retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Richard J. George, Ph.D, chair and professor of food marketing at Saint Joseph’s University, is out with a new paper entitled “Mature Millennials v. Mature Baby Boomers: Foodservice Attitudes and Behaviors – Similarities, Differences, Opportunities,” recently published by the International Foodservice Distributors Association.

George’s paper focuses on Mature Millennials, those who are 25 to 34 years of age, and Mature Baby Boomers, who are 55 to 64 years of age.

“Both generations have been studied extensively, however there is no publicly available research that describes in-depth their attitudes and behavior toward foodservice,” says George. “In order for the industry to enhance its offerings and broaden strategic planning, it needs to understand the similarities and differences of these two engines that drive the business.”

The research uncovered key similarities between the generations:

• Cleanliness, taste, value, convenience and customer service are the most important attributes when selecting a restaurant.
• Restaurant.com is the primary site used to select a restaurant.
• The main reason for joining a Facebook fan page is to receive coupons and discount offers.

The study also points to revealing differences between the two generations:

• 72 percent of Mature Baby Boomers prefer to order by phone compared to 59 percent of Mature Millennials.
• 9 percent of Mature Baby Boomers prefer to order via the Internet compared to 32 percent of Mature Millennials.
• 25 percent of Mature Millennials use Smartphones for tasks such as making reservations and checking menus compared to less than 10 percent of Mature Baby Boomers.

The research, George says, illustrates the importance of customizing marketing strategies and tactics for each generation: “A one size fits all approach will be doomed to failure. The sheer numbers and purchasing power of these generations represent untapped potential if we can get each generation to perceive ‘your restaurant as their restaurant.”
KC's View:
And not just restaurants. A lot of these differences can be seen, I suspect, in how Mature Baby Boomers and Mature Millennials interact with a lot of the retailers with which they do business. Just check out those phone vs. internet/smartphone numbers.

In fact, my only problem with this study is being called a “mature” anything.