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Marketing to Over 55s - China - February 2015

“In China, the number of people above the aged 60 or over will reach 400 million in the early 2030s, representing a quarter of the country’s total population. To put this into perspective, the total US population is officially forecast to be 359.4 million in 2030. The United Nations forecasts that 30% of all Chinese people will be older than 60 by 2040, and a quarter of the population by 2050. National Bureau of Statistics forecasts hold that 2015 will see the over-60s population surpass 230 million.

Yet the number of products and services aimed at the over-55s consumer group remains pitifully small. Of the nearly 15,000 new products picked up in China by Mintel’s GNPD new product database during 2014, only 33 (0.2%) made the claim of being aimed at people over the age of 55. This illustrates a mismatch between the size of the over-55s consumer market in China, and the number of new products and services being targeted at that consumer group.

The key finding of this report is that there is a huge potential market, full of opportunities, that is largely being ignored by product and services marketers. For companies that can engage with over-55s consumers, and adapt their products to serve their needs better, or can come up with innovative new solutions to solve lives problems for the over-55s, there is a wealth of opportunity and potential for new business growth.”
– Matthew Crabbe, Director of Research, Asia-Pacific

In this report, we answer the key questions:

  • Why, despite the over-55s being a significant and growing segment in China’s domestic consumer economy, is it that potential marketing is still not being fully developed?
  • What are the over-55 consumers looking to spend their not insignificant pools of savings and cash-in-hand on?
  • How are the over-55s planning to enjoy their later years, and what motivates them to spend?
  • What are over-55 people spending more, about the same or less on?
  • What can companies do to successfully market to older Chinese people, apart from simply not ignoring this significant group of consumers?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Report structure
          • Methodology
            • Abbreviations
            • Executive Summary

                • Getting to know China’s over-55s
                  • Figure 1: Target Groups, October 2014
                • Who’s targeting the over-55s, or not?
                  • Figure 2: China - Percentage breakdown of new product launches aimed at over-55s by broad product category, 2003-14
                • The consumer
                  • Current financial situations: Well over half of over-55s have money left to spend
                    • Figure 3: Consumer current financial situation, October 2014
                  • Changes in spending habits: Food and healthcare lead the over-55s spending increases
                    • Figure 4: Changes in consumer spending habits over the past 12 months, October 2014
                  • Discretionary spending habits: Food and healthcare also lead discretionary spending
                    • Figure 5: Consumer discretionary spending by broad sector of expenditure, October 2014
                  • Plans for the coming year: Healthier eating and more family time remain key aspirations
                    • Figure 6: Consumer planning for activities in the coming 12 months, October 2014
                  • Holiday plans for the coming year: Family holidays still older consumers’ ideal
                    • Figure 7: Consumer planning for holidays in the coming 12 months, October 2014
                  • Attitudes to shopping: Seniors seek quality and familiarity
                    • Figure 8: Consumer attitudes to shopping, October 2014
                  • Key Issues
                    • Are China’s over-55s really so conservative?
                      • Are older consumers still being ignored?
                        • Getting online and out the apartment
                          • Experience leads to higher quality expectations
                            • What we think
                            • Issues and Insights

                              • Are China’s over-55s really so conservative?
                                • The facts
                                  • Figure 9: Consumer attitudes to trying new shops and trying new products, October 2014
                                • The implications
                                  • Are older consumers still being ignored?
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • Getting online and out the apartment
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • Experience leads to higher quality expectations
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                  • Trend Applications

                                                    • Without a care
                                                      • The Stat:
                                                        • The Idea:
                                                          • Futures: East Meets West
                                                            • The Stat:
                                                              • The Idea:
                                                                • Futures: Old Gold
                                                                  • The Stat:
                                                                    • The Idea:
                                                                    • Getting to Know China’s Over-55s

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Who are China’s over-55s?
                                                                          • Figure 10: Target Groups, October 2014
                                                                        • The ‘Stick to what you know’ consumers
                                                                          • Who they are
                                                                            • What they like
                                                                              • Marketing approach
                                                                                • The ‘Online and adventurous’ consumers
                                                                                  • Who they are
                                                                                    • What they like
                                                                                      • Marketing approach
                                                                                        • The ‘On a budget and unengaged’ consumers
                                                                                          • Who they are
                                                                                            • What they like
                                                                                              • Marketing approach
                                                                                                • An aging population
                                                                                                  • Figure 11: The population of the over-60s in China, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015
                                                                                                  • Figure 12: Decline in birth rate over 20 years, 1994-2013
                                                                                                • A huge opportunity market
                                                                                                  • Figure 13: China – Potential size of the over-65s consumer economy, compared with other nation GDP data, 2009-14
                                                                                                • The tradition of filial piety
                                                                                                  • Responding to redefined ideas of ‘old age’
                                                                                                  • Who’s Targeting the Over-55s, Or Not?

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Sectors where over-55s are being actively targeted
                                                                                                        • Figure 14: China - Percentage breakdown of new product launches aimed at over-55s by broad product category, 2003-14
                                                                                                        • Figure 15: China – Percentage of all new products launched each year targeted at the over -55s over the period of 2003-14
                                                                                                      • Dairy products aimed at over-55s
                                                                                                        • Figure 16: Percentage breakdown of new dairy product launches aimed at over-55s by product type, 2003-14
                                                                                                        • Figure 17: Companies most active in targeting dairy products at the over-55s, 2003-14
                                                                                                      • Breakfast cereal products aimed at over-55s
                                                                                                        • Figure 18: Percentage breakdown of new breakfast cereal launches aimed at over-55s by product type, 2003-14
                                                                                                      • Healthcare products aimed at over-55s
                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Percentage breakdown of new healthcare product launches aimed at over-55s by product type, 2003-14
                                                                                                      • Hot beverage products aimed at over-55s
                                                                                                        • Figure 20: Percentage breakdown of new hot beverage launches aimed at over-55s by product type, 2003-14
                                                                                                      • Sweet spreads
                                                                                                        • Bakery products
                                                                                                          • Incontinence products
                                                                                                            • Other products aimed at over-55s
                                                                                                              • Figure 21: China – Percentage breakdown of other new product launches aimed at over-55s by product type, 2003-14
                                                                                                            • Service sectors attracting seniors
                                                                                                              • Sectors where over-55s are yet to be actively targeted
                                                                                                                • Cosmetics and beauty products and services
                                                                                                                  • Potential for more healthcare and packaged food products aimed at the over-55s
                                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Percentage breakdown of new product launches aimed at over-55s by broad product category, Global vs China, 2003-14
                                                                                                                  • Financial services
                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – Current Financial Situations

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Well over half of over-55s have money left to spend
                                                                                                                        • Figure 23: Consumer current financial situation, October 2014
                                                                                                                        • Figure 24: Statements about current financial situation, September 2013
                                                                                                                      • Men below age of 70 are those most likely to have spare cash
                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Consumer current financial situation, by gender and age group, October 2014
                                                                                                                        • RMB 8,000 monthly household income the ‘spare cash’ break point
                                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Consumer current financial situations, by monthly household income group, October 2014
                                                                                                                          • Tier 1 still where the extra money is
                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Consumers surveyed by monthly household income and city, October 2014
                                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Consumer current financial situation, by city tier, October 2014
                                                                                                                          • Sectors enjoying spare cash spending
                                                                                                                              • Figure 29: Sectors where consumer are spending more over the past 12 months, by current consumer financial situation, October 2014
                                                                                                                            • Sectors suffering belt-tightening
                                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Sectors where consumer are spending less over the past 12 months, by current consumer financial situation, October 2014
                                                                                                                            • How consumers view their financial situation
                                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Consumer views on current financial situation, October 2014
                                                                                                                            • Supporting children or grandchildren restricts spending
                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Consumer views on current financial situations, by gender and age group, October 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 33: Consumer views on current financial situations, by monthly household income group, October 2014
                                                                                                                              • The financial planners are spending more
                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Sectors where consumer spending has increased over the past 12 months, by Consumer views on current financial situations, October 2014
                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – Changes in Spending Habits

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • In-home food and healthcare lead the over-55s spending increases
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Changes in consumer spending habits over the past 12 months, October 2014
                                                                                                                                • The over-55s spending increases by demographics
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Changes in consumers spending more over the past 12 months, by gender and age group, October 2014
                                                                                                                                  • The over-55s spending increases by income and employment
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Changes in consumers spending more over the past 12 months, by monthly household income group, October 2014
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Changes in consumers spending more over the past 12 months, by employment status, October 2014
                                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – Discretionary Spending Habits

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Food and healthcare also lead discretionary spending
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Consumer discretionary spending by broad sector of expenditure, October 2014
                                                                                                                                      • Discretionary spending by demographics
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Consumer discretionary spending by broad sector of expenditure, by gender and age group, October 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Discretionary spending by income
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Consumer discretionary spending by broad sector of expenditure, by monthly household income group, October 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Highly diverse preferences of discretionary spending by location
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Consumer discretionary spending by broad sector of expenditure, by city, October 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Consumer discretionary spending by broad sector of expenditure, by city tier, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Discretionary spending by key consumer segment
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Consumer discretionary spending by broad sector of expenditure, by key consumer segment, October 2014
                                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – Plans for the Coming Year

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Healthier eating and more family time remain key aspirations
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Consumer planning for activities in the coming 12 months, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Activities planned for the next 12 months, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Life plans by demographics
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Consumer planning for activities in the coming 12 months, by age group, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Consumer planning for activities in the coming 12 months, by gender and age group, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Life plans by income
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Consumer planning for activities in the coming 12 months, by monthly household income group, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • Life plans by location
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Consumer planning for activities in the coming 12 months, by city, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Consumer planning for activities in the coming 12 months, by city tier, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Holiday Plans for the Coming Year

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Family holidays still older consumers’ ideal
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Consumer planning for holidays in the coming 12 months, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Attitudes to Shopping

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Seniors seek quality and familiarity
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Consumer attitudes to shopping, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Seniors’ attitudes to shopping by demographics
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Consumer attitudes to shopping, by gender and age group, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Seniors’ attitudes to shopping by income
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Consumer attitudes to shopping, by monthly household income group, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Seniors’ attitudes to shopping by location
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Consumer attitudes to shopping, by city, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Consumer attitudes to shopping, by city tier, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – The Consumer – Current Financial Situation 1

                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 58: Consumer current financial situations, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 59: Consumer current financial situation, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Changes in consumer spending habits over the past 12 months, by current consumer financial situation, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – The Consumer – Current Financial Situation 2

                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Consumer current financial situation, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 62: Consumer current financial situation, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Changes in consumer spending habits over the past 12 months, by current consumer financial situation, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – The Consumer – Changes in Spending Habits

                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Changes in consumer spending habits over the past 12 months, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 65: Changes in consumer spending habits over the past 12 months – Food and non-alcoholic beverages for the home, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 66: Changes in consumer spending habits over the past 12 months – Medical/healthcare, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 67: Changes in consumer spending habits over the past 12 months – Food and non-alcoholic beverages outside of the home, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 68: Changes in consumer spending habits over the past 12 months – Holidays/travelling, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 69: Changes in consumer spending habits over the past 12 months – Entertainment/leisure, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 70: Changes in consumer spending habits over the past 12 months – Fashion, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 71: Changes in consumer spending habits over the past 12 months – Household care products, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 72: Changes in consumer spending habits over the past 12 months – Personal care, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 73: Changes in consumer spending habits over the past 12 months – Mobile phone, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 74: Changes in consumer spending habits over the past 12 months – Transport, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 75: Changes in consumer spending habits over the past 12 months – Alcoholic drinks and tobacco, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 76: Changes in consumer spending habits over the past 12 months – Electronic equipment, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – The Consumer – Discretionary Spending Habits

                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 77: Consumer discretionary spending by broad sector of expenditure, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 78: Most popular consumer discretionary spending by broad sector of expenditure, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 79: Next most popular consumer discretionary spending by broad sector of expenditure, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 80: Other consumer discretionary spending by broad sector of expenditure, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 81: Consumer discretionary spending by broad sector of expenditure, by most popular consumer planning for activities in the coming 12 months, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 82: Consumer discretionary spending by broad sector of expenditure, by next most popular consumer planning for activities in the coming 12 months, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 83: Consumer attitudes to shopping, by most popular consumer discretionary spending by broad sector of expenditure, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 84: Consumer attitudes to shopping, by next most popular consumer discretionary spending by broad sector of expenditure, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – The Consumer – Plans for the Coming Year

                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 85: Consumer planning for activities in the coming 12 months, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 86: Most popular consumer planning for activities in the coming 12 months, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 87: Next most popular consumer planning for activities in the coming 12 months, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 88: Other consumer planning for activities in the coming 12 months, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 89: Consumer planning for activities in the coming 12 months, by current consumer financial situation, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – The Consumer – Holiday Plans for the Coming Year

                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 90: Consumer planning for holidays in the coming 12 months, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – The Consumer – Attitudes to shopping

                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 91: Consumer attitudes to shopping, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 92: Agreement with the statement ‘It’s best to stick to shops you’ve been to rather than going to new ones’, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 93: Agreement with the statement ‘It is better to stick to the products you use rather than trying new ones’, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 94: Agreement with the statement ‘It’s good to experience something new rather than sticking to the same things’, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 95: Agreement with the statement ‘It is worth paying a bit more for products that are of higher quality’, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 96: Agreement with the statement ‘It is worth waiting until products go on sale to buy’, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 97: Agreement with the statement ‘There is a lack of advertisements that target the elder group’, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 98: Agreement with the statement ‘There is a lack of products designed for people of my age’, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 99: Agreement with the statement ‘Online shopping is just a trend’, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 100: Agreement with the statement ‘Online security puts me off online shopping’, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 101: Agreement with the statement ‘The process of online shopping is too complicated’, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 102: Agreement with the statement ‘It is easier to shop online than in-store’, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Further Analysis by Target Groups

                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 103: Target groups, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 104: Consumer current financial situation, by target groups, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 105: Consumer current financial situation, by target groups, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 106: Changes in consumer spending habits over the past 12 months, by target groups, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 107: Consumer discretionary spending by broad sector of expenditure, by target groups, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 108: Consumer attitudes to shopping, by target groups, October 2014

                                                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                            To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                            Marketing to Over 55s - China - February 2015

                                                                                                                                                            £3,195.84 (Excl.Tax)