Plastic Packaging Priorities: Millennials Vs. Baby Boomers

Posted by Rob Helmke | Tuesday, December 17, 2013 1 Comment

Two of the biggest and most influential consumer demographics in the country have some drastic differences between them, which can present a challenge for plastic packaging manufacturers. Together, millennials and baby boomers represent almost 70 percent of the U.S. population. While the former are entering the workforce in rapidly increasing numbers, the latter are retiring just as quickly. Whether you want to create packaging designs that speak to the younger demographic, the older one, or both, what do you have to keep in mind?

Millennial Priorities for Packaging Designs

There are now more than 80 million millennials in the U.S. today, and having come of age during a time of huge technological innovation, they are well-connected and influential consumers. How do you target them with your packaging designs?

First of all, millennials prefer a combination of practicality and style—packaging designs that are creative, but not frivolous. They are eco-conscious, which means that plastic packaging should be sustainable and minimize waste. Finally, millennials are busy, and heavily invested in time-saving opportunities. This means that packaging manufacturers should maintain a focus on convenience, including single-serve and travel-size portions that consumers can take with them and even enjoy on the go.

What Baby Boomers Look For

Ten thousand baby boomers will celebrate their 65th birthday today. And tomorrow. And every day for the next 16 years, according to the Pew Research Center. As one of the biggest demographics in the country hits retirement age in increasing numbers, packaging manufacturers have to adapt their strategy for marketing to it.

Baby boomers generally prioritize a package's visibility and usability over creative design. They appreciate practicality, simplicity, and plastic packages that just get the job done.

But that's not all. In fact, baby boomers and millennials have one important thing in common: Neither is heavily influenced by brand loyalty.

This places a challenge on anyone marketing their products to either demographic, as both boomers and millennials are open-minded and willing to experiment with the products they buy, whether motivated by price or by marketing. For the packaging manufacturer, this means not taking a brand name for granted and working to find new, innovative solutions for attracting and retaining consumer interest—no matter how old the audience.

The Secrets of Successful Packaging

Topics: Custom Packaging, Plastics