Nielsen study: Companies failing to meet needs of aging Americans


NEW YORK — Companies are missing the mark when it comes to engaging and catering to the needs of the aging consumer. That’s according to a new study by Nielsen.

“The findings serve as a wake-up call to manufacturers, retailers and other marketers that need to bolster efforts to better reach and cater to an aging demographic. Improvements, such as using larger fonts on product labels and signage, arranging age-related products in one place and at arm’s length for easier accessibility, and offering friendly customer service, can go a long way in building loyal patronage,” said Todd Hale, SVP consumer and shopper insights at Nielsen.

The study also found that there are generational differences in attitudes towards aging and their fears around getting older — younger consumers fear the loss of mobility and agility, while older consumers fear the loss of financial comfort and worry about how they will fund their retirement.  

Additional highlights from the study include:

  • 38% of Americans say they don’t see advertising that reflects older consumers


  • 44% say it’s difficult to find product labels that are easy to read;

  • 43% can’t find easy-to-open packaging;

  • 34% say they can’t find smaller portion-sized food packaging


  • 31% say products are not clearly labeled with nutritional information;


25% can’t find products geared towards their special nutritional needs;


60% of Americans don’t feel that they were financially set for retirement; 

  • 53% fear losing their self-reliance, such as the ability to drive, cook and shop

; and

  • 57% fear having enough money to live comfortably, and an equal number fear losing their mental and physical agility.



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