Discussions about consumer trends and behavior tend to focus on two groups: millennials and baby boomers. It’s no surprise as to why. Millennials and baby boomers are the two largest groups of consumers nationally.
But, focusing so heavily on those two groups leaves out a significant portion of U.S. consumers—Generation X, whom the Pew Research Center calls America’s “neglected middle child.” It’s estimated that there are 65.7 million Gen-Xers in the United States who generate 31 percent of the total U.S. income. That means brands have a unique opportunity to boost their bottom line by including Gen-Xers in their product and packaging considerations.
The changing retail landscape also provides an opportunity for growth. With e-commerce taking over traditional retail by storm and convenience stores increasingly appealing to consumers, brands can reach consumers like never before.
So, how can you optimize your packaging to better adapt to the changing marketplace and appeal to Gen-X consumers? Let’s take a look at a persona we developed, Gen-X Gabby, to discover how brands and packagers can better appeal to Gen-X consumers.
Meet Gen-X Gabby
Gen-X Gabby is a mother of three growing children aged 10, 8, and 4. Both Gabby and her husband work full-time jobs to support the household.
When it comes to shopping, Gabby does her typical weekly grocery run but makes monthly trips to a club store to stock up on the kids’ snacks, meal kits, and household supplies. Like millennials and other shoppers, she often forgets things at the grocery store and turns to online shopping for a quick delivery. Here, she’ll order forgotten items, but also have items such as her health bars, dog food, and vitamins on automatic delivery schedules.
While Gabby enjoys visiting traditional supermarkets, she is technically savvy and enjoys the convenience that online retailers provide. She values convenient, time-saving selections to help and gets frustrated when orders have product leakage or damage, and when she has to make returns. When Gabby shops, she will choose products that help make her life easier, particularly when it comes to grocery and personal care items.
Gen-X Shopping Trends
Like others in her generation, Gen-X Gabby tends to spend more on grocery shopping than millennials or baby boomers, making it particularly important for food packagers and CPGs to implement convenient packaging solutions that are optimized to preserve product integrity across channels.
That doesn’t mean non-grocery CPGs shouldn’t follow suit, though. E-commerce is projected to grow $4.88 billion by 2021 and more Generation X consumers shop online than millennials and baby boomers. Online shopping provides consumers with convenience in and of itself, as they can shop 24/7 and from anywhere.
Making sure products are available online, however, isn’t enough—if a product arrives damaged, the consumer will have to replace it, and having to return items purchased online takes away from the convenience that online shopping provides. Brands need to adapt to the changing retail landscape by ensuring both convenience and product protection. And, since Gen-Xers are apt to show brand loyalty, it’s particularly important to reach them by enhancing packaging across channels.
Reaching Gen-X Gabby with Flexible Reclosable Packaging
Flexible packaging is ideal for reaching Gen-Xers like Gabby, especially when it features easy-to-open, resealable closures engineered to withstand various environments and preserve product integrity. With the right design and closure, flexible packaging provides advantages for retail shopping, c-stores, and e-commerce alike.
Closures such as the Slide-Rite® Tamper Evident Track and the Fresh-Lock® Ribbed Zipper minimize the risk of the package opening or product leakage. The Fresh-Lock® mini Slider is optimal for small format pouches, such on-the-go snacks or pet treats, and the child resistant Child-Guard® Track & Slider helps prevent children from accessing products that shouldn’t be consumed by children or taken without adult supervision. When combined with the right packaging, closures like these can make all the difference in reaching Gen-X consumers.
Enhance Gen-X Gabby’s Consumer Experience by Adding Convenience:
- Adopt an omni-channel packaging strategy that works for retail, c-stores, wholesalers, and e-commerce
- Choose a flexible packaging material and closure that provide durability throughout a rigorous supply chain
- Provide convenience features, such as easy-to-open and resealable closures
- Consider child-resistant closures for products including pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and household cleaners/chemicals
The Gen-X population is an important market that’s too often being overlooked. Brands that take Gen-Xers like Gabby into account in their product packaging decisions can set themselves apart while generating customer loyalty.
The Fresh-Lock team has customized zipper solutions for any product, consumer, or channel.