Healthy ageing – a top consumer trend

70 percent of boomers are looking for products with labels that have benefits.

In 2006, 28 percent said branded ingredients listed on the front of the package increases the likelihood of purchasing a product; in 2010, it was 32 percent according to the American Natural Marketing Institute (NMI).

Healthy ageing is among the top trends in innovation affecting the natural dietary supplement and food industry. Others are health and wellness and sustainability.

Healthy ageing is getting younger and spanning generations. It used to be a Boomer woman who used anti-ageing products, now it’s not limited to Boomers or women.

All generations are looking for products with labels that have benefits: Gen Y (71 percent), Gen X (66 percent), Boomers (70 percent) and Matures (74 percent). They are also seeking foods with anti-ageing qualities.

Fortified food interest is also increasing for ingredients such as vitamins/minerals, omega-3s and probiotics. Probiotics is the smallest of the three, but is the fasted growing.

However, some aging trends are generation specific. Boomers are more likely than younger generations to eat heart healthy foods, eat high-fiber foods, change diets to lower cholesterol and seek ways to reduce inflammation. The youngest consumers are more likely to view food as medicine. Gen Y wants nutrient fortification, foods on the go, detoxification and energy. Gen X is looking for convenience, stress reduction, taste, immunity and calorie-friendly products. Boomers are interested in anti-ageing, heart health, vitality, anti-inflammation and blood sugar friendly products.

Lessons for marketers, older consumers will grow increasingly concerned about what they eat. Clear and legible labelling (age-friendly) could become a competitive point-of-difference.