There are just under 20 million veterans in the U.S. today. That number is expected to decrease to just about 13 million over the next 20 years. However, while the overall population declines, the percentage of multicultural and women veterans is on the rise, reflecting broader American demographic trends and resulting in the most diverse veteran community the U.S. has ever seen.
Notably, the makeup of veteran households has an immense impact on what they buy. For instance, veteran households are 74% more likely to buy vitamins, driven in large part by older households (age 55+) and by those with no children. Meanwhile, veterans’ households are also 57% more likely to buy office and school supplies, which is driven by households with children under the age of six and those with married families with no children. Understanding the differences within the veteran community is vital for companies hoping to design products that will meet the needs of this valuable consumer group.
The way the U.S. veteran population consumes content is also shifting. While veterans show a preference for traditional forms of media and entertainment like television and newspapers, brands and advertisers seeking to reach these informed, active and civically engaged consumers must not overlook emerging digital platforms when designing media plans. After all, one-fifth of veterans say they spend between one and two hours per day on social networking sites.