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Aging Consumers In India Most Concerned About Physical Agility, Medical Expenses

Global Survey Highlights Opportunities for Retailers, Marketers and Service Providers to Better Meet Needs of Aging Consumers in India

More than half (53%) of online respondents in India claim their biggest fear is losing physical agility as they age, followed by not having enough money to live comfortably (49%) or cover medical expenses (45%), according to new findings from Nielsen, a leading provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. Those percentages are even higher for respondents above the age of 45, as more than half (54%) are concerned about not having enough access to money to cover medical costs, and four in five (81%) respondents in the same age group cite physical and mental fitness as a key concern .

Respondents indicate that their highest priorities post-retirement include spending time with family (64%), staying mentally and physically fit (63%), maintaining an active social life (38%) and eating healthy (38%).  More than half (53%) of online urban respondents  polled in India intend to retire in their 60s, while one-quarter (25%) want to retire in their 50s.

The Nielsen Global Survey about Aging, which polled more than 30,000 Internet respondents in 60 countries[i], was conducted between August 14 and September 6, 2013.

“Affluent urban consumers in India who have retired or are nearing retirement are more independent and self-sufficient and are looking for ways to maintain their self-reliance,” said Piyush Mathur, president, Nielsen India. “Younger consumers are also expecting better options when it comes to facilities as they age and are consciously preparing for it. Marketers in retail and service-led industries need to focus on creating facilities, services and assistance for this segment, which has more spending power than earlier generations.”

Service-Oriented Industries

According to Nielsen’s information, more than 46 percent of respondents indicate that housing options and services do not cater to the aging population, while travel and transportation services are difficult to navigate for more than two in five (42%). The financial investment and medical insurance sectors have targeted services and assistance for the elderly and are easier to navigate, according to 54 percent and 55 percent of respondents, respectively.

Nearly two in five respondents in India say that restaurant menus (34%) and product labels (36%) are difficult to read.  Two in five indicate a difficulty in finding and navigating prescription drug services (40%), foods that meet nutritional diet needs (41%) and smaller-portion-sized food packaging (41%). More than half (53%) of Indian respondents believe that advertising does not reflect older consumers.

“Understanding what drives shopper loyalty and choice is key to attracting and retaining customers,” said Mathur. “As the marketplace becomes more cluttered, marketers need to focus on reaching out to niche consumer segments and getting a pulse on their needs. The aging population is one such segment, with very specific needs within the retail as well as manufacturing space.” 

In-Store Facilities to Help the Aging

According to Nielsen’s information, one-third (33%) of all Indian respondents feel there is not enough assistance to help with grocery bags to the car for the elderly, while one-quarter (26%) say that electric shopping carts are needed in-store. Respondents throughout Asia Pacific agree: 38 percent of respondents in the region signal a need for electric shopping carts, and 30 percent would like more road-side assistance with grocery bags.

Nearly two in five (38%) Indians over the age of 45 indicate a need for aisles dedicated to aging-needs products, while 29 percent say seating and rest arrangements in-store are not sufficient. Nearly half (48%) in this age group say that staff service only partially meets needs while shopping, while 41 percent highlighted the need for wider aisles for ease of movement.

“Consumers who are nearing retirement age or have retired have a higher degree of sensitisation to the support mechanisms available to them,” said Mathur. “They face challenges while manoeuvring in-store and are conscious of the need to make their shopping expeditions easier. This consumer demographic, with a disposable income and increasing self-reliance needs to see some comfort factors while shopping.”

Three in five of all urban respondents in India find product packages easy to open (57%), but that percentage drops to fewer than half (46%) for respondents older than 45. Fifty-seven percent of all Indian respondents claim that nutritional labels are easy to read, but 38 percent of those over age 45 say package labels do not contain adequate nutritional information. 

Digital Engagement for Shopping

Half (50%) of the respondents in India have experimented with online grocery shopping which is  home delivered, 45 percent have used online coupons, and two in five (40%) have used online or mobile shopping lists.

Respondents in India have expressed a willingness to utilize digital options for their grocery shopping. More than three in five respondents polled are willing to use hand held scanners to avoid checkout lines (66%), order online and use drive through pick up facility (63%), and order online and pick up inside the store (61%). 

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Survey about Aging was conducted between August 14 and September 6, 2013, and polled more than 30,000 consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behaviour of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60-percent Internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Survey, was established in 2005.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA, and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit

[i] 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.