40MM Green Boomers Seeking Environmentally Friendly Brands

December 20, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Household Income | Magazines | Media & Entertainment | Retail & E-Commerce | Television

Socially conscious attitudes are a driving force of how boomers shop and the brands they choose to buy, according to the second Boomer Quarterly Report from AARP Services, Inc. and Focalyst.

The report, “It’s Good to Be Green: Socially Conscious Shopping Behaviors Among Boomers,” examines how eco-friendly messages – including advertising – resonates with older consumers.

Social consciousness is a prevailing attitude among the 30,000 “baby boomers” (born between 1946 and 1964) and “mature consumers” (born before 1946) surveyed: 70% say they feel a responsibility to make the world a better place.

Some 40 million boomers use their purchasing power to buy environmentally safe brands. Referred to as “green boomers,” this large segment demands quality. It’s also more attuned to advertising and more brand-loyal than other boomers. (See charts, below, courtesy of AARP Services and Focalyst.)


“Green boomers” are more attuned to advertising, both positively and negatively. They pay attention to ads for products they plan to buy, but are more critical and therefore more likely to believe there is not much truth in advertising. They also wish that advertising included more real product information to help make decisions.


The decisiveness of “green boomers” is apparent in their tendency to be more brand loyal than other boomers across all product categories, particularly among packaged-goods. They not only exhibit higher brand loyalty but also stick with a brand they like (88% vs. 78%).

Other key findings from the Focalyst report:

  • “Green boomers” are watching less television. They are spending more time than other boomers with print media, such as newspapers, magazines and books (95 vs. 78 minutes per day).


  • While “environmentally safe” and “organic” usually go hand-in-hand, this is not the perception of many boomers; less than one-third of the boomer population is willing to pay more for organic goods.
  • At least 50% of boomers at every income level are likely to buy brands that are environmentally safe.
  • However, those at the lowest income level ($0-$50K) are most inclined to do so (57%), and those with incomes of over $150,000 are least likely to (50%).
  • Good customer service is nearly twice as important among Green Boomers as it is to other boomers (70% vs. 45%).

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