planet. They HAVE more money than the young folk – much higher incomes and much, much greater wealth – so they can afford to pay the “green premium” which often makes eco-friendly products more expensive.
Companies seeking to build business success through products that are green, RED-branded, pink-ribboned or otherwise “Better For Us” would do well to focus their efforts on the consumers most likely to respond to any effort tied to a worthy cause – Boomers. In particular, companies seeking the MOST response should focus on those Boomers who wield the wallets for their households – Boomer WOMEN, who care and act even more than the men do.


One Response to “Why Boomers are the Greenest Generation”

  1. Holly Buchanan
    January 19th, 2009 @ 10:20 am

    Great point about Boomers, Marti.

    With the upcoming inauguration, it’s been fascinating to look at all the programs focused on MLK and the civil rights movement and the mindset of those “activists” in the 60’s.

    Just because you hit the age of 50 or 60 or 70 doesn’t mean you suddenly walk away from everything you’ve known. You don’t just throw away a lifetime of experiences and take up a “senior” lifestyle and “senior” values.

    I think your last line sums it up best “boomer women care and act more.”

    We all need to be VERY careful not to stereotype or underestimate this group.

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