Research highlights value of mature consumers

Retailers and manufacturers across the globe are failing to meet the specific needs of the aging population, latest research has found.

Management consultancy AT Kearney interviewed 3,000 people in 23 countries to find out what mature consumers looked for in retail stores and from packaged goods manufacturers.

As a group, these consumers form a worldwide market segment that spent $8tn in 2010 and will be spending $15tn annually by the end of this decade - 30 per cent of sales.

AT Kearney global business policy unit senior director Martin Walker said the research had found "over-80s are more loyal to established brands and less willing to spend money on products that offer healthy benefits or are considered green".

He added: "After the age of 80, respondents are markedly more eager to have age-specific products and shopping environments tailored for them. It is as though 80 is the new point of self-definition for becoming old. This represents a change from the traditional concept that old age begins at retirement."

Walker maintained that retailers and marketers needed to move on from the "cult of youth" to address consumers who do not want to be treated as elderly.

Research found mature consumers more demanding on quality and services and less price-sensitive. They spend more time in stores and want personal attention from friendly, talkative cashiers, not speed.

They also wanted smaller stores closer to home and a clear, organised selection with high-quality products at good prices, not unlimited choice of cheap, average-quality products or quantity-based promotions.

AT Kearney said retailers and manufacturers needed to show legible prices, and easy-to-open packaging.

See consumer-products-a-retail-what-do-mature-consumers-want.html.

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