Memory concerns No. 1 among older consumers

According to consumer research conducted by IRI as well as Liz Sloane, the health conditions of greatest concern for the over-50 set are:

  • mental
  • cardio
  • cancer
  • bone
  • maintaining normal activity
  • vision
  • arthritis

"Memory is now the No. 1 concern of the older groups," said Sloane. "It's growing the fastest."

She said that while older people are more likely to gravitate to pills than functional foods, you could make inroads with them with foods regarding cholesterol, immunity, digestive health, blood pressure and body-weight maintenance.

"The best-selling products for them say 'clinical strength' or 'expanded effectiveness' or 'doctor recommended,'" said Sloane.

The biggest opportunities? Real energy for real people. "No one has come up with vitality and energy for older people. It's a hole in the market. Energy drinks are really for 18- to 24-year-olds. Older people are just as weary but are not buying energy drinks. What do they like? Supplements. There's a big, big opportunity for a vitality/energy supplement."

For more on condition-specific ingredients, formulations and marketing, see the September issue of Functional Ingredients.

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