In its Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2017 report, Euromonitor International explores the changing demands of an aging consumer base and the complex relationships shoppers have with the brands they buy.
This year, nearly 25% of the planet will be over the age of 50, and will add to the “longevity economy.” According to Euromonitor, these shoppers are “anxious as well as inspired by aging,… are keen consumers of a long list of health and beauty products… and are receptive to tech developments.”
Many of these shoppers fall under Euromonitor’s so-called “Midorexia” category, made up of older and middle-aged consumers who act — and shop — as if they are younger than they actually are. This, as well as the fact that people live and work longer than in previous generations, has resulted in increasing interest in wellness and product health benefits.
More than ever, the world's consumer base is being fragmented and targeted down to its smallest common – and sometimes uncommon – denominators. Manufacturers and retailers categorize shoppers as consumers with special needs, food restrictions or requirements, and desire for unique store formats and layouts. Little regard is given to shoppers who might benefit from areas with foods oriented toward their specific dietary needs.
This categorization has also resulted in fervent focus on the millennial demographic, which the industry hails as leading trend setters in the food space. And while it’s evident that the interests of these adventurous young shoppers are spurring the evolution of product formulas, food advertising and more, it’s important to remember the aren’t the only shoppers with purchasing power.
According to AARP’s “The Longevity Economy” report, “The growing population over 50 represents both a transformative force by itself and a net asset — a fast-growing contingent of active, productive people who are working longer and taking the economy in new directions.”
Baby boomers' economic activity is worth around $7.6 trillion, something to which producers should give adequate attention.
So, what exactly do these shoppers want? According to Euromonitor’s report, more meal kit delivery services. Meal kits offer the “adventure” those in the Midorexia category may be seeking, but are also low-risk and easy to prepare for busy, older working populations.
It’s important for brands to identify the spending behavior of this shopper segment and advertise to them in ways that will be well-received. According to the report, this is best done by focusing more on the tastes of a demographic rather than marketing that’s “age-appropriate.”