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Generation X — the missing ink?

BY Rob Eder

As we compiled the many research reports that make up our cover feature, “Customer profiling,” I found myself wondering why no one ever talks about Generation X. It’s all about millennials and Latinos, and boomers and seniors; you never see any research on Gen X.

It’s almost like marketers couldn’t give a flying fig about Gen X. And I never really understood why. Until a colleague — another Gen Xer — sent me an article he had recently seen on MarketWatch, “10 things Generation X won’t tell you.”

Now I get it. As target-customers go, we just kind of suck.

First, there really aren’t enough of us to care about — just 49 million versus 75 million baby boomers and 89 million millennials, also known as Generation Y; millennials are so cool, they even get two nicknames.

Second, we’re broke. We went to work in the wake of the market crash of 1987 and the recession of the early ‘90s; we may have made some money during the Clinton years, but we lost it all in the tech bubble, or the housing bubble, or the recessions that followed both.

But let’s face it, it’s not like the economy conspired to punish Gen X exclusively. “The recession hit just as many boomers were about to retire, and many postponed it due to the slump in their portfolios,” Market-Watch noted. Four-out-of-10 boomers don’t expect to retire until they are at least 66, and 10% more say they don’t ever expect to retire, according to a recent Gallup poll.

About half of all Gen Xers say they are behind in saving for retirement, according to a 2013 MetLife survey. “Generation X could be the first [generation] that will have downward mobility in retirement,” Diana Elliott, research officer at The Pew Charitable Trusts, told MarketWatch.

So, if you’re wondering where the Gen X shopper research is in this issue, what can I tell you? Just call us the “Missing Ink.”

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Duck brand introduces packing solutions

BY Ryan Chavis

AVON, Ohio — Duck brand has announced a number of new solutions to help simplify the packing and moving process, which includes packaging tapes, protective wrap and boxes.

EZ Start packaging tape is designed to address two common complaints in packing tape: the tape doesn't split or tear and the tape end is simple to find, the company said. Printed EZ Start packaging tapes are available in 15-yard rolls. Clear and tan varieties are available in rolls up to 60 yards long. The tapes are available at retailers nationwide for a suggested retail price of $3 to $7 per roll, depending on size and print.

Bubble Wrap Brand cushioning features a barrier that prevents air loss, which helps to ensure that the bubbles remain filled to protect items being shipped. Duck Brand boxes are made using post-consumer recycled content and are available in a variety of sizes.

Both Bubble Wrap Brand cushioning and Duck Brand boxes are available at retailers nationwide. Pricing and availability will vary.

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Alliance Labs launches DocuSol Kids, a non-irritating constipation solution

BY Michael Johnsen

PHOENIX — Alliance Labs on Wednesday announced the launch of DocuSol Kids, a non-irritating constipation solution. 
Many over-the-counter treatments for constipation contain bisacodyl, which is a known irritant. DocuSol Kids is formulated with docusate sodium and polyethylene glycol, which serve as hyper-osmotic laxatives, drawing water into the bowel from surrounding body tissues and replicating how the body works normally.  
 
Constipation affects 25% to 30% of young children, which means approximately 1-in-3 children will struggle with this condition, the company noted. Since 2008, researchers have found that the number of constipated children seen by primary care doctors has nearly doubled in the past decade. Caring for children with constipation is associated with higher healthcare costs, reaching an estimated $3.9 billion a year.
 

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