06 Apr 2018 --- Aging baby boomers and their changing needs are to shape the nutraceutical agenda over the next decade, according to research undertaken ahead of Vitafoods Europe. Although the industry is also turning its attention to the needs of millennials and Generation Z, baby boomers are expected to reign as the most important consumer group, even in ten years’ time.
As part of the survey, 196 nutrition industry professionals were asked to identify the two age groups that are currently most important to their business. Nearly three quarters (72 percent) chose baby boomers – people currently aged between 49 and 72, with Generation X (ages 36 to 48) close behind on 70 percent. One in three (35 percent) chose millennials (ages 25 to 35) and a quarter chose the “silent generation” – people currently over the age of 72.
With baby boomers expecting to live longer than previous generations, their needs are prominent on the nutraceutical industry’s agenda. Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of survey respondents say healthy aging is the most important health benefit area for their company.
“Aging boomers will indeed be an important target group,” says Dr. Steffi Dudek, Senior Scientific Consultant at analyze & realize GmbH. “Their increased life expectancy and lifestyle require investment in health, wellbeing and performance. The optimization of physical and mental performance will also be a strong need for this group.”
When asked which groups would be most important to their companies in ten years’ time, boomers still came top on 55 percent, but half of respondents (50 percent) chose millennials. Reflecting that, some experts are advising nutrition companies to focus on the needs of younger “digital native” consumers.
Jeff Hilton Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Brand Hive is speaking at a Business & Marketing Forum within the Vitafoods Europe Education Programme, titled Consumer 2.0: It's a digital world.
“Increasingly supplements are an online vendor purchase, particularly among millennials,” he says. “They prefer to use their smartphones for everyday purchases. It will become essential to have a marketing presence in all distribution channels. The watchword will be ‘meet your customers where they are,’ and increasingly that means online and social media through web forums, blogs and influencers. This vast and explosive digital landscape is the new marketplace opportunity for nutrition products.”
Many companies are also starting to focus on the needs of Generation Z. One in five (19 percent) companies said this group (currently aged 22 and under) is already a key market, with one in four (23 percent) saying it will be in ten years’ time. Strategies to understand and target Generation Z will be explored in a Business and Marketing Forum in the Vitafoods Europe Education Program titled Identifying the future consumers: who are they?
Vitafoods Europe takes place between the 15th and 17th of May in Palexpo, Geneva. Both personalized nutrition and diversification towards a more mainstream strategy that incorporates trending platforms such as free from and clean label will be key to the future of the European nutraceuticals sector, says Chris Lee, Managing Director for Global Health & Nutrition for Vitafoods Europe 2018.
Nutritioninsight has compiled a preview of some of the key launches at this year’s event.