'Swing' generation is just the start of ageing consumer boom, Euromonitor

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Baby boomer

Consumer industries are only just seeing the tip of the iceberg
when it comes to the purchasing power of older consumers, says
Euromonitor International, which advises them to make age-aware
adaptations to products in the coming years.

In its new report entitled "The Swing Generation: marketing to the over-65s",​ the market researcher investigates the opportunities being blown open by people presently aged over 65 years. They are so called after swing music, which was popular in their childhoods. The consumer category is distinct from the baby boom generation, which is generally accepted to include those born in the post-war period between 1946 and 1964. Thus, the oldest baby boomers are a shade younger than 'swingers', turning 61 this year. According to Euromonitor, the Swing Generation is paving the way for the goldmine of opportunities that will open up for consumer product companies when the baby boomers reach retirement age. And health foods is amongst the industries that is already tapping the potential. The market for functional foods targeted at reducing risk of age-related conditions - from mental decline to heart disease - is said to have grown by some 96 per cent between 2000 and 2005. The wellness-boosting nature of functional foods, combined with good taste, mean they appeal to two priorities of people described as "the yuppie elderly"​: maintaining good health for as long as possible, and living well. In particular, probiotics are cited as particularly suited to the over-65s, since they can be used to aid digestion and boost the immune system. Omega-3, antioxidants and soy are also garnering attention. But there are other ways in which all consumer companies - from food to cosmetics and other luxury goods - can position to make their products as appealing as possible, said Euromonitor. "All consumer industries will have to adapt in order to profit from this growing consumers segment, who will increasingly be living more independently and have higher levels of discretionary income to spend." ​ It advises that companies look at elderly-friendly adaptations including simple packaging, larger keypads and stronger flavours.

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