Most of us know Australia’s population is ageing, but did you know 60% of the world’s ageing population is on our doorstep in the Asia Pacific region?
Here are some more facts you should be aware of:
- The fastest growing consumer segment is people aged over 60.
- Globally, this consumer segment is set to reach 13% by 2020, and here in Australia it’s already16%.
- Only 7% of our aged population are actually in nursing homes – the rest of our over 60’s are living independently, active, in reasonable health and often still employed.
What this all means is that ‘healthy food for healthy ageing’ is set to be an important market for South Australian food and beverage businesses, and a real opportunity to contribute to the health and wellness of people throughout our region.
Which brings us to more key facts for our industry to consider:
- The nutrition messages we see in prime time (low fat, low sugar, etc) are not necessarily suitable for the aged consumer. Research findings are showing fat and sugar in moderation may in fact be beneficial to health, especially among people over 65.
- Nutritional research has revealed significantly higher levels of protein are required to maintain good health as we age, while lots of colour not only improves the eating experience, it delivers important anti-oxidants as well.
- Tastebuds get older too – and the flavour intensity of products may need to be enhanced up to 20 times to make allowances for this among consumers over 80.
- Nostalgia plays a key role in food choices among the aged so messing with the flavour profile of a great traditional recipe may lessen your chances of successful sales.
PIRSA is working with South Australian food and beverage businesses to find ways to realise the potential of this market. Research undertaken in 2016, identified key opportunities for our state through functional food product development, particularly for foods that support ongoing bone health and cognitive performance. PIRSA is currently consulting with industry and researchers to gain a clear understanding of where the knowledge gaps are and the potential barriers for food and beverage businesses considering strategies for this market.
There are significant opportunities for business growth and specialisation, and the right opportunity for your business may not mean creating a whole new product. There could be products in your portfolio that can be reasonably easily adapted or redeveloped for this market. Can your recipe be modified to improve its suitability to support these key functional needs such as bone health, reduction of inflammation? Is your recipe formulation suitable for the addition of increased levels of protein or iron?
Connect with us
- Contact Food South Australia to connect with advice and technical support at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 08 8303 9534.
- Find out more about PIRSA’s functional food research project and opportunities here.
- Find out how the South Australian Food Innovation Centre can assist you with commercialisation of new ideas and products here.