Expanding Senior Consumer Food Market with Innovative New Products07 Sep, 2023
The world's aging population is reshaping consumer businesses and creating new opportunities. This is especially true in the food industry where there is demand for Entrees, Side Dishes, and Snacks made for senior consumers.
According to the latest United Nations survey, the global population aged 65 and above was 761 million in 2021 and is projected to increase to 1.6 billion by 2050. The elderly population accounts for about one-sixth of the global population, doubling the number of children under 5 years old. The increase in average lifespan, and declining birth rates are resulting in an aging population worldwide. This change will not only impact the labor market, but at the same time bring new business opportunities; middle-aged and elderly individuals are likely to become the main consumer group in the future.
Opportunities arising from the Aging Population’s Lifestyle
This aging society has led to many changes in consumer patterns posing a common worldwide challenge. Now, products and services focus on an elderly population have become mainstream. Recently, middle-aged and elderly individuals are more likely to spend money on consumables like food, travel, entertainment, transportation, and alcoholic beverages, and many oversee control of household expenditures. According to statistics from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), in 2020, the 50 and above age group accounted for 50% of global consumption, amounting to 35 trillion dollars. By 2050, this number is projected to reach 96 trillion dollars, representing nearly 60% of global consumption. The three major expenditure categories include housing, food, and transportation. This robust growth in consumption by the elderly generation encourages various industries to develop new product and services to meet the needs of this specific market.
Among these industries, food consumption is a necessary expenditure for every household. The focus is on food products that are highly nutritious, easily to eat and digest are the most desirable. Items such as Salads, Sandwiches, thin-crust Pizzas, and Pastas are popular in Western cultures, while Noodles, Porridge, Soups, and Rice Cakes are more commonly consumed in the East. Statistics also suggest that the elderly population tend to embrace traditional foods from their childhood. For example, Gentle Foods in Singapore launched their proprietary brand “Silver Connect”, offering traditional Rice Cakes such as Ang Ku Kueh(紅龜粿), and Chwee Kueh (水粿) that are enjoyed by their senior local consumers.
Three Key Elements for Senior Dining: Nutrition, Convenience, and Accessibility
Many meal-delivery businesses in the United States have introduced senior meal services, focusing on serving nutrient-rich meals to attract senior consumers. These meals may include tender Meatballs, Burgers, Omelets, Pot Pies, and Pizzas made with natural and healthy ingredients. A Renowned company “Magic Kitchen” offers frozen meal delivery that can be quickly reheated for ease and convenience, catering to seniors with limited mobility or cooking skills. Other than regular meals, research also indicates that the global snacking market was worth 33.22 billion dollars in 2022 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.3% to 40.36 billion dollars by 2028. Healthy snacking helps stabilize and regulate blood sugar for the elderly, especially when the snacks are well balanced and nutritious, such as Oatmeal Cookies, Whole Wheat Muffins, and Pita Bread.
This diet emphasizes low sodium, low fat, low sugar, high protein, and rich dietary fiber. Therefore, food manufacturers need to focus on the following four essential factors when creating products for the senior consumers: 1. "Ingredients": Choosing highly nutritious ingredients to offer a balanced diet and prevent nutritional deficiencies. 2. "Texture": In addition to low-fiber ingredients, food can be finely chopped, and prepared using cooking methods such as boiling or steaming to soften foods. 3. "Portion Size": Consider the amount of food and average elderly person consumes when determining the portion sizes. 4. "Packaging Design": Clearly label packaging and incorporate design for easy opening, enabling the elderly to quickly cook and enjoy the product.
Accelerate Automated Food Production to Maximize Profits and Create More Opportunities
The potential of the food market for aging individuals is promising, but the food manufacturing industry still requires a significant labor force. Because labor shortages can lead to serious delays, the use of automated food production becomes essential. Automated food production can customize the size, shape, and texture of the food products, ensuring the production remains unaffected by labor shortages and guaranteeing high quality. This also enhances food safety by reducing foreign objects, all contributing to enhance the thriving food business for senior consumers.
ANKO's food machines can process most ingredients, making products that meet the softness, size, and texture of foods suitable for elderly diets. Moreover, our professional food researchers can collaborate with you regarding in-depth recipe research and development to provide the best solutions for your food productions for the senior consumers. If you have developed food production ideas, feel free to schedule a meeting with us.
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