New product development needed for baby boomers

By Sarah Hills

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Baby boomers, Nutrition

Manufacturers need to explore new product developments in health and wellness and functional categories in order to tap into the US baby boomer market, according to a report.

Baby boomers, the group born between 1946 and 1964, are fixated on health and vitality “like no generation before”​ said the report from Information Resources, Inc (IRI), called “Baby Boomers: One Size Does Not Fit All”​.

And they are rapidly turning to food, beverages, vitamins and supplements to increase longevity and quality of life.

There are an estimated 76m baby boomers in the US, with an estimated $2 trillion in annual spending power, making this the largest and most influential consumer segment for packed goods.

However, the report said: “A one-size-fits-all strategy will not effectively meet the needs of this huge market segment.

“Micro-targeted strategies are a critical key to success.”

It added that although baby boomers may share the common goal of vitality and longevity, their approach varies within the group.

One third of baby boomers eat organic foods some or most days each week, but regular consumption of whole grains is slightly more prevalent among older consumers within the group.

Functional foods are also consumed differently over time and omega-3s along with antioxidants demonstrate “a rather significant increase in frequency of consumption over time”.

Likewise private label purchase behavior is different across age cohorts. For example, innovation in frozen private label products that are healthy with portion flexibility could be more attractive to older shoppers, who are more likely to live on their own or in a small household.

The report suggests that manufacturers wanting to target baby boomers should invest in order to understand core health and wellness needs across key consumer segments and explore new product development opportunities across broad-based functional areas (such as lowering cholesterol, natural/organic).

They also need to focus on benefits such as heart health and bone building.

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