With the Baby Boomer generation reaching retirement age and life expectancy increasing, the average age of Americans is rising. The number of Americans over the age of 65 will more than double during the next 40 years. As a response to this trend, IRI has released SilverLink, a new report designed to provide insight into the aging population. The report outlines six segments of consumers aged 50 and over based on demographics, attitudes toward aging, health and wellness, shopping behavior, and lifestyle habits.
This knowledge is especially valuable because the aging demographic is growing increasingly powerful. Since 2007, real median income has decreased for all age groups except for those over the age of 65. In fact, the 65-plus age group saw a 5 percent increase in income between 2007 and 2010. The group is living longer and has more resources than ever before. It is therefore essential to understand their behaviors and shopping habits to establish a market targeted towards their preferences.
Of the six SilverLink segments, 52 percent of consumers over age 50 fall into the “Secure,” “Conscientious,” or “Preoccupied” categories, all of which present significant growth opportunities for CPG manufacturers and retailers. The segments and the unique opportunities they present are outlined as follows:
- Secure – With a median income of $58,000, these shoppers believe they have enough money for a comfortable retirement. They consider themselves to be in good health, prioritize exercise, and try to eat a healthy diet about 80 percent of the time. These shoppers are ideal targets for nutritious items that support a healthy lifestyle.
- Conscientious – These shoppers are diligent about their health, and also their finances, with a median income $37,000. They monitor their diets, both to maintain a healthy weight and to feel good. Deals and coupons are key to attracting Conscientious consumers. They will be particularly receptive to online promotions, as they love technology and social media, and often research new products online.
- Preoccupied – Unlike Conscientious and Secure shoppers, consumers in the Preoccupied segment do not focus on exercising or improving their diets, although they know they should. With a median income of $51,000, these shoppers are often on the go and generally choose convenience over nutrition. Although this group stands out due to its lack of commitment to healthy eating, CPG manufactures and retailers can still win with this group via simple, convenient offerings, such as prepared single serve meals.
Unfortunately, the three additional segments that comprise the remaining 48 percent of the 50 and older population present fewer obvious opportunities for CPG manufacturers and retailers. As their names suggest, the “Unconcerned” “Resistant” and “Resigned” segments are generally not looking to try new products. They do not exercise frequently, often because of mobility issues, and many are struggling to make ends meet, with median incomes in the $32,000 – $42,000 range.
A solid understanding of seniors’ behaviors and motivations is essential for any CPG marketer seeking to target this powerful, growing group of shoppers. With these six categories in mind, manufacturers and retailers can develop products better targeted toward the aging population.