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    Older Consumers Driving 50% of CPG Spending

    IRI explores strategies to better reach this lucrative market

    The Baby Boomer and senior market continue to drive more than 50 percent of all CPG spending, accounting for more than $200 billion last year alone. 

    And understanding the needs of these consumers as they age will be a key factor for CPG marketers to maximize growth opportunities, according to the latest IRI Times & Trends report, "Aging America: Carving Out Growth in Mature Markets."

    Focus on health and wellness

    As older consumers place a continued focus on health and wellness, their purchases are beginning to span beyond just prescription medication and traditional healthcare products, and into other parts of the grocery store. "Healthier for you" products that support long-term benefits are becoming a lucrative opportunity for CPG companies, according to IRI's New Product Pacesetters study.

    IRI points to Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt and L'Oreal's Advanced Haircare as two such products gaining traction.

    “Healthcare-related spending represents a significant share of overall CPG spending for mature shoppers, so it is crucial for CPG marketers to focus on proactive wellness and disease state management to activate these shoppers," says Susan Viamari, editor of Thought Leadership, IRI. With this type of spending on the table, even a fraction of one share point can easily translate into hundreds of millions of dollars.”

    Proactive and preventative self-care products also are commanding sales growth, the study found, as it's less costly to maintain a healthy lifestyle than it is to face chronic diseases in the future. Gastrointestinal liquid, home healthcare/kits, vitamins and internal analgesics are among the best-performing of such products.

    “It’s important to remember that mature consumers want to achieve and maintain wellness, but they are not interested in the latest fad,” adds Viamari. “When you have more than 9,500 new brands hitting retail shelves each year that are touting new ingredients and benefits, it can be overwhelming. That’s why clear communication of product benefits, product uses and value is absolutely essential with these shoppers.”

    Although older consumers still rely on traditional media like circulars and coupons, more than 27 million people 55 and older are engaged in social media, indicating that marketers should strive to target the best of both worlds.

    “There’s no question that the mature market is poised for significant growth,” continues Viamari. “The trick for marketers is to get a good grasp on the aspirations, challenges and attitudes that mark this unique and mature marketplace.”

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