Food & Beverage Asia Feb/Mar 2020

Strong, active and over 60 I t’s no wonder we keep on hearing about the aging global population. The United Nations reports that the number of over-60s has more than doubled since 1980, and is expected to double again – reaching nearly 2.1 billion – by 2050. Countless clinical studies have also shown that, with the right nutrition and exercise, the older generation can keep fit, healthy and independent way into the twilight years. Why is it, then, that Japan, the country with the world’s oldest population, has so few food products directly targeted at senior consumers on its supermarket shelves? And why are there even fewer in China, the nation with the world’s biggest population overall? As with most questions, there is an answer. Most importantly for food producers, there is no doubt the senior nutrition segment By Takashi Ichikawa , Strategic Marketing Manager in Japan; and Zoe Zhou , Strategic Marketing Manager in China, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences holds a wealth of opportunities to explore, and that the best way to get started is to understand the market. Perhaps some audiences might not appreciate having a “senior” label on the food products they buy. Or, they have other priorities that trigger their purchasing decisions. Understanding how to appeal to consumer preferences while complying with local food labelling regulations are preconditions of success. First impression can be wrong Desp i t e f i rs t imp res s i ons i n t he supermarkets, Japan is, in fact, the leading country for senior-positioned food, drink and healthcare launches in the world. The Mintel Global New Products Database shows that the Japanese market accounted for one-third of all such launches in the five years up to 2018. Of new food products with a senior claim, around 80% are ready meals. A growing number of seniors are young at heart and healthy in body. But is the food industry doing enough to meet their nutritional needs? FOOD & BEVERAGE ASIA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2020 INGREDIENTS 26