U.S. Companies Miss The Mark On Needs Of Aging Customers

Some 25% of survey respondents can’t find products geared towards their special nutritional needs, Nielsen report finds.

Nielsen’s latest study, which looks at the aging consumer, found that companies completely miss the mark when it comes to engaging and catering to the needs of aging consumers. This disconnect could mean the loss of a huge opportunity for retailers and manufacturers.

The Nielsen study also found that generational differences exist in attitudes towards aging and their fears around getting older—younger consumers fear the loss of mobility and agility while older consumers fear the loss of financial comfort and worry about how they will fund their retirement.  


1.      38% of Americans say they don’t see advertising that reflects older consumers.

2.      44% say it’s difficult to find product labels that are easy to read.

3.      43% can’t find easy to open packaging.

4.      34% say they can’t find smaller portion-sized food packaging.

5.      31% say products are not clearly labeled with nutritional information.

6.      25% can’t find products geared towards their special nutritional needs.

7.       Younger Americans fear losing their physical and mental agility vs older Americans fear having enough money to live comfortably.

8.      60% of Americans don’t feel that they were financially set for retirement.

9.      53% fear losing their self-reliance, such as the ability to drive, cook and shop.

10.  57% fear having enough money to live comfortably and an equal number fear losing their mental and physical agility.



“The findings serve as a wake-up call to manufacturers, retailers and other marketers that need to bolster efforts to better reach and cater to an aging demographic,” noted Todd Hale, senior vice president, Consumer & Shopper Insights, Nielsen. “Improvements such as using larger fonts on product labels and signage, arranging age-related products in one place and at arm’s length for easier accessibility, and offering friendly customer service can go a long way in building loyal patronage.” He added, “People aged 65 and older already outnumber kids under 14 in many developed countries like Japan, Germany and Italy, according to population stats from the CIA World Factbook. While the global aging population is growing in number, their spending power is growing too, as many have more time to shop and spend than their younger counterparts.”





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