Nielsen Global Ageing Report (2014): the commercial offer is not adapted to seniors

Nielsen Global Ageing Report (2014): the commercial offer is not adapted to seniors

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A survey by the Nielsen Insitute called Global Ageing Report was conducted online with a little over 30,000 web users living in 60 countries throughout the world. The sample is representative of the behaviours of web users in each of the 60 countries. The survey was conducted from August to September 2013.

According to the survey, fighting against the loss of autonomy (58%), the loss of physical abilities (75%) and the loss of cognitive capacity (51%), are the three most important axes for successful ageing.

With children leaving home, household expenses have shifted. The money formerly used to support the family is now devoted to successful ageing : maintaining autonomy, meeting food requirements, fulfilling dreams of travel, etc.

Still, the over-60 are struggling to fulfil these needs, find suitable products, read labels or access stores and restaurants. According to Nielsen, companies are not ready to meet the requirements of older consumers. There seems to be a significant gap between the product/service offer already available and the actual requirements of older consumers in terms of successful ageing. Since they have, overall, a greater purchasing power than younger consumers, they should be a prime target.

Products Adapted to the Over-60

The products sold on the web or in supermarkets do not seem adapted to elderly consumers. For example, 45% find that the food is not adapted to their specific requirements. After the age of 60, and especially above 75, seniors require a hyper-proteined diet so they muscle do not waste away.

Products are apparently difficult to handle and read: 44% of respondents think that there aren’t enough individual servings adapted to smaller families, that packaging is too difficult to open (43%) and that nutritional labels are not clear enough (43%). Finally, 50% think that labels are difficult to read.

Developing Accessibility

power shopping carts
A power shopping cart

In addition to a poorly suited offer, respondents think that the access to stores is not always easy. To fight against the loss of autonomy and of brain capacities, the development of accessibility is of paramount importance. Respondent find it difficult to find in stores:

– power shopping carts 41%
– assistance to move/carry shopping bags 36%
– departments and aisles dedicated to products for older people 34%
– checkouts for the disabled 33%
– benches to sit on 29%
– wider disabled parking spots on car parks 25%
– disabled toilet 23%, etc.

Obviously, these indicators vary from one region of the world to the next. North America offers easier access to its elders than Latin America, for example.

Concerns related to ageing

The Nielsen survey also highlighted the major concerns of respondents (from all ages) concerning ageing:

As we said above, the first three concerns are fighting against the loss of autonomy (58%), physical capacities (57%) and cognitive capacities (51%). Also listed are:

– 49% do not want to be a burden for their families or friends
– 44% hope they will have enough money to live comfortably
– 41% hope they will have enough money to cover medical costs
– 32% are afraid of being abandoned, of ageing alone
– 22% want to live in a house adapted to their physical situation
– 21% would like to take care of their elderly parents
– 17% hope to stay connected to their families and friends
– 17% are afraid of losing their social status; and
– 14% would like to live with members of their families

We can observe these are concerns connected to autonomy and sociability, two elements which are essential to successful ageing.

Click on the following link to read the full Nielsen survey: Nielsen Global Ageing Report (2014)


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