The Age Gap: Big Spenders with Unique Needs

The Age Gap: Big Spenders with Unique Needs


Empty nests can equate to shifting household spending priorities. The money we once dedicated to support a young and growing family is often replaced by aging lifestyle changes that can include dietary adjustments, physical constraints, medical considerations and travel challenges. With worldwide spending among mature consumers expected to reach US$15 trillion annually by the end of this decade (according to A.T. Kearney). This growing segment has money to spend. But are industries seizing the opportunity, and rising to meet the needs and challenges of an aging demographic?

On the product front, more work is necessary to cater to seniors who often have special nutritional needs, dexterity limitations or desire smaller food portions. Half of New Zealand respondents say it is difficult to find easy-to-open product packages, and 47 percent have trouble finding product labels that are easy to read while four in 10 want smaller portion sized packaging.

On the retailer front, there are opportunities to further meet the needs of older consumers by lending assistance with grocery bags, offering more disabled check-out lanes and providing benches to sit down. Other areas to consider are easy-to-reach shelving and aisles dedicated to aging-needs products.

Fast moving consumer goods marketers are not the only ones who could better cater for aging consumers. Four in 10 New Zealanders say they don’t see ads that mirror older consumers, suggesting there’s potential to increase reflection of older consumers in messages.