Canadian Pizza Magazine

Features Business and Operations Marketing
Making dough with Diane: 8 reasons to target baby boomers


It’s 2010, and baby boomers are nearly all officially “senior citizens.” Most marketing companies eye the 18 to 40 demographic as their bread and but, in reality, it’s the baby boomers who still have cash to spend. Today’s 55 and older group is more active and savvier than ever. There are also twice as many senior citizens alive today as there were a generation ago. In short, this is a hot market to tap.

It’s 2010, and baby boomers are nearly all officially “senior
citizens.” Most marketing companies eye the 18 to 40 demographic as
their bread and but, in reality, it’s the baby boomers who still have
cash to spend. Today’s 55 and older group is more active and savvier
than ever. There are also twice as many senior citizens alive today as
there were a generation ago. In short, this is a hot market to tap.


The 55+ group is willing to pay for good value

Today’s 55+ customers are not frugal and are not looking for
penny-pinching deals. They are willing to pay a particular price for a
good value. Create a senior’s special on your menu that offers a set
meal for a set price.


The 55+ group is busy

Our idea that 55+ customers have plenty of time to make their meals
from scratch is so 30 years ago. While some of today’s 55+ group are
retired, many still work full-time hours. Those who have retired are
keeping busy with home renovation projects, taking care of
grandchildren, or going back to school to learn new trades. This means
that this busy group still has a need to order a pizza now and then.
Consider offering a 10 per cent senior citizen’s discount for all
takeout orders.

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The 55+ group is staying in shape

Many of today’s 55+ demographic exercise regularly, and are very aware
of eating more healthily than they once did. Many have also added
vitamins and supplements to their daily intake. Market your pizzas as
being rich in nutrients like vitamin D, calcium, B-complex vitamins and
protein.


The 55+ people want to stay young

The desire to look younger is also something that today’s 55+ is
obsessing about. Consider creating a special anti-aging salad or pizza
that features ingredients that are well known for their anti-aging
traits, like sprouts, avocado, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and
kale, garlic, ginger and nuts. Name it the “anti-aging pizza.”


Respect their age

While today’s 55+ customers may still think young, you can’t treat them
like kids. The loud, in-your-face ads, computer-generated graphics, and
hip and irreverent copy may work for younger demographics, but could
turn the 55+ group away. 


The 55+ group eats less

Like children, seniors tend to have smaller appetites. While some
restaurants do offer a specific senior’s menu, some 55+ people may
prefer not to be segmented in that manner. Offering a half portion at a
reduced rate may be a more subtle and sophisticated
approach.


The 55+ consumers are wiser

Consumers in the 55+ group have been around a lot longer, and have seen
restaurants and pizza operations evolve over time. They also have more
years of eating-out experience under their belts. These customers are
good guides to finding out what is good and bad about your
establishment. Take their comments and criticisms seriously.


The 55+ group is likely to contribute to the community

Today’s 55+ customers are a charitable generation, and love to help out
a wide variety of different organizations. Consider donating a portion
of your sales of a particular menu item (like your new anti-aging
pizza) to a war memorial fund, or other senior-related causes or
organizations. You can also provide food for these events.

Baby boomers are a growing demographic with money to spend. Now is a
great time to ensure your pizzeria is appealing to the new ‘senior
citizens’.


Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been
helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales
for more than 25 years. She provides innovative food and retail
merchandising programs, interior design, marketing and promotional
campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free
at1-888-926-6655 or at chiasson@chiassonconsultants.com, or visit
www.chiassonconsultants.com.