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NMI Indicates Spending Power of Men in a Recession

Posted: July 7, 2009

A new survey from the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) shows men to be less affected by the recession in their spending habits.

Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) today revealed more findings from its annual Healthy Aging/Boomer Database consumer research. The survey was fielded in January 2009 among more than 3,100 U.S. general population adults.

While much has been written recently that identifies women aged 40+ as today’s power consumer, NMI’s managing partner Steve French cautions that boomer men should not be ignored by marketers. “Boomer men are less affected by the recession than women. In fact, 40% of men do not feel the amount of stress in their lives has increased due to the current economy while less than 30% of women feel that their stress level has not increased. Men are also more likely to spend versus saving and make impulse purchases. They represent tremendous targeting opportunities across a range of industries.”

With more than $1 trillion in spending power, men are also more likely than women to buy brand name products, particularly at the grocery store. NMI found that about half of men are willing to purchase national brands over store brands as opposed to one-quarter of women. While shopping was once considered a woman’s domain, men are increasingly playing a role or even becoming the primary shopper for their family. Less than a decade ago, men accounted for only 20% of primary grocery shoppers, but today one-third are doing the majority of their household grocery shopping.

These findings corroborate emerging cultural changes and marketplace behaviors that, when combined, point to a consumer revolution around aging and masculinity. “An abundance of 50+ boomer men,” said white paper co-author Brent Green, “promises to inculcate new vitality to masculine aging. Boomer men are making deliberate and proactive lifestyle choices, and this is being revealed through NMI research, consumer behavior, and brilliant marketing nuanced for generation and gender.”