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IRI Releases New Study on the Aging Population

CHICAGO – With the number of Americans aged 65 and older expected to more than double over the next 40 years, Information Resources Inc. (IRI) moved to help consumer packaged goods (CPG) retailers and marketers understand and achieve greater activation of this growing consumer segment by releasing the new report, SilverLink. The report segments the U.S. population aged 50 and older based on demographics; attitudes toward aging, health and wellness; shopping behavior; and lifestyle habits.

Since 2007, real median income has declined for all age groups but those 65 and older, who actually saw a 5-percent increase from 2007 to 2010, IRI reported. Additionally, the likelihood that an American who reaches the age of 65 will survive to age 90 has nearly doubled in the past 40 years.

"The next generation of retirees will be the healthiest, longest lived, most educated and most affluent in history," said Robert I. Tomei, president, consumer and shopper marketing, at IRI. "CPG retailers and manufacturers that understand the unique, targetable segments within the U.S. population aged 50 and older will be well equipped to win with this growing population."

IRI's SilverLink identifies six distinct consumer segments, three of which account for a combined 52 percent of the 50-and-over population and offer especially strong growth opportunities for retailers and manufacturers:

  • Secure — These shoppers have a median income of $58,000 and believe they have enough money for a comfortable retirement; consider themselves to be in good health; prioritize exercise; and try to eat a healthy diet about 80 percent of the time. They are ideal targets for nutritious items that support a healthy lifestyle.
  • Conscientious — These shoppers have a median income of $37,000 and are diligent about their health and finances; monitor their diets to maintain a healthy weight and feel good; are particularly receptive to online promotions; and often research new products online. Deals and coupons are key to attracting them.
  • Preoccupied — These shoppers have a median income of $51,000 and do not focus on exercising or improving their diets, although they know they should. They are often on the go and choose convenience over nutrition. CPG manufacturers and retailers can attract this group through simple, convenient offerings such as prepared single-serve meals.

The remaining three segments make up the other 48 percent of the 50-and-over population:

  • Unconcerned — These shoppers have a median income of $42,000 and are content with their lifestyles. Although most would like to lose at least 10 pounds, they do not prioritize exercise or healthy eating.
  • Resistant — These shoppers have a median income of $32,000 and are the worst-off financially. They are not particularly active, often due to mobility issues, and would like to become healthier but lack the financial resources to do so.
  • Resigned — These shoppers have a median income of $34,000, suffer from physical deterioration and struggle to make ends meet. They prefer foods that require little preparation, often choose convenience over nutrition and tend to eat lots of processed foods.
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