With a faster declining birth rate compare to other countries, Taiwan is on the course to go from being ‘aging’ to ‘aged’ society. While some may see it as a sign of worry, a number of forward-thinking manufacturers are viewing this as a potential new market. World leading research & insight company Kantar Worldpanel, discovered that for the past 5 years, silver hair related categories* had been showing promising growth. Other than the basic daily necessities, the silver hair generation nowadays leads a much sassier lifestyle, hence creating opportunities for products that will improve their daily quality of life. This is clearly reflected in the growth of related categories including anti-aging skincare, high protein drinks and health food supplement, all the more reason for retailers/manufacturers to take advantage of this growing target.
Care needs and health consciousness drives growth
Kantar Worldpanel discovered more and more household shoppers are investing in products that look after daily care needs. Take adult diaper and denture cleansing products for example, number of households investing in these two categories have grown an impressive 38% for the past three years, total market sales also achieved 21% growth. More brands have also been observed joining the market to take advantage of this growing business, demonstrating the growing demand for care need products.
Other than daily necessities, trend also shows that growing health conscious amongst senior citizens is driving growth for related products. In 2013, adult’s high protein drinks grew 11% YoY, with average trip spending also gaining double digit growth. Stepping back and look at this market from total milk powder’s perspective, it was also found that silver hair generation maintained their need, while the rest of the market is losing buyers. Increased frequency and preference for large pack size were the key factors sustaining this age group’s spending, which again highlights the need they have for this market.
Silver hair generation are also more likely to invest health food supplement. Kantar Worldpanel compared the spending pattern of different family types for 2013, and discovered that indeed higher proportion of ‘older single/couple’(senior households)** will purchase the category compare to ‘young families’, where multipurpose health food, multivitamins, and chicken essence are their top three favourites; anti-aging benefit of grape seed, jujube juice & probiotics that helps digestive system run smooth, or deep sea fish oil that fights cholesterol, are also on the top of the shopping lists for these shoppers.
They are growing fond of ‘Convenient’ and ‘Online’
Other than PX mart which is has already gained 90% of Taiwan’s household population, where can manufacturers effectively find and get in contact with these senior shoppers? According to Kantar Worldpanel, for the past years, senior households preference for CVS is clearly on the rise, compare to the penetration of 68% from two years ago, now up to 76% of these shoppers will spend their dollars at CVS in recent year***, this has also prompted CVS retailers to introduce elderly-friendly service in recent year, which is sure to further encourage senior members to pay return visits.
Online shopping is also a sector that cannot be ignored. Kantar Worldpanel observed 21% of the senior households have made online purchases in the recent year, quite a dramatic improvement compare to 9% two years ago; Senior household’s average spending is also the second highest amongst the six household types observed, a clear indication that senior citizens are more than willing to try out this modern day channel, and it is vital for manufacturers to take advantage of this opportunity.
According to the release of nation’s latest prediction on population growth, Taiwan is expected to enter ‘aged society’ in 2016****, by then there will be approximately 3.2 million senior citizens with needs to be satisfied. It is vital for manufacturers to step ahead and understand the needs and purchase behaviour of the silver hair generation, in order to secure a place in this growing pool’s shopping list.
*Silver hair related categories is selected from more than a hundred categories that is currently tracked by Kantar Worldpanel Taiwan, and includes health food supplement, adult milk powder, adult diaper, denture cleansing/adhesive products and high protein drink.
**Older single/couple refers to households with 1-2 members that has an average age of 45 years and above. This household type is considered to closest to the concept of silver hair generation.
***Recent year refers to the 52 weeks ending 2014/2/23
****Based on the definition of World Health Organization, Aged Society is when up to 14% of the population is 65 years and older.