Globally, the number of consumers aged over 60 is expected to double by more than 20% to 2bn in the years to 2050, according to recent United Nations figures.
And while soft drinks manufacturers have long targeted younger consumers, with the key age bracket of 10-24 year-olds making up the majority of sales, they needed to think about the elderly as a secure source of sales, said Erica Shaw, beverage analyst at Canadean.
“These numbers open doors to a potential market growth as older consumers want to stay healthy and have disposable income available for longer, especially in developed countries where independent living is far more common,” she added.
More products with active ingredients had been launched in western markets, such as Europe and the US, to address health and vitality issues among the elderly, she added.
Anti-ageing drinks were quickly becoming popular in the western world and soft drinks manufacturers should consider using science, botanicals and vitamins and minerals in their development, said Shaw.
CellaNova, a carbonated drink made by Swiss firm Omnimedica, was an example of a manufacturer using natural products to create an anti-ageing drink.
“Pomegranate, cranberry juice and OM24 – which is a natural product made from whole green tea leaves – are used in the product,” she said.
“But companies are also looking into the more practical aspects of growing older, such as being able to lift and carry the products without difficulty and designing more convenient packaging.”
Allowing elderly consumers to carry and pour drinks easily was essential to successfully target the over 60s market, Shaw added.
Meanwhile, the UK’s functional food and drink manufacturers were recently told to target older consumers to boost a “stagnating” functional food market.
“One of the reasons that the ageing population can help invigorate this growth is because they really remain under-catered for at the moment,” Diana Cowland, analyst at Euromonitor, told FoodManufacture.co.uk in a podcast.
To learn more on how to target elderly consumers with functional products, listen to the podcast here.