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Dairy innovation should encourage Swiss seniors: Survey

By Jess Halliday , 24-Jul-2009

Swiss over-50s need appealing new dairy products to encourage increased calcium intake and reduce osteoporosis risk, says a new survey that identifies the tastes and preferences of this important consume groups.

Over 50s are often targeted by food marketers as so-called ‘baby boomers’ – people born between 1946 and 1964 – are growing in number and, after a lifetime of working, many have comfortable lifestyles and good spending power.

 

However they also have quite specific nutritional needs: They tend to lose lean muscle mass, are more susceptible to diseases like osteoporosis, and need less energy but more micro and macronutrients.

 

They may also experience some weakening of sensory enjoyment, such as loss of taste and smell, and mouth dryness, difficulty chewing, and have dentistry issues.

 

Amongst the 250 Swiss people questioned in the new survey, 71 per cent said they only eat one or two portions of dairy per day – but to reduce risk of osteoporosis, three portion are recommended. (One portion is equal to 200ml of milk, 150-180g of yoghurt, 200g of fromage blanc or 30-60g of cheese).

 

Developing new dairy products that appeal to this age group could help them consume more, and reduce their risk of the bone disease, said Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux (APL), the research organisation specialising in milk and dairy products that conducted the survey.

 

What over 50s want

 

The survey found that, overall, Swiss over-50s value freshness, taste, seasonality, health, and shelf life in the food products they buy. And dairy products are amongst their favour foods, behind fruits but just ahead of baked goods and sweet snacks.

 

The most frequently consumed dairy products are cheese, yoghurt and milk. Between 30 and 35 per cent consumed dairy products

 

When it comes to yoghurts, they look for taste, health profile and calorie content above all else. And for both milk and yoghurt, the overwhelming majority preferred unflavoured products.

 

For those who did chose flavoured goods, the top milk flavours were chocolate, coffee and banana; for yoghurts they opted for coffee, myrtle, red berries and vanilla.

 

But just how likely are Swiss consumers to try new dairy products? Here the survey found Swiss over-50s are not the most adventurous. Just over 60 per cent said they buy new products ‘only sometimes’, whereas 19.8 per cent said they do so ‘often’.

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