Honorata Jarocka
As a Senior Food & Drink Analyst, Honorata focuses on innovative product concepts within the Polish food and drink industry and in the wider Eastern European region.

As lactose intolerance or sensitivity can develop with age, going lactose-free is a development opportunity for yogurt brands that are looking to connect with seniors. Bakoma, one of the leading dairy companies in Poland, rolled out a unique senior-friendly yogurt range just this year. As well as featuring a lactose-free recipe, Bakoma Senior Active drinking and spoonable varieties are enriched with both calcium and vitamin D. The on-pack communication is based on four pillars: bone health, muscle support, immunity boost and enhanced calcium absorption. The ‘senior’ element has been incorporated into the brand name itself and an image of a physically active senior couple has been used on the label

Functional claims add health appeal

Incorporating functional claims, such as immune and bone health support, as part of a senior-friendly positioning could give brands a meaningful competitive edge. Despite the ageing world population, the on-pack ‘for seniors’ claim has so far seen limited use across the global food and drink market. Indeed, many brands have found it challenging to address older consumers with subtle-yet-engaging messages. However, looking specifically at the Polish market, 59% of Poles aged 55+ say that you have a greater need for functional food and drink as you age.

According to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), almost half of all senior-friendly products launched over the five-year period to May 2018 were spotted in Japan, followed by China (29%). Looking at sub-category split, prepared meals accounted for the biggest proportion of innovation targeting seniors. Drinking and spoonable yogurts ranked near the bottom of the list, each representing a 1% share.

Adapting communication to seniors

Marketing to seniors can be challenging. Marketing strategies need to be skewed towards a more age-neutral audience, with preventative health and positive lifestyles moving to the forefront of communication. To yield positive results, senior-oriented campaigns should be simple and easily understood, whilst the overall message should revolve around how seniors can maintain a positive attitude towards getting older. Avoiding stereotypes about ageing is crucial.

In its advertising for the Bakoma Senior Active range, the company makes being happy and physically active the core of brand communication. Also, to bring an element of familiarity and nostalgia, the TV commercial is inspired by old American musicals and pre-war Polish songs.

Bakoma, Poland:
Senior Active Jogurt Pitny o Smaku Brzoskwiniowym

What Mintel thinks

Marketing to the silver generation can be an exciting growth opportunity for yogurt brands; however, a careful communication strategy is a must. Easily understood product benefits, including functional formulations that accommodate seniors’ unique dietary needs, can be a recipe for success. Moreover, going lactose free could grow frequency of consumption amongst older age groups who may experience troubles digesting dairy.