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Baby boomers’ spending segmented by age

BY Michael Johnsen

The drug channel has a decent draw among the “silent generation,” the generation of seniors born between 1925 and 1945 who have impressed upon the baby boomers the importance of healthier living in anticipation of better life quality during their own golden years. 


But younger baby boomers between the ages of 48 years and 56 years are under-indexed in shopping the drug channel across several significant health categories, including pain relievers and the dietary supplements. Perhaps influenced by the latest recession, those younger boomers are seeking their analgesic and supplement solutions in value-oriented channels like the dollar store. And with more dollar stores taking a stronger position in health and beauty, retail pharmacy operators may find a sharp uptake in competition in marketing to those younger boomers. 


That is a challenge. Those younger boomers tend to spend more than both their parents and older siblings. “There is a slow change from the conservative … lifestyle led by seniors to the more free-spending ways generally associated with boomers,” said Susan Viamari, editor of Times & Trends at SymphonyIRI Group. “That sticks out a little bit more among the younger boomer population. We can see that younger boomers spend about 10% more than older boomers and average shoppers, and about 15% more 
versus seniors.”


As part of its September 2012 Times & Trends report titled “Baby Boomers: Riding the Wave of Diversity,” SymphonyIRI Goup suggests that the 80 million baby boomers approaching age 65 are not homogenous. And like segmenting Hispanic populations between acculturated and first-generation, it will be important to segment boomers when putting together marketing plans. 


While capturing the prescriptions of those boomers is paramount for many pharmacy retailers, the front-end could get a boost as well, as boomers’ concerns around health care cuts across several prevalent health conditions. For instance, 70% of younger boomers and 71% of older boomers feel they are overweight. Boomers also show above average concern with cholesterol and cardiac health. That sets the stage for a strong position in diet and sports nutrition, and light 
exercise equipment. 


When it comes to specific food-related behaviors, adoption tends to increase with age. For example, 35% of younger boomers eat whole grains on most days, and 21% of younger boomers consume omega-3 foods or supplements on a daily basis — versus 41% and 27% of older boomers, respectively — suggesting that there may be a greater need to market products like fiber or other supplements to older boomers. 


Many of those healthier living categories index higher as seniors get older. “There’s that opportunity to educate boomers and seniors about the benefits of these categories and how these categories fit into their day-to-day health-and-wellness regimen,” Viamari said. 


Delivering that education to boomers may go beyond TV programs like “Dancing With the Stars” or “Grey’s Anatomy.” Use of the Internet as a research tool is on the rise among boomers. “Boomers and seniors are absolutely dabbling in the Internet and new media as they’re looking to learn more about CPG products, whether that’s finding recipes, coupons or deals,” Viamari said. “In all of these areas, consumers across age brackets are dabbling.”

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Survey: Food regs among ways to deter diabetes

BY Alaric DeArment

The New York City health commissioner’s ban on the sale of big cups of fountain soda drew many an unfavorable accusation that the administration of mayor Michael Bloomberg was trying to turn the city into a nanny state, with NaturalNews.com editor Mike Adams asking, “What’s next? Is Bloomberg gonna pull a Singapore and ban chewing gum too?”


But despite public criticism of the law, it appears popular among physicians as one of many ways to combat the rapid rise of diabetes in the United States, according to a survey presented last month at Joslin’s Diabetes Innovation 2012 conference. 


The survey, conducted by Joslin Diabetes Center and healthcare research firm WorldOne, included more than 150 endocrinologists and primary care physicians. The survey found that 76% of physicians supported federal government regulation of foods containing unhealthy ingredients, while 71% supported the New York ban. 


“These results are very important to us and our mission,” Joslin executive director of diabetes innovation and global professional education Julie Brown said. “With Diabetes Innovation 2012, it’s vital that all stakeholders are aligned, and we understand beliefs and concerns that may derail progress toward a more effective system. If stakeholder groups’ concerns are not understood or ignored, we won’t realize the true cooperation we need to make any sustained, valuable improvement.”


The survey found that 97% said individual health counseling has a powerful effect on the health of people with diabetes. Eighty-seven percent said more pharmaceutical options for the disease are needed, while 62% said such devices as insulin pumps, monitors and implants, as well as drug therapies, are most likely to have the greatest near-term benefit to patients.


At the same time, there were significant differences between the responses of physicians and delegates to the conference. While 55% of delegates said pharmacists should be able to serve as primary care providers for people with diabetes, 15% of the 150 physicians said the same. Meanwhile, 70% of physicians said pharmaceutically assisted innovations are necessary for obesity management, compared with 45% of delegates. Seventeen percent of physicians said future screening would have a positive effect on clinical outcomes; 9% of delegates said the same.


According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million Americans have diabetes, mostly Type 2, which results from unhealthy diets. In addition, 79 million people have prediabetes, a condition in which patients are at high risk of developing the disease.

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Clinics boom as care moves closer to home

BY Antoinette Alexander

As the healthcare landscape continues to undergo significant changes, a new report by Marketdata Enterprises puts a number against a highly valuable and fast-growing segment of health care that will continue to grow regardless of who is elected president and what happens to healthcare reform: retail-based health clinics.


The September 2012 report, titled “The Market for Retail Health Clinics and Urgent Care Centers,” examined the operations of both convenient care clinics and urgent care centers.


“Health care is moving closer to the consumer — at home via telemedicine and online, and where they work and shop (e.g., supermarkets, drug stores and big-box chains, such as Target and Walmart). Consequently, investors, retailers and hospital systems have recognized this, and the number of ‘convenient care’ clinics and ‘urgent clinic’ centers is growing strongly. It’s likely to stay that way through 2016,” according to the report.


Right now, the urgent care centers are the big piece of the pie, dwarfing retail health clinics both in terms of revenues and number of locations. 


However, DSN believes that will eventually change. Why? Retailers like Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, Target and Walmart can deliver a scalability that regional urgent care operators simply cannot. For one thing, such retailers already have the stores and the best real estate.


According to Marketdata, an independent market research publisher of studies about service industries, average revenues per retail clinic are $512,000, making the market worth about $694 million in 2011. Marketdata analysts forecast that by 2016 there will be about 2,700 retail clinics in operation, generating revenues of $1.38 billion. 


“Roughly 20% of the total number of clinics from 2014 on will be new ones. One would expect their caseloads to be lower than ‘mature’ or established clinics. However, the [Patient Protection and] Affordable Care Act and the primary care MD shortage, plus the influx of 32 million new people into the healthcare system, should override that,” the report stated.


In a statement sent to DSN, Convenient Care Association executive director Tine Hansen-Turton said, “CCA expects to see significant growth in the sector in the next couple of years, and it’s exciting to see how the model of care has helped transform health care to be consumer-driven.”

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