Retirees stick to home cooking and are “more nutritionally aware”

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 2nd April 2014
Retirees are "more nutritionally aware" but still a enjoy a glass of wine

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, according to global market research organisation Nielsen.

Nielsen found that nearly half (45 per cent) of all respondents in a global survey of online consumers across 60 countries said that eating healthy was the most important priority after retirement. Staying physically and mentally fit (78 per cent), spending time with family (58 per cent) and maintaining an active social life (37 per cent) were other other top priorities.

Retiree’s shopping baskets contain some surprises

Reflecting older consumers’ interests in healthy food and an active lifestyle, Nielsen found their shopping baskets are filled with more than the items often associated with advanced age.

While the biggest selling and growing categories among households aged 65 and above included products such as medications, remedies and vitamins that were intended for ageing bodies, it also included items that may not be top of mind for retailers and manufacturers when considering the needs and desires of older consumers. According to Nielsen, these products deserve closer attention.

Baking products popular

In the US, for example, the sale of many baking-related categories over index among households over 65 years, as many older consumers find themselves in the kitchen baking as well as cooking.

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), Nielsen said manufacturers and retailers should use cross-merchandising strategies that expand opportunities around the store.

Alcoholic beverages also popular

Another category that showed sales indexes higher than expected for this age group in the US was alcoholic beverages, including vermouth (239), dessert wine (212) and scotch (182).

“When thinking about 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 and 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,” he said.