Food firms need to offer healthier products for over 60s

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Food and drink firms need to offer an over-60s range
Food and drink firms need to offer an over-60s range

Related tags: Tetra pak, Nutrition

Food and beverage companies need to offer healthier products, fortify foods with vitamins and minerals and have less salt, sugar, calories and fat, to tap into the growing over-60s market, says new research from packaging company Tetra Pak.  

Its consumer study called ‘Spending power of seniors to hit US$10tn by 2020: how the food and drink industry can attract the over 60s’ said that seniors or those aged over 60 are the fastest growing consumer group in the world and are a “key target” ​for global food and beverage manufacturers.

According to the United Nations, by 2050 more than 22% of the world’s population will be aged 60 and over, compared with just 8% today.

“They have an increasing share of income compared with other demographics and an increasingly high spending power,” ​the report said.

“Seniors have a higher spend on food and beverages compared to the rest of the adult population. They spend 20% of their income on food and beverages, where the average for those under 60 is 18%.”

According to the report there is a need for products that focus on a more natural and healthy lifestyle. It highlights that the first fortified white milk has been produced for senior adults in China.

Seniors are also heavy consumers of vitamins and supplements, such as those that promote stronger bones, better digestive help or cardiovascular health. The report also said that seniors are more focused on low-salt, low-sugar, low-calories and low-fat diets than other adults, which is an opportunity for food manufacturers.

Five key needs:

Tetra Pak believes that seniors focus on five key needs that food manufacturers need to recognise.

The first, ‘Living longer, living better’ means that seniors are putting an increased emphasis on healthy living and maintaining a healthy weight. According to the research, just under a third said they were actively looking for products and services that help with a healthy lifestyle.

That means they have a focus on vitamins, dietary supplements and functional food such as value added milk with omega 3, or with calcium or fibre content,”​ the report said. 

Secondly it highlights ‘Respect for tradition and love of family’. It said that family relationships take on greater importance, while ‘honesty’ comes top as the personal value. According to Tetra Pak this means that seniors are loyal with two-thirds of them keen to buy local food wherever they can.

The outdoor life

Third, ‘The outdoor life’ claims that seniors are keen to stay fit, be sociable and have more leisure time. The fourth key need is titled ‘A demanding generation’, where Tetra Pak claimed that seniors put greater emphasis on quality and price than other groups.

The report said: “For manufacturers, that means making sure those messages come over clearly on a product’s packaging.

“More than a third prefer to own fewer, but higher quality products. And they are willing to pay extra for that quality too: only 39% say they are price sensitive when it comes to purchasing decisions.”

Lastly, ‘Don’t patronise me’ reveals that seniors look for products and ways of shopping that are more focused on their particular needs. They prefer products and packaging that are subtle and ageless and not focused on them because of age.

Libby Costin, vice president global marketing at Tetra Pak said: “Seniors spend 20% of their income on food and beverages.

They have more disposable income than previous generations, and are poised to become one of the most important consumer groups over the next decade with a total spending power of US$10 trillion by 2020. This creates a huge opportunity for manufacturers to respond to their needs.”

This report is the latest edition of Tetra Pak’s annual Consumer Generations Whitepaper series which analyses consumers in 27 countries by their age, needs and spending habits.

Five key needs for seniors

  • Living longer, living better
  • Respect for tradition, love of family
  • The outdoor life
  • A demanding generation
  • Don’t patronise me

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