- Boomers say that “old age” begins at age 73, tied for the highest age reported by any generation (the Silent). Forever-young Boomers refuse to label themselves as “old,” and believe that a fulfilling life can be lived well into one’s golden years. (U.S. Trust)
- NH: Today's 73-year-olds were born in 1943, just where we identify the first Boomer cohort. Hmmmm. For the record, Xers say old age starts at 65 and Millennials say it starts at age 59. Of course, we may well see those dates recede as these generations continue to age! Less expectedly, Millennials put the highest number on "when youth ends" (40), whereas Boomers and Xers both say youth ends at 31. Millennials, at this moment, are thus looking forward to only 19 years between youth and old age.
- In a letter to shareholders, Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith blames Millennials in part for casual dining’s decline. While much of what she said rings true (Millennials do love cooking at home and ordering delivery), restaurant-goers of all ages are now “trading up” for higher quality or “trading down” for lower price. (Business Insider)
- NH: BWLD's woes in part reflect the headwind facing casual dining in general (see: "Why Restaurants Are Starving") and also specific challenges with the chain's young customers. Ever-fewer Millennials are frequenting malls and watching sports on TV. Might love those wings delivered at home, though.
- Apple announced an upcoming “Do Not Disturb While Driving” mode for iOS at its annual developer conference. While the company’s efforts to curb distracted driving couldn’t hurt, such measures alone are unlikely to lower the rising U.S. traffic death rate, a trend caused by Americans getting back on the road. (The Drive)
- NH: Yes, traffic deaths are up, but the rise isn't caused by texting. See: "How Millennials Are Steering the Future of Auto Insurance."
- Millennials are more satisfied than Boomers and Xers with their health plan choices—and are more likely to be actively engaged in choosing a plan. And it makes sense: Risk-averse Millennials want to make the best choice that not only addresses their health care needs, but also doesn’t break the bank. (Employee Benefit Research Institute)
- NH: One counterintuitive finding from the EBRI study is that Millennials--whose per-capita medical costs are much lower than those of older generations--are more likely to ask for generic drug brands and comparison shop among providers.
- Sprint is offering a full year of unlimited voice and data service to Verizon customers who bring their own phone. The deal is exceptional even for Sprint, a company that (along with T-Mobile) has long lured “switchers” with discounts and perks. (Bloomberg Business)
- An increasing number of summer camps are catering to Boomers. Most of these programs offer traditional activities like archery and rope courses, while some also offer more sophisticated accommodations for Boomers who don’t want to share a bunk bed with a stranger. (MarketWatch)
- NH: Still looking for their inner child, today's Boomers are no doubt doing some things at summer camp they couldn't do the first time around--like relaxing with alcohol and cannabis.
- Toys “R” Us saw consolidated net sales fall by $113 million YOY to $2.2 billion in Q1 2017—thanks in large part to a bust in its baby business. Mainstream toy retailers face a harsh demographic reality: Millennials are waiting to start having kids, and the ones who are having kids opt for high-end products sold by specialty retailers. (Kidscreen)
- NH: If you want robust mainstream toy sales, go where the birthrates are up--like Russia. Yes, that's right. The Russian TFR is now rising as fast as ours is falling. The Russian retailer "Detsky Mir" (Children's World) just conducted a hugely successful IPO amid sales growth that is vastly outpacing Russia's overall retail trend.
- Contributor John Judis contends that, across the globe, “The Millennials Are Moving Left.” However, this is just half of the story: Young people worldwide are fleeing the center by flocking to far-left and far-right populist candidates who represent a departure from the status quo. (The New Republic)
- NH: A good piece from a writer I don't always agree with (to put it charitably). But as always Judis is overly obsessed with the left-right distinction. Yes, the word "left" works in the U.K., Spain, and the United States right now. But what about eastern and central Europe--or, for that matter, Japan, India, and the Philippines--where the word "right" works better? In our current era, in which youth is gravitating toward populist and authoritarian political models, the old left-right dichotomy no longer works. See: "Are Millennials Giving Up on Democracy?"
- One-fifth of all U.S. freelancers earn at least $100,000 annually, up from just 12.5% in 2011. The numbers show that gig-economy work has become popular not just among the out-of-work crowd that can’t find full employment, but also among skilled workers who would rather set their own schedules. (MBO Partners)
- NH: This is a hard one to figure. The study's rising share is predicated on a measure of gig workers that is declining. We think any fair measure of "gig workers" is probably rising over time. See "The Gig Economy is Alive and Growing."
- Attorney Stephen Rue weighs in on the rise in “gray divorces” among the 65+. As people live longer, they realize that they can start over again and still have many years to spare—an argument that's especially persuasive for Boomers who have never been afraid to go solo in their quest for inner tranquility. (WWL.com)
Brands Battle for E-Sports Enthusiasts. We’ve mentioned before how U.S. Millennials are embracing the e-sports phenomenon that has swept through foreign markets like South Korea. (See: “E-Sports Ups Its Game.”) Now, companies are jumping on board in an attempt to boost their popularity among young gaming fans. Take Red Bull, which has gone far beyond a conventional sponsorship deal with its creation of the Red Bull Performance eSports Lab. Located in Santa Monica, the lab is a training center for pro and aspiring e-sports athletes alike, and offers everything from team communication training to nutrition education to eye-movement tracking. Meanwhile, Bud Light created a team of e-sports “All-Stars” that the brand tasked with participating in a behind-the-scenes podcast, entering competitions, and hosting Twitch streams throughout the gaming season. Coca-Cola even created its own e-sports tournament, the eCOPA, featuring the popular FIFA 17 video game. Along with bragging rights, last year’s eCOPA winner received a $5,000 college scholarship.