Once the novelty of retirement wanes, many retirees ask themselves: how do I fill the extra free time? As life after retirement often equates to more time spent at home, eating in can take on new meaning for older consumers who may now have more time to cook and may be more nutritionally aware than when they were younger. Nearly half of all respondents (45%) in a Nielsen global survey of online consumers across 60 countries say that eating healthy is the most important priority after retirement. Staying physically and mentally fit (78%), spending time with family (58%) and maintaining an active social life (37%) are other top priorities.
Reflecting older consumers’ interests in healthy food and an active lifestyle, their shopping baskets are filled with more than the items we often associate with advanced age. While the list of the biggest selling and growing categories among households aged 65 and above include products such as medications, remedies and vitamins that are intended for aging bodies, it also includes items that may not be top of mind for retailers and manufacturers when considering the needs and desires of older consumers. And these products deserve closer attention.
In the U.S., for example, the sale of many baking-related categories over index among households over 65, as many older consumers find themselves in the kitchen not just cooking but baking too. With dollar volume indexes significantly higher than the expected norm of 100 (and in some cases more than double the average) for pie crust mixes (233), canned peaches (229) and cherries (187), canned pudding pie filling (160), canned pie and pastry filling (160), coffee cake mixes (160) and frozen whipped toppings (151), manufacturers and retailers should use cross-merchandising strategies that expand opportunities around the store. Another category that shows sales indexes higher than expected for this age group in the U.S. is alcoholic beverages, including vermouth (239), dessert wine (212) and scotch (182).
“When thinking the shopping needs of an older demographic, we can forget that seniors live active social lives and enjoy entertaining with family and friends,” said Todd Hale, senior vice president, Consumer & Shopper Insights, Nielsen. “A closer look at their shopping baskets reveals golden opportunities for marketers to better align products and services with not just their nutritional and medical needs, but their social desires too.”
The Nielsen Global Aging Report also discusses:
For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Global Aging report.
The findings in this survey are based on respondents with online access across 60 countries. While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective only on the habits of existing Internet users, not total populations. In developing markets where online penetration has not reached majority potential, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population of that country. Additionally, survey responses are based on claimed behavior, rather than actual metered data.