This might sound strange to some people, but the future of the packaging and design industry should focus on those over 60 years old. Tetra Pak is one of the companies that has realised this and started to shift their attention. By 2050 the people over 60 will make up over 20% of the population on earth, but they are currently only being targeted with 1% of the global innovations. So to be clear, something has to change!
But the questions we ask ourselves is: how do people in their 60s shop today? What do their habits look like?
To find out more, the team at Tetra Pak did some research and found, among other things, that 30% of seniors actually stay with a brand that satisfies them. They also prefer the more familiar brands and often find comfort in the brands they can rely on.
The VP Global Marketing at Tetra Pak, Libby Costin, mentioned that: “Seniors have more disposable income than previous generations, and are poised to become one of the most important consumer groups over the next decade. This creates a huge opportunity for manufacturers to respond to their needs.”
This new target group desires better quality of the products and is definitely more loyal. But, more importantly, they are more focused on products that can improve their standard of life and goes hand in hand with their values; like tradition, family, healthy ageing, and so on.
Try for a moment to imagine being in their shoes, feeling that your body is slowly ageing and how it might affect your everyday living. Opening the lid of a jar, for example, might even be a big struggle when you’re young, so being around 60 when your grip strength is about half of what it used to be might not be easy. And it’s not only the grip strength, even the sight for reading labels and the loss of focus when there is a sea of products in the store.
“The clean label is something that should play a role here, but also don’t forget that the design is part of the value proposition. Link this with the proposition of the whole product—this is key in design,” Says Julia Sotera, Director Marketing Services at Tetra Pak Americas.
So to sum things up, Tetra Pak has found 5 key attributes that you can keep in mind when making packaging design for this new age group:
1. Visual communication is important: graphics, colors and images are essential.
2. Legibility: the text has to be easy to read for those whose eyesight might have started to fade.
3. Opening is one of the most important aspects, and should be super clear for the consumers.
4. Handling is also important when your strength isn’t as it used to be. The shape and weight should be easy to handle.
5. Perishability, especially for food and drinks. Packaging that is easy to seal is perfect and helps prolong the items shelf life. It also leads to fewer trips to the store, since the mobility might be a struggle.
But one important thing has to be kept in mind: they don’t want to be marketed as “Seniors”. They don’t feel part of that “category” and don’t want to be treated like that. So, in order to target this age group successfully, you must focus on their needs and not their age! This couldn’t be more true. And don’t forget that age is just a number!