Boomers’ Quest for Health – And Taste

Articles
April 06, 2010

Boomers’ Quest for Health – And Taste

Will you still need me? Will you still feed me when I’m 64? So posed The Beatles decades before Omega-3s fatty acids and antioxidants gained rock star status in the nutrients world.

Will you still need me? Will you still feed me when I’m 64? So posed The Beatles decades before Omega-3s fatty acids and antioxidants gained rock star status in the nutrients world.

Now The Beatles fans have grown up to become Boomers. (You don’t have to go to Ringo’s concerts to find them; they’re easy to spot in the healthful foods and supplements aisles of supermarkets.) And they’re taking increasing responsibility for their dietary health.

Such food maturity comes with age. ”The 18-to-44-year-old segment believes its health is bulletproof compared with the 45+ age segments who seek out magic bullets for improved health,” noted Decision Analysts’ newest report, Health and Nutrition Strategist – Food Ingredients: What’s Hot. 

Americans prefer foods labeled to be rich in healthful ingredients, rather than foods with these ingredients added. For example, the report noted that 40% of consumers eat antioxidant-rich foods vs. 25% who eat antioxidant-fortified foods.  Some of the hottest ingredients today, according to the report: pomegranate juice, dark chocolate, berries, walnuts, almonds, ginger and cinnamon.

This quest for health as people age got us wondering at The Lempert Report what else might change. One thought: people lose their sense of smell and then sense of taste as they grow older, so products with more intense flavors might be needed to still taste good. Undoubtedly, Boomers will maintain their quest for food pleasure, and this could drive the need for multiple flavor profiles within a line to suit younger and older consumers. CPG and retailers certainly have a challenge to suit different customer segments while offending no one and maintaining as many efficiencies as possible.

Meanwhile, aging Boomers and seniors want to eat in ways that prolong life, SupermarketGuru.com also found in its recent survey for the National Grocers Association. What they want most are healthful assortments, great fruits and vegetables, and lots of nutritional information; their availability is pivotal to store selection. Boomer and senior responses helped drive these overall consumer response rates:

  • 91% regard the presence of high-quality fruits and vegetables to be ‘very important’ in their choice of a primary food store.
  • 76% say the same about high-quality meats.
  • 77% (37% very/40% somewhat) regard nutritional and health information as important to store choice.

The Top 5 ways people are eating healthier, the NGA survey showed: more fruits and vegetables, less junk food/snack food, less fried foods, more fresh foods, and more whole grains.