Kennedy, Truman, FDR and a Whole Lot of Soda

We love Information Resources Inc. Have we ever told you that? Information Resources Inc. supplies us with a lot of numbers, and they recently sent us this great newsletter on “Baby Boomers.”

Turns out, Baby Boomers aren’t just one group of aging folks – they’re actually divided into two groups, by President – Truman Boomers, and Kennedy Boomers – both of whom have their own preferences when it comes to drinks!

(Which reminds of us of an old headline from “The Onion” – “Perky Canada has own Laws, Currency”)

Because they often actually still have kids at home, it turns out the (forty-something) Kennedy Boomers (so named because they were born during the Kennedy/Johnson era) are prone to drink more carbonated beverages and beer than their counterparts from the Truman era. On the other side of the age divide, folks in their 60s, who were born largely when FDR was president, are much more likely to prefer wine and spirits.

The question for major beverage groups, therefore, lies with the (fifty-something)Truman Boomers, who currently enjoy all four in equal proportion, but seem to : will they age into wine and spirits, like the previous generation, or will they remember how much they enjoyed Coke and Pepsi and Bud and Miller, and keep drinking it into their dotage? If they don’t – and given the way wine is touted for its health benefits, there’s a real possibility things could swing that way – some of the country’s biggest beverage companies will be in for a big share fight, and the Kennedy folks will absolutely follow suit. Unless, that is, CSD’s come up with some attractive bits of functionality to keep those old folks down on the farm.

More and more beverages are masquerading as medicines, and wine (and vodka, which got a wicked double boost from the Atkins madness as well as pop culture zeitgeist) have both done a good job of putting on the costume. But CSD’s and beer haven’t – they just seem to make you belch, and the Boomers are all used to getting what they want, and they don’t want to make the world sing anymore, they want to have it tell them they’ve had a great check-up and they’ll live another 100 years.

Looking at soda and beer, when the Truman Boomers say “Show Me,” they’d better have something ready to go. Otherwise, the Kennedy kids will be asking neither what their country can do for them, nor what they can do for their country, but whether or not there’s a fine Merlot anywhere in their house in the country.