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Catering to An Ageing Population

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Catering to An Ageing Population

Catering to An Ageing Population
November 06
11:42 2012

The ageing global population, together with the increasing number of people making up the older age groups, represents both a challenge and an opportunity for the global food industry according to a new report from Leatherhead Food Research. According to Leatherhead’s report, ‘An Ageing Population – Trends & Opportunities for the Food Industry’, official projections from bodies such as the United Nations suggest that the percentage of the global population aged 60 and over will increase from 11% in 2000 to 22% by 2050, during which time the number of people falling into this age category is expected to grow from 605 million to around 2 billion. Many of these people have an increased risk from adverse health conditions such as coronary heart disease (CHD), osteoporosis and dementia.

These trends carry numerous implications for the global food industry as this increasingly affluent demographic group becomes more inclined to seek out products that promote health and longevity, as well as helping them to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle past middle age. This trend has already been observed in sectors such as milk, yoghurt drinks, bottled water and ready meals, and seems set to shape NPD activity to an ever increasing extent over the coming years.

From a supply perspective, many of the leaders within the global market for functional foods represent the key suppliers of products geared towards the older age groups. Many companies now supply distinct functional food ranges which are thought to carry particular appeal to the older age groups and are purchased for their alleged health benefits. Examples include heart health products such as Unilever’s pro.activ cholesterol-lowering dairy spread, as well as fibre-enriched products such as Fiber One from General Mills.

An Ageing Population – Trends & Opportunities for the Food Industry reviews the world’s changing demographic make-up at some length, as well as highlighting which aspects of health are particularly important for older consumers. Some of the more significant product sectors and their related health claims are reviewed, examples of which include green tea, cholesterol-lowering yellow fats and food and drinks fortified with functional health ingredients such as omega-3 fatty acids. Future strategic directions, as well as likely implications for marketing personnel, are also included.

The full report An Ageing Population – Trends & Opportunities for the Food Industry is available from Leatherhead Food Research, priced at GBP895 + VAT, with a discounted price of GBP695 + VAT available to Leatherhead Members. Visit www.leatherheadfood.com/ageing-population for more details, or contact publications@leatherheadfood.com.

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