Consumer spending patterns vary across different age groups and sectors. Obviously, an ageing population tends to be sicker and thus requires more medical care. But on a more positive note, our Next Generation Research Analyst Dr. Damien Ng observes silver consumers investing in their beauty, nutrition and fulfilled retirement.
Already during the past two decades, the share of personal consumption expenditures of the people aged 55 and older has risen from less than 30% to almost 40% as of late. As this trend should continue, we look at three segments underpinning the extended longevity space: beauty, leisure and nutrition.
Beauty: looking better
Our modern society puts a huge emphasis on achievement, youth and beauty. Not only does the way we look and dress indicate our social worth, it also enables us to express our identity and confidence to the people around us. It is thus understandable that keeping up a good personal appearance is important for the young and old alike, since our skin tends to undergo cellular transformations over the years, such as a slower rate of cell regeneration and a declining ability to retain moisture.
As people are not only leading longer lives nowadays, but also a more active lifestyle often well into their 70s or 80s, maintaining a younger facial appearance and body shape can help the individuals retain the confidence they need to pursue their desired lifestyle, help them be more outgoing and mitigate any depression that may be caused by age-related emotions and anxieties.
Pro-ageing beauty products
While looking youthful remains the mainstream idea behind beauty and fashion, as evidenced by the countless advertisement campaigns promoting various anti-ageing products that promise either to smoothen out wrinkles or to provide more elasticity to the skin, there is a slowly emerging pro-ageing movement in the beauty industry to embrace the reality and beauty of ageing better.
Instead of fighting every sign of ageing, its underlying philosophy puts the focus on a more conscious decision towards products aimed at complementing the appearance of age. It is important to highlight that pro-ageing does not mean that consumers will begin to ditch cosmetics and beauty brands. Rather, it is the recognition that the process of ageing is a natural development. Although some critics may argue that the term ‘pro-ageing’ is merely the beauty industry’s latest attempt to resort to rebrand the same classical ‘anti-ageing’ merchandise, skincare beauty products remain popular among consumers regardless of their denominations.
Leisure: Enjoying oneself better
Holidays are a leisure priority of elderly since they typically have greater spending power than previous generations and are also more flexible in terms of travel periods than the younger age cohort of holidaymakers.
The global USD 50 billion cruise industry has always attracted the older generation of holidaymakers, who typically possess greater disposable income and the time to spend on a cruise. After all, what could be more relaxing and pleasurable than spending your holidays lounging on sunbeds, dining on international gourmet food and attending Broadway-style shows?
Furthermore, the wide selection of various destinations and the availability of different amenities and activities on board have provided extended families with an excellent way to connect and holiday together. Multigenerational trips allow grandparents, parents and children to have an unforgettable water-based experience.
The major factors that could influence the longer-term outlook for the cruise industry include future competition among cruise operators in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, the growing concerns over the high environmental costs of cruise ships in the form of sewage, rubbish and solid waste, as well as the mounting debt confronted by beleaguered cruise ship operators due to suspended operations during the Covid-19 crisis. Inevitably, these challenges have the adverse impact of weighing on the future of the cruise ship industry.
Nutrition: Eating better
Nutrition is all about eating a healthy and balanced diet so that our body receives the nutrients it needs to function and grow properly. These nutrients include carbohydrates, fats, minerals, proteins and vitamins. A balanced nutrition is even more important for older adults as it not only provides energy, but can also help to prevent some age-related diseases, such as cardiovascular disorders, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Although the majority of elderly people can obtain their required nutrients by eating a balanced diet, their bodies may not be able to absorb certain types of vitamins and minerals, thus leading them to become deficient in the nutrients necessary for optimal health. It is therefore in this context that older adults may need more of some vitamins and minerals than younger generations.
While the use of dietary supplements among older consumers is expected to increase due to a growing ageing population and a greater emphasis on wellness, seniors should seek medical advice from their doctors or dieticians before they embark on a new course of supplements.
Living longer, living better
So, how do we live longer and better? Whether it is through making changes to our lifestyle or turning to scientific means to prolong our lives, we must never ever forget to be happy. As a survey conducted by the University College London has revealed, people who experience feelings of satisfaction about their life are more likely to live to an older age. Specifically, people who experience contentment and fulfilment over a period of three years are 25% less likely to die prematurely, thus allowing them not only to live a happier life, but also to contribute more to society. As octogenarian investment legend Mark Mobius once said, “A healthier world and a wealthier you”.
This article is a part of the ’Shifting Lifestyle’ series, in which we observe how ageing populations and extended longevity are altering global lifestyles.