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Friday, August 14, 2009

The impact of ageing on food preferences

A recent study from Information Resources (IRI), Baby Boomers II: Preparing for the Upcoming Wave of Aging Shopper Growth provides some interesting insights into how the food category and channel preferences change by age. You can download a comprehensive overview of the study, but if you want the whole thing, you will need your credit card.

An example of a drink preference, which alters with physiological ageing is carbonated beverages, that IRI claim older people develop an aversion to as they age (i.e. They drink less beer and more wine/liquor into their 60s and 70s). Same goes for less soft drinks and more coffee. As for store choice: Boomers in their 60s shop more often and spend a higher proportion of their dollars in smaller formats such as drug and dollar stores.

The chart shows the variation on indexing of beverage categories by the age of the head of the household.

What was not clear to me, from the limited information available about this study, was the real impact of ageing and age cohort (i.e. will the under indexing of the 35-44 year old group for wine continue as they age). I also wonder the extent to which these age category differences are swamped by lifestyle. Dick Stroud

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