Comparison Millennials' consumer behavior with Baby Boomers generation in the area of health products


In our modern times, health is always the most concern for every people all around the world. There are many people dead every year because of cancer and great deals of different illnesses involve in health problem.

In addition, one of the main reasons come from healthy eating habit or definition about how to live healthy so it has many campaigns about live healthy in many countries. However, people can get all of nutrient by eating foods so health products are a suitable way to add nutrient so the choice of this one might not the same among generations


Millennials refers to people who are born from 1980 to 1996 and they also known as generation Y or Echo boomers (Schiffman and Wisenblit, 2015, 329).

In the same book, it also mentions to the definition of Baby Boomers. Baby Boomers refers to another age segment that people are born from 1946 and 1964 (Schiffman and Wisenblit, 2015, 331).

A consumer behavior model from Mothersbaugh and Hawkins may analyze some different factors among their consumer behavior. According to Mothersbaugh and Hawkins (2016) there are two influences in consumer behavior: internal and external (Gerlach, 2017) but perception factor in internal influences will use to compare the differences and similarities.

For any circumstance, each person has their own thought, perception and decision for buying a product.

Consumer perception

In the definition of consumer perception, perception is the process of each individual in selecting, organizing or describing how they see the world around them and it might show a highly individual decision based on demand, values and expectation of each person (Schiffman and Wisenblit, 2015, 114).


Being healthy not only come from outside like appearance but also from inside so food supplements like an method to improve, support or maintain health and are using more and more in consumer market. In a recently journal article, there are 71 percent of population use food supplements over 170 million US adults (Johnsen, 2017, 34).

Diagram 1: 2016 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements ((Johnsen, 2017, 34)

Furthermore, this article showed that millennials who ages 18 to 34 years old occupied 70 percent in supplement consumption while baby boomers accounted for the highest percentage for this consumption with 74 percent (Johnsen, 2017, 34).

On the other hand, people take dietary supplements for many reasons and in the same article the top two reasons for why take food supplement in supplement consumers were overall wellness and fill nutrient gaps in diet process (Johnsen, 2017, 34).

Diagram 1: 2016 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements ((Johnsen, 2017, 34)

For millennials, it has an increasing trend of using dietary supplement with the amount of 36 percent from 2009 to 2013 and according to a supplements/OTC/Rx Consumer and Market Trends report 55 percent of millennials believe that food supplement can help them regulate their health problems (Originates, 2013).

Excepting use daily multivitamin, omega 3 or protein, millennials also pay attention to sport supplement because sport nutrition might help rise energy levels, control weight, improve concentration, develop body composition and growth (Nutritionist, 2017).

Moreover, 39 percent of millennials consumers in the UK who exercise over three times a week have used dietary supplement containing L-cartinine for sports nutrition with related benefits (Nutraceutical, 2016).

In the meantime, baby boomers pay attention to food supplements which play key role for maintaining strong bone, controlling cholesterol health, improving immune health and joint function, healthy skin like vitamin D, vitamin C, calcium, omega 3, glucosamine and chondroitin + MSM (Ben, 2013).

In addition, another reason for baby boomers choose healthy supplements to look like more younger than their true age and 40 percent of them said that they use dietary supplement on a regular basis (Henke, 2005).

Finally, baby boomers always take the higher percentage than millennials in food supplement consumption or regular using for any their own reason and purpose.

According to a Millennials and Gen Z report in 2016, millennials accounted for 45 percent in regularly take supplements or vitamins while baby boomers occupied 69 percent in the same way (Hartman, 2017).

Similarly, in a health and wellness report in 2015, vitamins or minerals, OTC pain reliever, prescription medicine took the greatest percentage than other usages and baby boomers always occupied higher percentage than millennials in any consumption (Hartman, 2017).

Diagram 3: Millennials supplement usage (Hartman, 2017)
Diagram 4: Millennials supplement usage (Hartman, 2017)
Nevertheless, the differences consumer behavior in the area of health product between two age groups is not focus only on food supplements but also on healthy eating habit.

First of all, the definition about healthy eating is totally different in age groups. Healthy eating may mean use lean protein in meals,limit the amount of salt use, cook from scratch, include plenty of vegetables in meals, etc (Mintel, 2016)

Healthy eating habit
Diagram 5: Selected behaviours relating to healthy eating, by age, November 2015 (Mintel, 2016)

Turning to healthy eating habit in each age group, baby boomers tend to eat less protein and more cereal, whole grains, vegetable, salad or natural foods because they might think that it is good for their health, easy to digest and good for heart health. For instance, 90 percent of baby boomers say that healthy eating is basic ways to upgrade healthy aging in which 53 percent focus on add more whole grains to eating habits and 62 percent of more fiber (Kellogg, 2013).

In contrast, millennials indicate healthy eating habit is a definition of more protein, more cook processed so they eat meat, fish, egg to increase many kinds of nutrient in their meals which can support for building muscles or gain weight. According to a marketing website, millennials spend 44 percent on meat purchases per month while baby boomers just spend 22 percent in the same purchases (Uetz, 2016).


Women in both millennial and baby boomers may be always more health perception or conscious than men. According to a nutrition journal, women took higher percentage in food supplements consumption than men in the same age and gradually increased by each age group (Dickinson and Mackay, 2014).

Diagram 6: Prevalence of dietary supplements use in men and women by age group 2003-2006, (Dickinson and Mackay, 2014).

Beauty seems to be one of the most concerns for every people in any age group especially women so they might have same trend in beauty supplements usage.

A recent Mintel report in 2015 presented that it occupied 96 percent of consumer women ages over 16 who are willing to spend their purchase on beauty products like skincare, hair care (Khanom, 2015).

For more details, results of a survey in this report based on 1300 female internet users aged over 16 who single, get married and in a relationship said that the most reason they want to take care of their appearance to help them feel more confident or look healthier.

In addition, appearance is familiar with health, making an effort with appearance for keeping attractive with partner or get new partner are also the reasons for women use supplements. In general, women in any age group include millennial and baby boomers always the same similarities about health perception and maintain beauty.


In conclusion, a comparison with differences and similarities about consumer behaviour in the area of health products above, it can be seen that millennial and baby boomers have their own different perception in terms of health. As a result, they know what they want or what they need to improve so they choose food supplements in their way for their own purpose.

In each age group, they also have different definition about healthy eating habit to live healthy. Nevertheless, women in two age groups have the same perception, thinking and using trend’ beauty supplement.

By the way, with any reason or thought, health is always the most important for people like Kenedy said that “Physically fitness is not only one of the most important key to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity” (Kenedy, undated).


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Henke, M. (2005). Baby boomers and vitamin supplements. Eating for energy. Available from [accessed 21 March 2017]

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Kellogg (2013). Healthy investment. Kellogg. Available from [accessed 23 March 2017]

Khanom, R. (2015). Inside-Out beauty. UK: Mintel. Available from [accessed 25 March 2017]

Mintel (2016). Attitudes towards healthy eating. UK:Mintel. Available from [accessed 23 March 2017]

Nutritionist (2017). Sports nutrition. Surrey: Nutritionist. Available from [accessed 21 March 2017]

Nutraceutical (2016). Sports nutrition for the millennial generation. Nutraceutical. Available from [accessed 21 March 2017]

Originates (2013) Millennials supplementation use increases dramatically. Originates. Available from [accessed 21 March 2017]

Schiffman, L. G. and Wisenblit, J. L. (2015) Consumer Behavior, 11th edition. Harlow: Pearson Education.

Uetz, M. (2016). Millennials, Boomers and meat: a closer look. Midan Marketing. Available from [accessed 23 March 2017].

Created By
Vy Nguyen


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