Food for seniors is one of 10 top trends for 2012

By Tom Chandler

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Marketing

Food for senior thought. Products designed for seniors will become increasingly important
Food for senior thought. Products designed for seniors will become increasingly important
Food products designed for consumers over the age of 65 is one of the key food trends that will dominate 2012, according to marketing research firm Innova Market Insights.

The number of food and drink products in this category is expected to soar [globally] by 50% over the next 40 years, as age-related foods become more popular and manufacturers discover the buying power of senior citizens.

Manufacturers are now planning food products with characteristics designed to benefit seniors such as reduced acid, age-related nutrition formulas, easily consumable (or easy to swallow) textures, and lightweight product packaging.


Functional products, which directly benefit some aspect of human health, are increasingly being targeted at the over 65 category. Age-related factors, such as nutrition, readable labelling, and ease-of-use, will play a more important role in product selection.

Head of market research at Innova, Lu Ann Williams, said: “In 2050 the UN estimates that there will be 2bn people over the age of 50. So, this is growing fast, growing globally, and even in the more developed regions, it’s going to increase by 50% over the next 40 years. There is a big need for products to cater for this market”.

Continuing the age-related theme, another key trend; ‘40 is the 20’, highlights the attention food and drink manufacturers are likely to pay to the 40- to 65-year-old age group. Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in products that will allow them to age well and maintain an active lifestyle, said Innova.

Other top trends highlighted by Innova were: an emphasis on pure ingredients, the location of production, green concerns, premium products, science, regulatory factors, niche opportunities and proteins. (See full list below.)

The use of the term ‘Pure' was quickly becoming a popular marketing tool, said the research group. It reported that the use of the term had doubled since 2008.


Location of production was another key trend that would become important next year. Food and drink packaging will increasingly emphasise the location of production as more consumers perceive location to be a sign of product quality.

“Where food is produced is increasingly used on the real estate of food packaging,”​ said Williams. “There is still a huge demand for local products that support local suppliers. I think even multi-nationals will soon have a local or regional strategy.”

Allied to location will be a renewed emphasis on food and drink packaging that has a greener image. Factors such as a manufacturer’s carbon emissions strategy and recycling plans will increasingly influence consumers when it comes to choosing between competing brands.

Innova's top trends for 2012

  1. Pure is the new natural
  2. Green is a given
  3. Location, location, location
  4. Premium stands out
  5. Seniors get some attention
  6. 40 is the new 20
  7. Grounded in science
  8. Regulatory forces a rethink
  9. Unmeasurable niches
  10. 10. Booms for proteins

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1 comment

An older view

Posted by Peter J Morgan,

As I am in my 80s, I appreciate the thoughts expressed An article calling attention to the needs foodwise of the older population has long been needed. I look forward to the a full scale implementation of this scheme in the year to come.

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