In the UK, “Over-65s are the highest users of vitamins/supplements on a daily basis, with almost half taking a vitamin or supplement daily,” said Laura Jones, analyst at Mintel.
According to 2012 Canadean data, food consumed for health reasons globally was worth €100bn with over-55s buying about a quarter of it.
European consumption sat at €28bn with seniors buying about €10bn.
Never too late for a change
Canadean added that those aged 55 and over were most likely to check labels for nutrient content and levels of ingredients like fat, salt and sugar.
"Within the last 12 month, 37.2% of UK consumers aged 55 and over adjusted their diets to be healthier in the long-term with weight loss and cholesterol levels being the main concern," said Veronika Zhupanova, analyst from Canadean.
Mintel confirmed this trend. Its data showed that personal health topped the list of priorities for seniors with some 80% of US citizens aged 65 and over planning to take better care of their health over the next year.
Eurostat predicted that the population of over-65s in Europe could increase from 17% to almost 30% by 2060.
Globally, the United Nations (UN) forecasted that by 2015 there would be 144 million more over-55s consumer than there were in 2012.
The older population is not only growing but also dramatically changing, said Jones.
“Given that they are working later into life, they have to stay physically and mentally active for longer. Seniors are prepared to invest in their health in an effort to slow down the ageing process to preserve their health and lead an active life."
Their needs continue to be matched by food and supplement manufacturers targeting various categories.
But Canadean analyst Zhupanova warned older consumers retained a fundamentally conservative outlook.
“Although claims like 'joint health' and 'brain health' will attract consumers’ attention, they should be ingrained in the food consumers are already used to and not compromise the taste of the product."
NutraIngredients Healthy Ageing forum – October 28
Next Tuesday NutraIngredients is proud to host our first healthy ageing forum, an hour long online discussion about a booming sector with leading experts.
From the key markets to the category-busting formulations and the science and regulations governing the sector, nutrition experts will debate healthy ageing past, present and future from all angles.
Sign up for free here and join us on October 28th from 14:00 Paris time.