Firstly, both two generations have same Need Recognition when they are looking for health foods. British adults aged 19-64 are reported to consume an unhealthy diet which is too high in salt and saturated fat and limited in fibre and green (Houses of Parliament, 2016). However, Millennials and Baby Boomers recogise the problem and look for a more healthy eating lifestyles. Since 2000, health consciousness has become a global phenomenon and consumers at all ages are more aware of the important of health and eating lifestyles (SRI International 2010; Hartman Group, 2012: Marjanen et al., 2016). According to Cimigo (2015), both Millennials and Baby Boomers rated health as the most concerned in lives. Millennials care more about health because they perceive health is an important attribute to achieve personal goals and provide productive works (Dossin, 2016). As previously stated, Millennials are highly educated, thus, they have much knowledge on the importance of health. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers spend most of their money on health sectors (Fona, 2015) because they desire youthful spirits and manage health issues (Lee, 2016; Nutraceuticals, 2010). Baby Boomers are elderly generation and facing numerous health conditions related to ageing, thus, it is extremely crucial for them to have high demands on health products, especially foods. Therefore, many foods and beverages brands focus on products that meet healthy needs of consumers. These ideas mirror the ideology of Dorsey-Kockler (2010) and Glikes-Smith (2014) academic who also studied the need recognition of consumers in health product sector.
Secondly, findings show that both generation highlight Promotion as the most influenced factors in the Marketing mix when they come up with a decision on buying health foods. They share a love for coupons and sales promotion (Synchrony Financial, 2015). Both groups prefer promotion that highly engages with consumers and provides useful information about specific health benefits (Chiarello-Ebner, 2015). It leads to understanding for marketers to attract both generations purchasing their health food products.
Sociocultural Influences are an important factor that affects the decision process. Millennials highly value opinions of friends and family and more likely to be inspired by online reviews (Chiarello-Ebner, 2015; Dossin, 2016; Fromm, 2015). They live in the technological world, thus, it is easy for them to seek for product reviews online. More than 80% of Millennials favour word of mouth from friends, family and social media while there are only 50% of Baby Boomers value that (Bucuta, 2015). Baby Boomers get the most influences from face-to-face retailers and salespeople (Synchrony Financial, 2015).
The second difference is Communication Sources. Millennials perceive traditional channels (e.g: television, print) are out-of-date and unattractive (Bucuta, 2015). Millennials are more clever and aware of marketing tactics employed by traditional media. Thus, it is less likely for them to receive communication messages from marketers through traditional media. Conversely, a 2013 Radius Global Market Research study showed that almost 40% of Baby Boomers value print media for product searching and advertising (Palm, 2015). Moreover, they live in TV era, thus, TV commercial has a large and reliable impact on their consumer behaviour (Palm, 2015). On the other hand, Millennials are technology-savvy and more likely to influenced by social media, especially contents that are written by authentic peers (Schawbel, 2015). Brands that highly engage with them on social media platforms and have positive online feedback are favoured by Millennials.
When two generations do Pre-purchase Information Search, more than 30% of Millennials find healthy food information on blogs while there is only 8% of Baby Boomers trust bloggers (Clayton, 2016) although 88% of them access to the Internet (Tennant et al., 2015). Millennials search information mostly online (Fromm, 2015). However, it leads to a problem that online information are too crowded for Millennials to make a final decision. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers do not research many sources before purchasing and decide quickly (Lee, 2016).
The major difference is Evaluation of Purchase Alternatives. Millennials and Baby Boomers seek for different product attributes when they decide to purchase healthy foods. 40% of Millennials rank ingredients sourced sustainability is the selling point in their purchase decision (Nielsen, 2015) while Baby Boomers are more concerned about nutritional factors such as sugar-free and low-fat (Fona, 2015; Mintel, 2016). Almost half of Baby Boomers are more interested than Millennials in foods that satisfy health benefits such as anti-aging, bone-maintaining and weight management (Clayton, 2016). They are less likely to seek for mental and muscle health benefits in foods than Millennials (Clayton, 2016). Moreover, Millennials highlight organic food trends (Tweed, 2016; Hoffman, 2012). 45% of Millennials actively purchase organic foods compared to only 30% of Baby Boomers to do so (Tuttle, 2015). Therefore, Baby Boomers tend to buy health food that high in fibre and vitamins while Millennials seek for organic products providing protein and energy. Price is another criteria to be assessed. Baby Boomers are less influenced by price than Millennials when purchasing goods (Synchrony Financial, 2015). However, Millennials are more likely to pay extra for health products, especially sustainable sourced ingredients foods (41% compared with 21%) (Nielsen, 2015).