Baby boomers' reasons for choosing specific food shops

Tony Worsley, Wei Chun Wang, Wendy Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) are approaching retirement and there is concern about their preparation for their future health and wellbeing. Food shopping is likely to play a major role in their future lives. The purpose of this paper is to examine their reasons for choosing to buy food from particular shops and whether demographic characteristics and health status were associated with them. Design/methodology/approach: A questionnaire survey was conducted among a random sample of 1,037 people aged between 40 and 71 years in Victoria, Australia. Respondents were asked to indicate, from a list, their reasons for choosing to shop at particular food outlets. Regression analysis was used to examine the relationships between respondents' demographics and health status and their reasons for shopping at the food stores. Findings: Multivariate analysis showed that the reasons the respondents reported in choosing shops fell into four groups: saving, convenience, quality and healthy foods, and user-friendly environment. Saving was negatively related to income, age, level of education and also linked with country of birth, religious affiliation, and marital status. Convenience was negatively associated with age and also related to health status and religious affiliation. Quality/healthy food products were positively related to age but negatively associated with body mass index, and also linked to country of birth. User-friendly environment was negatively associated with income and education and related to gender and religious affiliation. Originality/value: The paper's results show that stores could provide more information, perhaps as signage, to their recycling and health information facilities, particularly in low socio-economic status areas. Furthermore, the social status and religious associations confirm the view that shopping reflects broad societal affiliations among baby boomers. Shopping centres can be used to provide support for health and environmental sustainability promotions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-882
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Retail & Distribution Management
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Baby boomer generation
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Food
  • Shopping behaviour
  • Survey

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