building generational gaps by interviewing gen x-ers

For our Human Centered Design project, my group is working on understanding consumer habits of people who fall within the Generation X category, that is anyone born between 1961-1981.

In our research building up to this interview process, it became clear that the generational gap between Millennials/Gen Z and Gen X/Baby Boomers is massive. Not only does is widely exist, but it is arguably growing bigger by the day.

There are certainly strides that connect Millennials with Generation X. In my own experience locally, I’ve found that through attending rallies and marches that align with my beliefs have placed me in some really interesting conversations with Gen X friends. But normally, I don’t ever divulge into the life of a Gen X-er.

Our objective with interviewing a range of people in Gen X was to understand their shopping habits, what they find important in a shopping experience, and essentially, how sustainability plays a role in their grocery experience.

The interview that I conducted was with someone I work with, who I already knew was a bit more progressive. I was still excited to learn about his habits when it comes to shopping and what he finds important.

It was cool to talk to someone that I interact with (or used to) everyday and get insight into this area of their lives, especially when we have been speculating about it in a (seemingly) abstract way for so long.

I was interested to learn that even a progressive person is somewhat passive when it comes to grocery shopping, and not in a bad way. They care about fresh produce, fresh meat, and cutting out plastic while shopping. However, the rest of their habits weren’t too far off from anyone else that we interviewed, regardless of lifestyle or income.

In the interview I could tell that this person certainly cared about environmental issues and is even up to date on them. They do their part to be sustainable in the midst of their busy lifestyle. It was also cool to learn about their lifestyle, which is nature centric and aims to shop this way as well.

I found it interesting that overall, everyone’s shopping habits regardless of wether they’re progressive or conservative, there are parts of shopping that fall victim to convenience almost every time.