Formulating for Boomers

By Patrick Morris, Fortitech | October 17, 2011

If a manufacturer is serious about competing in the functional food and beverage market, it cannot just create products that appeal to 18- to 34-year-olds and expect to thrive. Baby boomers are everywhere and the market for them is going to remain vital now and well into the future. They’ll remain employed longer, and due to the changing landscape of economics and labor markets, we’ll see them right next to Generation X in the workplace for quite some time.
With increasing life expectancy, there is a growing desire within this group to maintain and enhance a healthy and active adult lifestyle, and to ward off the diseases and functional impairments that often accompany the aging process
It is also important to consider the separate needs and concerns of the younger Boomer set versus the older Boomer set. For example, the priority of the young boomer group likely revolves around their children. Thus, considerations in creating products for this group might include putting more emphasis on the overall nutritional goodness of certain products for the entire family—i.e., creating a fortified food/beverages to help support a healthy lifestyle for families always “on the go.” These considerations could take the form of highly portable, individual servings of an energy beverage with taurine, vitamin B6and vitamin B12, which might appeal to a parent, or a wellness milkshake that incorporates several vitamins, fiber and echinacea to boost the immune system of everyone in the family.
By contrast, older Boomers, while still needing to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle, are likely to have more concerns about warding off the particular health concerns of old age, e.g., heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis or eye disease. Food and beverage products fortified with nutrients that address this demographic might include stanols/sterols to address cholesterol and heart health, soy and calcium for osteoporosis, and omega-3s and choline to aid in cognitive health.

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