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Monthly Archives August 2010

AdAge this week looked at the “accelerating trend of multigenerational households” and what it might mean for marketing to Baby Boomers, their parents and their adult children.  The evolution of multigenerational households already has fundamentally changed the nature of active adult communities (50+ age-qualified).  If this trend continues, it will call into question the viability of age qualified communities as we know them today.

But first, some context and a walk down memory lane.

Rising Numbers of Multigenerational Households

As AdAge notes,

Today 49 million Americans — more than one in six people in the U.S. — live in households with three or more generations, according to the Pew Research Center. The percentage is even higher for age groups 25-to-34 and 65 and older, where one in five, or 20%, live in these extended families.


While much of the increase in multigenerational households can be attributed to the recession, there is also an increased appreciation for the value of family. I grew up with my grandmothers living with us for a combined 10 years.  I know how much I benefited from their involvement in my life. From playing games … to hearing the same stories again and again … to having people who had the time and desire to focus all their energies on a child … to learning to be patient and help my elders … Growing up in a multigenerational household was a gift.

A Trend Already Impacting Age-Qualified Communities

Creating Results has marketed 52 active adult and age-qualified communities in 12 states over the course of 10+ years.  At first the communities were marketed to empty nesters and the vast majority of people who lived in the community were in their 50-70s (Baby Boomers and Silent Generation). Gradually, we began to see parents moving in with their adult children. These moves were prior to the economic downturn and were motivated by a desire to be with family.

Last Friday, “Eat, Pray, Love” opened in movie theatres around the nation.  It’s likely many a Baby Boomer woman was in the audience, marveling at the tale of self-discovery.  Professionals marketing to Baby Boomers and 65+ seniors can discover a few insights into their own mature audiences by considering how we eat, pray and love.

Baby Boomer Spending on Food

* I really appreciate The Bundle’s infographics that illustrate household spending by age.  Take a peek at their 2010 report and you’ll see that Baby Boomers (aged 50-65) and Silent Generation (65+)  spend more on food and drink than the “coveted” 18-25 year olds – $6,992 and $5,211 respectively.  36-49 year olds are the tops in food and food and drink, averaging $7,487 in 2010 per household.

* Reflecting their lifestage, 35-50 year olds spend the most each year on groceries – $4,322 per Bundle.  50-65 yr old BInfographicFoodSpendingByAgeoomers are in second place, spending an average of $4,001.

* Mature marketing expert Brent Green has called Baby Boomer men the “next marketing frontier,” noting that men are more apt to spend than save (even in a downturn) and more prone to buy national brands at the grocery store. 

... and 98% of Americans have at least one television set Kudos to Roy Wells for tackling the misperception that only teenagers and college students are on Facebook.  His post for this week calculated that 41.6% of all Americans have a Facebook account.  And, as we've reported frequently on this blog, ALL Americans on social networks includes quite a few…