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The gap between generations seems as wide as ever and on one key issue, there’s a stark difference between the priorities of Gen Z and Baby Boomers when it comes to retail.

Exact definitions of what range of years constitute each generation vary, but one thing is clear: older Gen Zers are aging into the workforce and have become a prime cohort of consumers for brands of all kinds. However, what they demand as consumers can be drastically different than older generations.

According to a new survey published by consumer insight platform First Insight, “The State of Consumer Spending: Gen Z Shoppers Demand Sustainable Retail,” brands may have a hard time attracting Gen Z while adhering to the policies familiar to their forebears.

For example, more than any generation, Baby Boomers are less receptive to sustainable messaging. Only 39 percent of those polled in the December 2019 study of more than 1,000 consumers agreed that they prefer to buy their products from sustainable brands. Compare that to millennials and Gen Z, which recorded 62 percent agreement to the same sentiment.

In fact, even the Silent Generation, whose oldest members predate Baby Boomers by two decades, favored sustainable brands more than Baby Boomers, at 44 percent.

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