Millennials, not Boomers, should be the target consumers

There are 80 million Millennials, those born between 1977 and 1995. They are roughly 25 percent of the U.S. population. Their collective memory is led by where they were when 9/11 happened. Their numbers are greater than Baby Boomers. Hispanics are their largest ethnic minority, followed by African-Americans.

Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, talk about where they were when JKF was assassinated.

And let’s not forget Generation X, born 1965 to 1976. Not sure what their collective memory moment is.

If your business customers are mostly Baby Boomers, your business is in trouble. The numbers are stacked against you. Millennials’ collective buying power is an estimated $200 billion annually, and that will only grow, according to “Marketing to Millennials,” by Jeff Fromm and Christie Garton.

0912-chipotle_full_600If, for instance, you are in the restaurant biz, take heed.

According to the NY Times, restaurant visits among Millennials have fallen 16 percent during the last four years, according to research by the NPD Group, a consumer marketing firm, and have failed to pick up as the economy has improved.

They are eating out less than the Baby Boomers did at their age and many in the restaurant business worry that it may be impossible to reverse the decline, which affects 50 to 60 million young people.

My 21-year-old son rather go to Chipolte for the fresh food the way he wants it than Appleby’s or TGI Friday’s any day of the week. Butter and salt, often used to make the cuisine taste good for diners … he wants nothing to do with it.

“The outlook for the restaurant industry over the next 10 years is dismal,” said Bonnie Riggs, a restaurant industry analyst at NPD.

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