‘Consumers don’t want to take another pill’: Nutrisure fills gap in 50+ nutrition with UK’s ‘first’ dedicated superfood brand

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

New brand aims to bring targeted nutrition for older consumer to the food aisle / Pic: GettyImages-Paul Bradbury
New brand aims to bring targeted nutrition for older consumer to the food aisle / Pic: GettyImages-Paul Bradbury

Related tags Healthy ageing

Nutrisure, the nutrition-focused company behind superfoods brand Naturya, launched what it says is the UK’s first superfood brand targeting people over 50 last month. In a sector more served by nutraceuticals than nutritious foods, FoodNavigator finds out more about this gap in the market and how Nutrisure hopes to fill it.

The UK population is ageing. Government statistics show the number of over 65s accounted for 19% of the population in 2019, an increase of 23% over the past decade when the total population only increased by 7%. Demographic trends mean that older shoppers are a population cohort with increasing consumer clout. Of equal importance are our changing attitudes and expectations around ageing.

Recognising this, Nutrisure launched a completely new brand with a range of specially formulated products that aim to meet the specific dietary needs of the over-50s. Like many products pitched at healthy, active ageing, SuperAge aims to help its consumers maintain a physically active lifestyle.

“With life expectancy and more importantly what we expect from life on the increase, what people are doing and want to do in their later years, having fewer and fewer barriers, it’s crucial that food and drink brands address the specific needs of this ageing population head on,”​ according to SuperAge Sales Director Mark Armstrong. 

Nutrisure conducted consumer research that points to the aspirational, active lifestyles that older people now expect. Over half of respondents aged 50+ want to see the Northern Lights; 41% want to travel to exotic destinations; one-in-ten want to zipline or drive a sports car; and one in 20 have ‘even more impressive thrill seeking ambitions’ like skydiving, bungee jumping and mountain climbing.

Armstrong elaborated: “No-one likes to talk about it or even admit it, but we will all get old (hopefully) one day. Being healthier during our SuperAge years will allow us to live our daily lives as richly as we can. This can be as simple as just feeling stronger and fitter everyday or tackling one of our bucket list activities – did you know 70% of Brits over 50 have a bucket list and a further 10% expect to make one this year?”

Joy Skipper, SuperAge brand ambassador
Joy Skipper, SuperAge brand ambassador / Pic: Nutrisure

SuperAge’s mission is to help people over 50 achieve their goals with ‘powerful nutrition’.

While ageing might still be something of a taboo in our youth-obsessed culture, SuperAge wants to challenge this stereotype and proudly puts active ageing at the heart of its brand proposition.

“The stereotypes of life slowing down at 50 are long gone and SuperAge exists to put the fact that life is full of adventure after 50, front and centre – leading with the brand name and our inspirational SuperAgers. These consumers truly have a zest for life and despite their age advancing, they remain active and full of life.”

Looking beyond a pill for active ageing

The ageing process sees the body become less efficient at absorbing key nutrients, which can lead to deficiencies in older consumers. People might also be more prone to declining health as they age – from sore joints to memory loss – and even more serious health issues like cardiovascular disease.

These concerns have resulted in a jump in demand for nutritional products that target the needs of our bodies as we age. This has resulted in significant interest in the health supplements market. The UK vitamins, minerals and supplements (VMS) market is well established. Six in 10 consumers took a supplement in 2018 and 38% of female VMS users taking them every day, according to Mintel. The market also is growing. Nielsen figures show it increased from a value of £202m in 2018 to £254m in 2020.

But, Nutrisure believes, products targeting Britain’s super agers to date ‘have been medicines, not food’. What is missing from the picture is a food brand that can deliver specific nutritional advantages for active ageing. “The current market for nutrition and health supplements aimed at the older consumer is dominated by the pill and capsule format. This of course has a clear place in the market, but the SuperAger consumer consistently told us they didn’t want another pill to take. They wanted positive, life enhancing products that had all the same benefits, but tasted great and fit in with their lifestyle and view of their world,”​ Armstrong told FoodNavigator.

“Taking our expertise and years of experience with superfoods, we’ve created a range of great tasting products that fit naturally within someone’s existing routine rather than adding complexity into their day or having to remember to take a pill or capsule. Our range of SuperAge products work brilliantly as a standalone drink that’s perfect with breakfast or can be added to smoothies or porridges to add a boost to your usual breakfast.”

GettyImages-Dean Mitchell old ageing breakfast consumer healthy
The new line is designed to fit into existing meal patterns / Pic: GettyImages-Dean Mitchell

Accessible nutrition for the over 50s

SuperAge has been created to make it easy for over 50s to access the right superfoods by targeting their specific nutritional needs.

“SuperAge Blends are scientifically formulated to support immunity, energy or digestion, all important to maintaining a physically active lifestyle. These delicious plant-based blends are high in protein to help preserve muscle mass along with a range of vitamins and minerals from natural superfoods,”​ we were told.

The formulations have been developed to reflect the nutrients we need to consume more of as we get older and specific health outcomes that are of concern to the 50+ demographic.

“As we age, our bodies go through a number of physiological changes. With SuperAge we spent a lot of time looking at those changes, how the body needs to be supported during and as a result of those changes and crucially, which ones people needed the most support in managing,”​ Armstrong said.

“Muscle loss is the big one as we age, so the starting point for SuperAge was always to make sure that our blended products are high in protein to maintain muscle mass. Beyond this, our body slows down in general putting more stress on the immune system and our gut health so launching our range with immunity and digestion focused products was the natural starting point as the largest needs to address.”

Indeed, when Nutrisure asked consumers who are 50 or older what would encourage them to eat more superfoods, immunity came out on top for 57% of respondents, followed by digestion at 53% and boosted energy at 44%.

SuperAge products are designed to be eaten alongside a healthy diet. “Whilst we always advocate a healthy balanced diet and to get as much nutrients as possible through our diet – a busy and active lifestyle often means it’s harder to take in sufficient levels of nutrients. SuperAge supports and enhances someone’s existing diet whilst delivering these benefits through natural, wholesome superfoods,”​ Armstrong explained.

SuperAge Range Shot
The SuperAge range initially consists of three SKUs / Pic: Nutrisure

Product formulation spotlighted

  • SuperAge Immunity​ is a blend of plant-based hemp protein and spirulina and chlorella superfood powders, scientifically formulated to support a healthy immune system. It delivers high concentrations of Vitamin B12, C and D, Iron, and protein, along with Camu Camu, turmeric and ginger.
  • SuperAge Energy​ combines nutrient-rich hemp protein with superfoods including maca and Camu Camu and invigorating ginseng, to fight fatigue and nourish the body. Energy also contains Vitamin B6 and C, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus to contribute to the immune system’s normal functioning.
  • SuperAge Digestion​ puts hemp protein powder with inulin fibre and prune extract, along with bacillus coagulans to keep the digestive system healthy and nourish the body. SuperAge Digestion also delivers nutrients to maintain a healthy immune system and grow and maintain muscle mass. It contains 1.2 billion live cultures.

All three products have no added sugar and are gluten-free, vegan and are high in protein and fibre.

The plan to grow the brand

The SuperAge range is currently available at health food retail chain Holland & Barret. Campbell Ettinger, the retailer’s Business Unit Director of Food, believes that SuperAge’s approach to nutrition will resonate with consumers.

“Nutrition is not ‘one size fits all’ – tailored nutrition is key to offering products that consumers not only want but are relevant to their life stage, so we’re incredibly excited to be launching SuperAge, the UK’s first superfood brand dedicated to the needs of over 50’s, both online and in stores nationwide.”

Nutrisure revealed it is looking to secure additional listings in key grocery accounts, building on its relationships and the success of its Naturya brand which has ‘consistently’ delivered double digit growth year-on-year.

The company is also supporting the launch with what is described as a ‘significant marketing investment’, with a campaign running across print, digital, social media and sampling. Outreach also includes a partnership with nutritionist and World Masters & British Masters rowing champion Joy Skipper (pictured above) who is a brand ambassador and ‘SuperAger extraordinaire’.

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