Older Households are Fastest Growing and Largest Opportunity for Food Retail Prepared Foods and Dine In Programs

Older Households are Fastest Growing and Largest Opportunity for Food Retail Prepared Foods and Dine In Programs

In updating Charts and Tables for some of the standard views of Spending by Age Group from the BLS data to support two key points about consumer drivers of change for retail:

  1. As population segments age their spending at retail declines – even for food
  2. When you consider the economic challenges for Millennials and next up Gen Z, the decline in spending by aging Boomers may equal or outweigh the growth by new generations entering prime retail spending years.
RPS mean food expenditures by age group

Mean Food Expenditures Decline with Age After Peaking Around Age 50 (Based on BLS Household Expenditures Data)

But this got me thinking about the scale of the age segments. Boomers 55-74 are spending more than Millennials on average by household, but what does it look like for the total of the age segments.  What popped out for me with this thinking is that Older Cohorts of Shoppers represent a significant opportunity for food retailers to target with Dine In and Prepared Foods Offerings. They represent a significant portion of the growth of Food Away From Home Spending over the past 5 years.

RPS Scale of Household Food Expenditure & Growth

Age Cohort Share of 5yr growth in Food Away from Home spending highlights the importance of older households for retailer Dine In and Prepared Foods (Based on BLS Household Expenditures Data)


RPS Scale of Household Food Expenditure & Growth

The Relative Importance of Older Shoppers for Dine In and Prepared Foods is also Evident in the Growth of Spending at the Household Level (Based on BLS Household Expenditures Data)

Implications to Retailers: 

  • Make sure your marketing efforts for prepared foods and dine in don’t just target digital native Millennials but also cover older shopper segments in your stores trading area.
  • Dine In options via a friendly cafe like experience can capture Food Away From Home spending and trips while bringing shoppers in the store with potential for Food At Home spend as well.

For more perspective on this thinking, reach out to us at Info@RetailPerformanceSolutions.com

About author

TimO'C 20 posts

Well seasoned CPG executive with brand, product, sales leadership experience, focused the past dozen years on analysis and advisory to retailers and CPG firms. Seeks to help understanding, provide insights and strategies to address and participate in the dramatic transformation of retail we are experiencing.

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