Varsity Team

Boomer and Senior Healthy Eating Moves to the Snack Aisle Here’s good news for Boomers and seniors who like to snack: Apparently, you’re increasingly looking for items that help you stay healthy and active – something we uncovered in our own research, and now verified by the food manufacturing industry.

Milk producer Fonterra North America studied the snacking habits of more than 600 healthy Americans between ages 50 and 75 and found that more than half believe the ability to stay active has a greater impact on their health than their weight, although 30% also said they already have weight issues.

Fonterra also found two extremely polarized schools of thought when it came to those cravings. At one end of the spectrum, a large number of “unwavering indulgers” knows they have health issues and shouldn’t pick up that Twinkie, but they do it anyway. On the other end are three snacking segments who are active and willing to make real changes in their diet to stay healthy:

  • Active Seekers (16%) – They’re the active, nutrition conscious ones who are more than willing to make changes to their diet for health benefits. Think 70 year-old marathon runners.
  • Health Seekers (22%) – Not quite as active, but generally follow healthy trends and are willing to make some dietary changes. Think on-again-off-again dieters.
  • Open-minded Moderates (20%) – They’re the followers and are somewhat health-conscious but don’t have the discipline to keep up with a health program. They also try to eat well, but aren’t always able to. We’re surprised this percentage isn’t higher.

In general, Boomer consumers are looking for products higher in protein, and adding high-quality dairy protein to foods they’re already eating will be the easiest way to drive consumption. The meal most lacking protein and posing the greatest opportunities? Breakfast.

MARKETING INSIGHT: Manufacturers and commercial foodservices marketers, take note: Since this demographic is split on the benefit of taking pills, your industry will no doubt become the solution to some of these issues and trends as many would prefer to ensure their health through their diets. For those of you in the senior living industry, now is probably a good time to introduce healthy snacking options and education into your foodservice or wellness programs.

After years of excess in the realm of food, mature consumers have common concerns, and are taking a stand to control their diets. And as more and more people in this demographic continue their careers and postpone retirement, their reliance on unconventional, mobile-friendly meals and snacks will only increase.

Regards,

The Varsity Team