Mature Market Experts Gem of The Day: Baby Boomers Continue To Push On Food Labeling

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Baby Boomers Continue To Push On Food Labeling – As baby boomers age, the markets are responding with healthier food choices. Under a new policy enacted by Congress, shoppers will now know where their food comes from (remember, the majority of Congress are now boomers).

According to a recent MSNBC article, “Labels on most fresh meats, along with some fruits, vegetables and other foods, will now list where the food originated. In the case of meats, some labels will list where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered.”

To see a corresponding news video, click here.

Look for descriptive labeling and marketing to become more and more important (and more of an art form).

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Mature Market Reasons For Being Healthy

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Reasons For Being Healthy – “An annual research conducted by The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) among 1,500+ U.S. Boomers in early 2007 provides rich insight into the Boomer lifestyle and identifies many marketplace opportunities. Boomers expect to live to an average age of 81 years old, and half want to live to be 100. However, 26 percent feel they are less healthy than they expected to be at their current age, and half of Boomers feel their physical health is worse than just 10 years ago—perhaps not surprising since only 11 percent rate their health as excellent.

The number of health conditions Boomers are managing may be contributing to their overall less-than-healthy status. The top conditions they are currently managing are the need to lose weight (40 percent), high blood pressure (35 percent), joint pain (30 percent) and high cholesterol (29 percent). As high blood pressure and obesity are both serious risk factors for heart disease and stroke—the number one and number three causes of death in the United States, respectively—Boomers appear to be headed towards early “retirement”.

While Boomers’ futures may seem bleaker than anticipated regarding their health, they do make the connection between a healthy lifestyle and an extended lifespan, with over half (57 percent) connecting a healthy lifestyle to the desire to live longer (Figure 2).

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Interestingly, half of Boomers were driven to a healthier lifestyle to look better. Playing on this vanity issue may be one way to increase compliance to a healthier mindset, as evidenced by the significant growth of the cosmeceutical industry.

While their understanding is on target, Boomers may require increased assistance in making healthy living an actual lifestyle change. Half are thinking about a healthy lifestyle to lose weight, yet Boomers face many challenges regarding their weight and proper nutrition.

Weight a Minute…

Fewer than one out of five Boomers are very satisfied with their ability to maintain proper weight, and only 1 in 10 is very satisfied with being in shape. Even more concerning is the fact that less than 18 percent are very satisfied with their ability to eat a healthy and nutritious diet (Figure 1).

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It’s no wonder their satisfaction is so low, with a third of Boomers confused about what to eat when it comes to eating healthy, and two-thirds feeling a healthy lifestyle is more difficult as they get older. Many industries— including the media—may unknowingly be at fault for this confusion. As the amount of information available regarding health, nutrition and well-being is being disseminated at such a high rate, it becomes difficult for anybody to assimilate it into their lifestyle. In addition to the sheer volume of content, many times the message is conflicting (e.g., vitamin E is either good or bad), creating further confusion and dissonance between behaviors and attitudes, which is especially true of the diet industry.”

Source: Natural Products Insider

Because of the overwhelming amount of information available, I believe boomers and the mature market will increasingly look for “health sherpas” to guide them down the path of good health. Fitness trainers and health care systems that recognize this opportunity will capitalize big time (ie. ICAA, The Cooper Institute , Mather Lifeways and Erickson).

What Happened to Good Nutrition?

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For the mature market living in an assisted living community, maintaining good nutrition is one of the most important ways to insure a long and healthy life. Food, for better or for worse, is the fuel we run on. Just like vehicles, bad fuel can cause us many expensive and troublesome problems, especially as we age. Unfortunately, even with this knowledge, nutrition inside many assisted living communities can be more of an afterthought than a norm.  Assisted living communities are not federally regulated so each state develops its own regulations and this can be challenging when choosing a new home. Nutrition, foodservice, and sanitation guidelines can vary widely across the country.

Educating yourself on senior nutrition guidelines, coordinating with doctors and creating good communication with the staff, both on the floor and in the kitchen, is key. It is necessary to ask the administration for specific information, such as:

  • Does the facility have a full time dietician who is certified in proper nutrition and special dietary needs?
  • Also, does the facility offer residents ongoing nutritional education so they can be involved in their own health regime? Nutritional knowledge changes as we age, so assisted living communities should be teaching updated nutrition to their residents.

As a family caregiver, you are responsible for developing a proactive plan and checklist of personal nutrition requirements to help your loved one avoid problems later. In other words, set your expectations and ask many questions. For instance:

  • Is the community actively involved in determining and planning for each individual resident’s nutritional needs?
  • Will the dietician sit down with you and plan a course of healthy action in regards to your loved one’s nutritional and caloric needs?
  • Does the community welcome unannounced visits to the kitchen? Those kitchens that have the highest of food quality and cleanliness standards will be happy to show you the kitchen – at least when it is not in the middle of a meal rush.

Ask questions about commonly overlooked topics like:

  • When are meals served and is this a regular schedule?
  • What happens if a meal is skipped by a resident for any reason?
  • If a resident needed assistance at mealtime, who is available to help them?
  • Can the facility accommodate special needs diets like vegetarian, salt-free, kosher, etc?
  • Are residents given access to healthy foods and snacks? Take a look at the menus and check that they are being followed.
  • Eating fast foods and highly processed foods leads to excessive intakes of fat and cholesterol, obesity, higher intakes of sodium and insufficient vitamins and minerals. How much processed foods are in the daily menu? 
  • Asking questions about food safety practices like sanitation may be the last thing on your mind when you are considering an assisted living home but because of the dangers of food contaminations it shouldn’t be. The elderly have a much higher risk of having a fatal reaction to food contaminants and food-born illnesses than the general population. Asking how and where the food is prepared along with how they transport and ensure temperature control during delivery are all valid questions to ask assisted living staff

Here are a few more simple steps to make certain your loved one is receiving and eating properly prepared and nutritious foods.

  • Is the assisted living facility providing low-fat healthy choices?
  • Do they present dishes that are visually colorful, full of aroma and tempting in flavors so that the residents want to consume them?
  • Are they consistently including heart healthy and high fiber dietary alternatives?
  • Are beverages provided on a constant basis? Being hydrated and consuming more fiber helps to create regularity and prevents bowel impactions and serious health issues like the breaking down of skin.
  • Are liquid dietary supplements available for those that are unable to eat hard food?
  • To help assist you with a guide to what and how much of any item you or your loved one should consume visit the USDA’s website, The site includes personalized eating plans along with interactive tools.












Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Food


The mature market spends more money on bakery items than any other age group.

The mature market spends more money on bakery items than any other age group.

        Seniors 65+ spend more money than younger people on most food groups. These include cereal and bakery, dairy, fruit and vegetables, and miscellaneous prepared foods. Interestingly, they lag in spending on meats, poultry, fish and eggs.

Source: USDA, Economic Research Service analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2004 Consumer Expenditure Survey.