Last month, we highlighted an article in the Harvard Business Review focusing on clean label and sustainability practices, most particularly as it related to the worldview held by Millennials. Those issues don’t pertain exclusively to Millennials, although that group is more ardently attached to the principals behind clean labels and corporate transparency than other demographic groups.
Amidst all the discussion about clean label, there are other qualities consumers look for in their foods and beverages and this can change according to lifestyle, eating occasion or age.
For example, Dutch scientists from Wageningen University recently conducted an extensive literature study and found that the older adult population constitutes an area ripe for further research. Relatively few studies have been performed to examine the food perception of older adults.
Taste and textural perceptions change as we age, in addition to sense of smell—which has a direct impact on flavor perception. Yet, researchers say, research on product improvements has focused mainly on flavor and ignored the other sensory aspects.
They urge a more holistic approach that takes into account the food’s flavor, but also a broad spectrum of sensory aspects in addition to packaging design, and even the social context in which the food might be eaten.
Other research confirms the facts that “the majority of new products that are introduced are positioned to a younger demographic, or shoppers aged 21 to 49 years.” Whereas the world population from 2000 to 2050 is projected to grow by 54%, the global population of those aged 65 or older will grow at more than four times this rate, according to a study published by the International Union of Food Science and Technology.
What this points out is that amidst the industry’s overall objectives, to make foods healthier, to keep ingredients simple and more natural, there are always going to be market segments that demand specialized attention and depending on their needs and the market potential, are well worth investigating. Giving consumers what they want as well as what they need—whether they’ve identified the need themselves or not—is a tricky balancing act. However what makes it easier is the drawing from the right portfolio of functional, flavorful ingredients like REAL eggs.
For more information about the nutritional requirements of older adults and the relationship to eggs, The Australian Egg Nutrition Council contains a comprehensive position statement for healthcare professionals on this topic. Read the statement here.