Seniors: Trendsetters in Food Industry for 2012

Boomers, or at least the elder ones, are crossing the threshold into seniordom and as a result the population growth among seniors is expected to, well, boom in the years to come.

Now we are learning that this senior population group has power, purchasing power that is. Despite the hit to their retirement funds taken by many retirees and near-retirees over the past few years, it is clear seniors, and family caregivers purchasing on their behalf, have the ability to buy more than the basics.

The senior population is poised to increase in numbers quickly according to statistics from the Administration on Aging:

The older population — persons 65 years or older — numbered  39.6 million in 2009 (the latest year for which data is available). They represented 12.9% of the U.S. population, about one in every eight Americans.  By 2030, there will be about 72.1 million older persons, more than twice their  number in 2000. People 65+ represented 12.4% of the population in the year 2000  but are expected to grow to be 19% of the population by 2030.”

There is indeed strength in numbers, especially when those numbers have buying power, and seniors are demanding goods and services to meet their needs.

According to recent trending identified by the Leatherhead Research Company, senior boomers are influencing the food we will see on grocery store shelves and served at local restaurants in the near future.

The need for healthier foods that can help control and manage chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes will result in foods which meet these needs.  Foods with health claims are already making their way to our local grocery stores.

What food products can we look for this year directed at seniors?

  • food items containing glucosamine to help with stiff, sore joints
  • foods with added omega 3 fatty acids to help improve brain health
  • reduced sodium foods to aid management of heart disease and hypertension as well as more kinds of reduced fat and lower calorie items; more strongly flavored foods with bolder flavors will come to market as salt is replaced with other seasonings
  • artery cleaning products
  • gluten free products to help control the effects of celiac disease
  • foods that are “free”: dairy free, soy free, and nut free due to increased food allergies and also those wishing for healthier products
  • decreased amounts of food packaging to maintain the “green” initiative
  • expect to see a reduction in exaggerated food claims and a shift to more natural products

With the demand for healthier foods that appeal to health conscious seniors, the manufacturers are pushing their research teams hard to create products to meet this demand.  A shift to healthier and more flavorful food choices will benefit us all.  Thank you seniors!

Let us know what types of food products you would like to see for your senior, we would love to hear your ideas!