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Booming food industry opportunities as Boomers age

By Caroline Scott-Thomas , 06-Apr-2011
Last updated on 06-Apr-2011 at 12:26 GMT

A growing number of healthy Americans over the age of 50 are thinking about aging in terms of health and wellness, and present huge opportunities for the food industry, says a new report from Packaged Facts.

Increasingly, food and beverage marketers are recognizing the marketing opportunities presented by the Boomer generation of Americans, aged about 50 to 65, as they look to whole, natural and organic foods in particular as an important component of a healthy lifestyle. The market research organization said that those following a health regime in the 50-plus age group are more likely to consider their wellness goals when it comes to making decisions about what to eat than health-conscious younger Americans – and with higher household incomes, are also likely to be willing to pay more for ‘better-for-you’ foods.

Publisher of Packaged Facts Don Montuori said: “As Boomers turn 50 and enter their 60s, they carry with them a firm belief that getting older means getting better. Many look at aging simply as another life stage filled with opportunities for reinventing themselves and experiencing new possibilities for personal growth rather than as a signal to wind down their lives.”

In its new report, “Healthy 50+ Americans: Trends and Opportunities in the Emerging Wellness Market”, Packaged Facts defines ‘healthy’ 50-plus Americans as those who have had no moderate or serious health conditions or illnesses in the past year, and who follow an exercise regime. This group represents more than $1trn of aggregate household income, presenting a “demanding but lucrative” consumer segment, the market researcher said, adding that high quality is crucial to appealing to the healthy 50-plus market.

The report also found that healthy consumers over 50 are more likely to seek out information on products before purchase, but they are less likely to trust advertising.

But the incentive for finding effective ways to communicate health benefits to older consumers is clear: From 2010 to 2015 the number of Americans aged 50 and over is expected to grow by 11.3 percent and account for 73 percent of the population, while the number of Americans younger than 50 is expected to increase by just 2 percent during this period.

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