Promoting ‘well-ageing’ vs ‘anti-ageing’ for consumers aged 55 and over

Promoting ‘well-ageing’ vs ‘anti-ageing’ for consumers aged 55 and over

October 27, 2023
4 min read

In recent times, the societal perspective on ageing has evolved significantly, shifting away from the idea of battling against the natural process of growing older. Instead, there is a growing emphasis on embracing and appreciating all stages of life, including ageing. 

Thailand, like many other nations, is experiencing a noticeable demographic shift, with more individuals reaching middle age and beyond. This changing population dynamic offers significant market potential for various industries.

From 2004-2023, there has been a decline in searches for “anti-ageing” messages on Google, while searches related to “healthy,” “positive,” and “well-ageing” have remained relatively stable. In the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Philippines lead in searches for “well-ageing” messages, followed closely by Thailand. Although 7 in 10 Thai consumers aged 55 and over are content with their appearance, the remainder express neutrality about their looks.

Data from Mintel GNPD reveals an increase in product launches in North America that promote well-ageing, signalling a shift in how brands approach the ageing process. Brands in the APAC region can capitalize on this trend to meet the growing demand for well-ageing products and messages.

It’s important to note that ‘well-ageing’ encompasses more than just outward appearance and healthy eating. It’s about leading a healthy life and nurturing overall well-being as individuals age.

Stronger representation in media and advertising

Brands targeting older consumers can benefit from incorporating older individuals into their advertising campaigns. Nearly six in ten Thais over the age of 55 believe that there should be more actors and actresses of their age in commercials. This not only promotes inclusivity and diversity but also sends a powerful message that people of all ages are valued and deserve representation in media and advertising.

This approach aligns with the Mintel Trend Serving the Underserved which highlights the growing voice of consumers who have historically been underrepresented.

An example of challenging the stereotype about ageing is the “Grandmothers of Reason” (Avós da Razão in Portuguese) channel on YouTube. It features engaging discussions on various topics led by three women aged 60 and above. Through their casual and friendly dialogues, the channel aims to showcase that the ageing process can be enjoyable and vastly different from common misconceptions.

Grandmothers of Reason‘; YouTube

Prioritizing health benefits for wellbeing

Mintel’s research indicates that beauty has become less important to elder consumers, particularly Generation X and above. They now place a higher value on overall health. This demographic group is more interested in health-related benefits and is cautious about ingesting excess vitamins and minerals.

To effectively engage these older consumers, brands should shift their focus from marketing outer attractiveness alone to emphasizing the health benefits that contribute to well-being from the inside. Given that 74% of this consumer segment modify their diets with the goal of extending their lifespan, food and beauty brands have an opportunity to emphasize positive ageing messages that embrace the concept of being ‘ageless’ while addressing the needs of healthy ageing.

For instance, products like Bettamilk Goat Milk, described as easily digestible real whole goat milk with potential benefits for beauty, health, and longevity, can appeal to this demographic.

Bettamilk Goat Milk (Russia); Mintel GNPD

Simple labelling for specific age groups

Brands can further enhance their approach by avoiding the term ‘anti-ageing’ and, instead, label their products with specific age ranges, such as ‘suitable for women aged 55+’ or ‘designed for men aged 65+’. This approach promotes positive ageing, fosters inclusivity, and avoids perpetuating ageism or causing offence in relation to the ageing process.

For instance, Blackmore’s Multivitamin Nutri 50+ clearly indicates on the packaging the demographic it’s catering to.

What we think

The landscape of ageing is evolving towards a more positive and inclusive perspective. This shift presents opportunities for brands to cater to the desires and needs of ageing consumers who are embracing ‘well-ageing’ and looking for products and messages that support their holistic well-being. Additionally, by promoting inclusivity and challenging stereotypes, brands can build stronger connections with this important demographic.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic, please visit the Mintel Store or contact us today.

Wilasinee (Kaimook) Siriboonpipattana
Wilasinee (Kaimook) Siriboonpipattana

Senior Lifestyle Analyst, Thailand

Kaimook has a doctorate in Neuroscience. Based in Bangkok, she writes Lifestyle Reports on Thai consumers’ behaviour (eg what the key trends are and how they have shifted). She likes to use neuromarketing research knowledge in her analysis to determine what consumers want and why.

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