Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: A Snapshot of Mature Market Trends Shaping the Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail Industries

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – A Snapshot of Mature Market Trends Shaping the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) and Retail Industries – I recently read an interesting report by IRI on Boomers and the CPG category that had some interesting stats, charts and findings. IRA segments the mature market in the following way:

iri-cohort-definitions mature market

In addition to the sheer size of this population segment, as you know, the mature market controls the bulk of the nation’s wealth (yes, it’s still true despite our sagging 401Ks). So, here’s what IRI says,

“CPG manufacturers and retailers that view this group as a monolith, do so at their own peril. Market leaders who want to most effectively meet the needs of Boomers, some of whom are in their 60s, others still in their 40s, must identify the distinct and ever-changing attitudes and behaviors of literally hundreds of micro-segments based on income, geography, shopping trip missions, health and wellness and many other factors.

Overlaid with these differences in attitudes and behaviors is the profound transformation the U.S. economy is experiencing at present. Each of these micro-segments is likely to react differently to the rising then falling price of energy, a severely strained financial market, increasing unemployment and decreasing consumer confidence.

There are some broad commonalities among Baby Boomers that are worth noting, however. Approximately two-thirds of Baby Boomers will continue to work after retirement, some out of financial necessity, others from an eagerness to keep active. Baby Boomers, like their Gen X, Gen Y and younger compatriots, use the Internet actively to get information, research products and make purchases online. And, like no generation before, Baby Boomers are relying heavily on CPG products, from food and beverages to vitamins and supplements, for health and vitality. For the packaged goods industry, the opportunity is immense.”

dollar-sales-growth mature market

channel-share mature market

The full report is definitely worth looking at, although I still believe the best marketers avoid the trapping of categorizing their customers even on a micro level. I think it’s far more effective to practice relational marketing. As I’ve blogged before, this incessant labeling overlooks one key fact . . . regardless of age, we are all individuals.

David Wolfe, one of my favorite bloggers and a true expert on aging states in his blog Ageless Marketing:

“Needs drive our behavior. Our need to be physically and mentally comfortable, whole, safe and secure does not change from one generation to the next. In Maslow’s hierarchy, that bundle of needs is the most basic of all needs. Then, our need for love and to be loved never changes from one generation to the next. The same holds true of our need for self-esteem and the esteem of others.
What does change from generation to generation are the ways in which we strive to meet our needs.”

At TR Mann Consulting, we believe we are entering a new age of relational marketing . . . which has less do with age, than it has to do with technology. As ever-improving technology and quality improvement measures level the playing field in most, if not all industries, we are moving to a marketplace where your relationship with your customers is your key competitive advantage (or weakness). Simply put, it’s not just what you do; it’s how you do it. A great brand is a friendship unfolding—with each new interaction marking a new stage in the courtship. Your customer’s behavior and what they tell you as the relationship unfolds are what should be defining what “category” your customer fits in.

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).

healthier-lifestyle4 mature market experts

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).

healthy-aging-drivers mature market experts

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).

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: What Age Does The Mature Market Think Is Old?

“The age at which of the mature market believes they’ll be ‘old’ is 78, with their health status being a deciding factor. Those in excellent health say they’ll be old at 83, while those in poor health put that number at 74. The most popular words they use to describe the best things about being 62 are ‘retirement,’ and ‘not having to work,’ and the words used to describe the worst things are ‘old age’ and ‘health problems.’ Forty-five percent like the term ‘baby boomer’ outright and another 38% are somewhat in favor of it; 17% don’t like it. As for the term ‘retirement,’ 52% like it, 31% like it somewhat and 18% don’t like it.”

Source: MetLife Mature Market Institute

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Improved Health Through Volunteering

Foster Grandparents is just one of the ways Senior Corps gives back.

Foster Grandparents is just one of the ways Senior Corps gives back.

What does the mature market look for in volunteer opportunities? Senior Corps taps the skills, talents, and experience of nearly 500,000 Americans age 55 and older to provide a wide range of community services such as Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions and RSVP Programs. 94% of Senior Corps volunteers report that their service has improved their knowledge, health, or social connectedness.


One of the best ways to connect with the mature market is provide them with a meaningful way to connect with you and the community. And remember, boomers are less likely to volunteer out of a sense of obligation or guilt than the previous generation of seniors. For them, it’s more about self-esteem, self-worth, and personal development. In your marketing materials try to involve, inform, and inspire (which was the mantra I created for the Erickson Tribune and Retirement Living TV).

Sick Care, You Get What You Pay For (Part 2)

Healing the American Health Care System

Fellow Mature Market Experts, last week we agreed that we have a sick care system that rewards those who treat us rather than heal us or keep us healthy. So how do we convert a sick care system to a health care system?

Let’s go back to the beginning, “you get what you pay for”. We must devise a system where those who have superior outcomes and truly keep us healthy are rewarded, not those who simply provide care. Naturally this assumes we can measure outcomes and that’s where we have to start.

First and foremost America must put into place a comprehensive, secure, central database that would enable all of our medical information to be stored, organized and searched. Ultimately this would allow us to determine which providers are truly enhancing health and not just treating sickness.

Once we have quality information (see Tom’s previous post on this subject and Google) it could be made public and used by patients to seek superior care. This information would also be used by insurers to determine appropriate reimbursement. Clearly people who keep you healthier should get paid more! I’ve always said that it takes you five minutes to decide if you like your doctor and at least five years to know if he’s any good.

Last week I admitted a patient into a hospital whom I had never met. After taking her medical history and examining her I was pretty certain I knew the correct diagnosis. I felt she had a viral GI syndrome, but something did not sound right. Her recollection of certain key historical facts did not add up.

Since there was no easy way to check her medical history on the internet I spent 45 minutes tracking down her paper chart at another hospital. I found that she had been admitted there with a similar story but ultimately was found to have a flare of Crohn’s disease which was successfully treated with IV steroids. This dramatically changed my treatment plan and saved the patient some unneeded tests and treatments.

Naturally I was thrilled but I received the same payment from Medicare that I would have if I had not spent the extra time and effort. Physicians want to do the right thing and go the extra mile but as with all other professionals they need to be rewarded when they do so. Doctors are human too!

And as consumers we must also take responsibility to have a lifestyle that leads to health and not sickness. Despite the significant number of Americans without health insurance, the majority of us does have insurance and pay a very small part of the premiums. Most of the costs are paid by employers or the government in the case of Medicare and Medicaid. Generally speaking, people don’t value what they don’t pay for; and you have to wonder if people would take better care of themselves if their insurance rates reflected these efforts.

My grandmother always used to say “if you have your health, you have everything.” Well, we need to honestly look at our system of care and decide if we want to have our health or have the growing beast of our current sick care system. Fortunately it’s not about money, we’re spending plenty. It’s about the commitment to focus on long term outcomes rather than short term revenues.

Ultimately those of us who have committed to heal will be more professionally satisfied and will be better compensated because Americans will really get what they paid for and will sincerely appreciate it.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Disability

About 80 percent of seniors have at least one chronic health condition, and 50 percent have at least two chronic health conditions, which often lead to disability. Arthritis, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and respiratory disorders are some of the leading causes of activity limitations among the mature market.

Source: The 65+ in the United States report, Dr. Velkoff and co-authors Wan He, Ph.D., Manisha Sengupta, Ph.D., and Kimberly A. DeBarros of the Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau.

IFA’s 9th Global Conference on Ageing and Expo Ageing & Design

September 4 to 7, 2008 – Montreal

From September 4 to 7, 2008, the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) in partnership with Ageing Design Montréal (ADM) will be holding the IFA’s 9th Global Conference on Ageing and Expo Ageing & Design at the Palais des Congrès in Montréal, Canada. This landmark conference and an exposition will be made up of the ninth installment of IFA’s Global Conference on Ageing series, ‘Defining Health, Participation and Security through an Enabling Environment’, with the international debut of Expo Ageing and Design, linking the relevance and impact that design has in influencing the quality of life of the mature market world wide.

The conference will feature an interactive programme with plenary panel sessions, specialist highlight sessions, workshops, high-level international meetings, along with an array of networking opportunities. The Exposition component will host exhibitors showcasing the latest innovations in products, technologies, ageing and design that can support seniors as they age. The event is focused on bringing together mature market experts in the fields of ageing and design in an environment that provides cross-discipline dialogue and fosters partnerships for the future.

Together with ADM, the IFA is committed to changing attitudes and pioneering ways of improving the quality of life of older people in all parts of the world; and creating environments that enable and empower them to participate in their communities. The events of 2008 will play a major role in advancing this goal.

For further information about the event, the partner organizations (ADM and IFA) and how to become involved, please visit the event website at or the IFA website at