Paula Donoghue, Consumer & Market Insight Team, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board
There has been a lot of talk about millennials in the last number of years but it is important not to forget other generations including the Baby Boomers. This is the group aged 50 – 70years of age, born between the mid 1940s and 1960s. As a group they have often been associated with being non conformist and / or rejecting traditional values. But they have also been the first generation to enjoy a new level of wealth and personal fitness than ever before.
Those aged 50 plus represent 25% of the population in the UK and a similar figure in Ireland. By 2032, number of people aged 65+ in UK will increase 61%. According to the CSO Ireland figures, both genders will gain an additional five years between 2011 and 2031, with the average life expectancy going from 78.3 years in 2011 to 83. years in 2031 for males and 82.9 years in 2011 for females to 86.6 years in 2031.
Given the large increases in the population of those aged 50+, we are not talking about an “extended middleagedness” rather than “elderly”. The dietary needs of this increasingly active age group will change as they are working and living for longer. Greater priority will be placed on healthy sources of energy and food with functional benefits as people are economically, physically and mentally active to a later stage in their life, and desire fuller retirement years. A recent article by Euromonitor* mentions that Nestlé will open a new R&D centre in Singapore which it’s main focus being around innovation of new products for the ageing population in Asia Pacific and around the world.
The “Ageing well” movement (as opposed to anti-ageing) started in 2006 in the US, 2007 in France and 2009 in the UK and is evident in both men and woman. Anti-ageing focussed on more intrusive / cosmetic whereas ageing well is more natural and about wellbeing and health. It’s not a focus just for those aged 50+, it’s a lifelong commitment.
Bord Bia will participate in an Ageing Well study, which will look at the Baby Boomers across five countries – Ireland, Great Britain, Spain, France and Germany to understand their lifestyles and how Irish food and drink companies can appeal to this generation. The study will be available in late summer.
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