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AARP Services, Inc. and Focalyst Release Second Quarterly Boomer Report: It's Good to Be Green

More than 40-million Boomers Are Actively Seeking Environmentally Friendly Brands


Contact: AARP Media Relations, 202-434-2560

WASHINGTON DC – Socially conscious attitudes are a driving force for 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 are resonating with older consumers.

The study, which surveyed more than 30,000 “baby boomers” (those born between 1946 and 1964) and “mature consumers” (those born before 1946) finds that social consciousness is a prevailing attitude. Seventy percent say that they feel a responsibility to make the world a better place. According to the survey results 40-million boomers use their purchasing power to buy environmentally safe brands. Referred to as “green boomers,” this large segment is often more demanding of quality in the products and services they buy, more attuned to advertising and exhibit higher brand loyalty than other boomers.

“This study confirms that boomers are taking a critical look at products to find brands that resonate with their growing commitment to an eco-friendly lifestyle,” said Larry Renfro, President and CEO of AARP Services, Inc. “Companies across industries have recognized this trend and are driving home messages of concern and conservation.”

The tendency to buy environmentally safe brands correlates directly with age, with mature consumers even more likely to be "green." According to Heather Stern, Director of Marketing for Focalyst, "As consumers get older, they become more aware of their legacy and leaving a positive mark on the world, and this is particularly true of boomers. We anticipate that as time goes on, more and more boomer shoppers will simply expect brands to be eco-friendly and rather than this being a point of brand differentiation, it will be a price of entry.”

“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 are 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 they also stick with a brand they like (88% vs. 78%).

Other key findings from the Focalyst report include:
* “Green boomers” are watching less television, but are spending more time with print media, such as reading newspapers, magazines and books (95 minutes vs. 78 minutes per day).
* While "environmentally safe" and "organic" usually go hand-in-hand, this is not the perception of many boomers as less than a third of the boomer population is willing to pay more for organic goods.
* Boomers with annual incomes of less than $50,000 are more "green" than boomers with incomes of over $150,000 (57% vs. 50%).

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