California State University, Fullerton

News Categories

CSUF News Service

Center to Focus on the 50-Plus Generation and Marketing

Oct. 8, 2013

The Boomer Generation and its purchasing power will be the focus of a new interdisciplinary organization being established next year.

The Center for 50-Plus Consumer Studies, in the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, will be tasked with understanding the marketplace needs of consumers ages 50 and above.

When it opens, it will be only the second such center dedicated to the aging consumer and housed in a college of business.

"Consumers aged 50-plus constitute the largest demographic in history and will for the next 50 years," said Susan Cadwallader, associate professor of marketing who is developing the center, seeking sponsors and establishing an advisory board. The formal opening is planned for fall 2014.

"These consumers have $2.4 trillion in annual income and spend $2 trillion on goods and services each year — $7 billion of it online," she added.

The new center "will support interdisciplinary theoretical and applied research, and disseminate findings through specialized learning experiences designed for researchers, graduate students and employees of participating organizations," she said.

Already, Cadwallader has established a "50+ Consumer Marketing" course in which marketing and gerontology graduate students research and develop industry-specific strategic marketing white papers on the types of goods and services of interest to this group of consumers. The white papers have been published as emagazines and are available for download on the Marketing Department website.

Such research has found that this population "cares the most about housing, health and wellness, leisure and entertainment, as well as the financial aspects of retirement," Cadwallader noted.

"The more we delve into the needs and desires of this important demographic, the better we will be able to help our students prepare for their future careers," she explained. "Business professionals knowledgeable about how 50-plus consumers make purchase decisions, skilled at identifying new products/services for this target population, and effective in articulating the value proposition, will prove invaluable to the organizations employing them."

For more information about the center, call 657-278-7565 or email

Tags:  Academics & Research