PDF Icon Download Our Network
Food Marketers Hero

Why 50+ Consumers Matter to Food Marketers

Reach a Sales Rep

4 Ways Brands Can Align With Lifestyle And Shopping Patterns

Share via Email Email LinkedIn LinkedIn

Food advertisers continuing to target only women with children are missing out on a powerful demographic when it comes to building sales and increasing ROI: adults 50+.

This often-overlooked group—nearly half of all American adults—buys 54% of all groceries and makes more weekly trips to the grocery store than any other age group. Since the pandemic began, they’ve become more health-conscious and are cooking more frequently.

Whether preparing meals at home or shopping for groceries at the store or online, 50+ adults are open to new ideas, experiences, products and services, which makes them highly receptive to marketing campaigns that attract their attention.

Here are four reasons why Industry trade associations, food and beverage companies and retailers and should include 50+ consumers in marketing:

They buy foods that support healthier lifestyles

Adults 50+ understand the connection between healthy eating and health. Nine of 10 (89%) pay attention to nutrition; and eight of 10 (81%) are looking for new ways to live a healthier life. They also believe in “healthy eating” as opposed to traditional dieting—meaning good nutrition is a sustainable aspect of their day-to-day routine. And they want the facts to make informed decisions: More than three quarters (76%) usually read product labels.

For marketers, the key is to think holistically and to convey the ways in which they’re advancing overall lifestyle goals. This is a significant opportunity for big food companies, meal kit and food delivery services and food retailers.

They’re creative in the kitchen

Home cooking isn’t just a staple for 50+ adults—it’s a creative pastime. Eight of ten (81%) cook frequently every week. Three-quarters prefer cooking with fresh foods in keeping with their healthy lifestyles. They prepare a wide range of meals: 77% look for easy options and 73% plan dinners at home ahead of time.

The lesson for marketers is to go big and broad. From simple recipes to more elaborate menus, 50+ adults are open to ideas that keep cooking interesting and fun. Their interests and active lifestyles can translate into more business for all segments of the industry.

They fill digital shopping carts

Adults 50+ appreciate the ease, convenience and selection that online shopping offers them—it’s especially true when it comes to food and beverage purchases. Since the pandemic began, they’re shopping online even more: The 50+ consumer segment has seen a 154% increase in grocery and meal kit purchases online. They account for 39% of meal kits purchased online in the past six months.

The key for marketers is to provide a good experience throughout the purchase process and to make a direct appeal to 50+ consumers with messaging that addresses their interests in environments they trust.

They enjoy indulgences

While 50+ consumers are health-conscious, they appreciate the occasional indulgence. More than 70% of 50+ adults say they sometimes give in to cravings for foods that give them enjoyment or comfort. They also enjoy wine, beer and spirits: 70% have consumed an alcoholic beverage in the past six months.

Marketers who understand that adults 50+ have learned to balance their quest for healthy eating with their desire to indulge will be better positioned to meet their needs. This applies to food marketers as well as alcohol and wine producers and retailers.

Consumers 50+ are living longer, healthier and more independent lives. Think about the ways your brand aligns with their lifestyle and shopping patterns, marshal the facts to make your case and get your product or service on next week’s shopping list.

Data was provided by AARP Media Advertising Network and sourced from MRI-Simmons and the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey.

This article originally appeared in Ad Age.