Plentiful opportunities for neglected 55+ snackers, says Mintel

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Older consumers want familiar reduced-fat snacks with natural, quality ingredients, Mintel says
Older consumers want familiar reduced-fat snacks with natural, quality ingredients, Mintel says

Related tags: United states, Snack foods, David jago

Consumers over the age of 55 are not well catered for in the snacks sector despite huge market potential, says Mintel.

By 2015 in Europe there will be twice as many people aged 55-74 as 15-24 year olds, according to data from Mintel.

Leatherhead figures suggest that globally, there will be around two billion people – 22% of the population – aged 60 and over.

“One of the opportunities that strikes me for the longer term future of snacks is that of the older consumer…Older consumers are fast becoming the most coveted demographic,”​ said David Jago, director of innovation and insight at Mintel.

“The demographics indicate such massive potential – it’s a very, very large market. It’s a growing market in all developed countries but it’s not one that is very well catered for,”​ Jago told

He said this potential posed an “interesting challenge” ​for snack makers, given that consumers tend to snack less as they get older.

Tempting the older consumer

Jago said it was important to attract older consumers but not alienate broader consumer groups.

“The trick is to find the attributes that appeal to older consumers and use those as a way of leveraging appeal without alienating all consumers. So you adopt a very inclusive approach,”​ he said.

He said older consumers are more interested and tend to buy products with natural and quality ingredients as well as reduced fat.

When it comes to snacks, manufacturers could focus on clean label and provenance when it comes to ingredients, Jago said, and perhaps baking potato chips rather than frying. However, he warned that for older consumers, product form must remain familiar – like regular potato chips and nuts.

The issues older consumers are interested in – natural, quality and reduced fat – are important to all types of consumers, he said.

If snack makers can build a marketing message around such attributes, they can attract and include the older consumer among a broader base, he added.

Don’t forget mental health

Leatherhead Food Research previously told this site that fortifying snacks to target mental health​ in seniors has “exciting potential”.

It said the snacks sector was suitable, along with bread and cereal, because fortification was already well established in these areas. 

Related topics: Markets, Snacks, Health

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1 comment

Another approach

Posted by Jim,

There is a growing population that is moving away from carbohydrates and are ill served in terms of healthy snacks. The low fat idea is losing its audience and bread is out. As a 67 year old what I look for is high fat, low carbohydrate foods and the pickings are few and far between. Chicharrones (Pork Skins) are my favorite snack along with bacon, full fat cheese and beef jerky. If someone could actually come up with a viable grain free, vegetable oil free bread substitute, it would make a lot of folks happy.

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