Health and Wellness Presents a 'Taste' Challenge

It’s a physiological fact; Our taste buds begin to die off from the age of 50 making us less able to determine flavours. Among the 5 accepted tastes, the two principle/universal drivers of taste are sugar (sweet) and salt.
The conundrum is that to compensate for the declining sensitivinty in taste buds as we age, foods need stronger salt and sugar both of which are detrimental to health. The global challenge now is to enhance taste while reducing harmful salt and sugar levels through the use of synthetic flavours giving rise to “low salt” or “no sugar added” claims.JPEG

The market potential of 50+ “Healthy Consumers” who are pursuing a wellness regime that includes healthy eating and regular exercise, is growing. Anchored by boomers who firmly believe that getting older means getting better,

A report is available here titled “Healthy 50+ Americans: Trends and Opportunities in the Emerging Wellness Market“. It offers marketers a look into the future of an America where 50+ consumers will generate an increasingly large share of consumer spending power.

  • Healthy 50+ Consumers┬áhave an aggregate household income in the USA alone of $1 trillion
  • They are prime targets for marketers of a wide range of consumer goods and services. Compared to others in their age group, they have higher household incomes and are more confident about the economy as a whole as well as their own financial futures. Healthy 50+ Consumers shop more often, dine out more regularly and travel more frequently.
  • Healthy 50+ Consumers represent a demanding but lucrative consumer segment. For example, they look for quality when they buy clothes and seek out natural and organic products in the aisles of supermarkets and on the shelves of drug stores.Healthy 50+ Consumers are more likely to be women than men (53% vs. 47%). One reason for the gender disparity lies in the fact that women are more numerous in the 65+ age group as a whole because of the shorter life expectancy of men.
  • Regardless of age, women are more likely than men to report that they are consciously pursuing wellness goals.Pursuing wellness after 50 involves a higher level of activity than that associated with other consumers in the 50+ age group. Healthy 50+ Consumers account for 15% of those going to a family restaurant/steak house in the last 30 days and 16% of those attending a live theater event in the past 12 months. At the same time, Healthy 50+ Consumers view reading as a valuable activity. They account for 13% of those buying books at a bookstore in the past 12 months.
  • Respondents whose daily routine is significantly affected by wellness goals and concerns are most likely to agree with the proposition “60 is the new 50 and 70 is the new 60.” Nearly seven in 10 (68%) of 50+ consumers who are concerned with wellness have stretched their definitions of aging, compared to 58% of the 50+ age group as a whole and 62% of those under the age of 50 who are concerned about wellness in their daily lives.


Talking with experts from flavours conglomerate IFF recently, they said the challenge often faced in the world of flavours (exacerbated by the exploding ranks of 50+) is to find substitutes for salt and sweetness that will allow manufacturers to make health claims on their products while retaining flavour.

SilverAudit considers ‘taste’ in its analysis but as it’s impossible to measure taste, we focus on the content of sslt (sodium), sugar and fat relative to recommended daily intake as a measure of acceptability to older consumers.

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