As the US population continues to age, dairy products that meet the nutritional needs of older consumers will become increasingly influential. US dairy marketers should communicate the health benefits of their dairy products by promoting their advantages for maintaining an active lifestyle.
Figures reveal that the number of people in the US aged 65 and older is set to more than double from current levels to 85 million by 2050. A Canadean report tracking the influence health needs have on consumer dairy choices has found the highest influence among consumers aged 55 and over. But rather than these consumers looking for more therapeutic products that help with maintaining certain issues such as bone decay, consumers in their fifties and sixties in particular are looking for dairy products to act as preventatives, to keep them active and in good health.
Canadean has tracked the influence of 20 consumption motivators in the US dairy market and found that 34.6% of yoghurt and 32.0% of milk consumption volume, was tied to the consumers’ age requirements. According to Joanne Hardman, Analyst at Canadean, “markets should look at this as a good opportunity to focus on the older consumer market by producing functional products that offer a health boost and cater specifically to the needs of an ageing US population.”
Older consumers are increasingly looking to dairy products for their functional, nutritional benefits in satisfying age-based needs such as tooth-retention, avoiding osteoporosis and maintaining heart and brain health. Specific minerals such as Calcium are desired by consumers to help maximise healthy bone strength, as is riboflavin to maintain good nerve function and limit the risk of cancer, dementia, and heart disease.
According to Hardman there is opportunity for US dairy marketers to take advantage of these findings as dairy consumption is increasing among the US population aged 55 and over. This age band has the highest amount of dairy food occasions per year totalling 33.5 million. However, this is due to the sheer size of the demographic, and they have the smallest number of occasions per person at 416.1 per year. With this being the case, more dairy products with age-specific benefits need to be on the market to encourage older consumers to eat dairy products more frequently.