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Marketing to the Over-55s - UK - August 2017

“Age-related stereotypes continue to pervade the advertising landscape, with depictions of the over-55s often perpetuating a model of senior life that is at odds with how most 55+-year-olds see themselves. Campaigns that align their representation of older people more closely with the age group’s own assessment have the opportunity to not only engage better with the demographic, but to also help improve intergenerational understanding.”
– Jack Duckett, Senior Consumer Lifestyles Analyst

The sheer size of the over-55 population makes this group a lucrative commercial prospect for businesses. However, more often than not, when it comes to representing older people in campaigns, marketers tend to fall back on out-dated stereotypes, with many portrayals failing to align with the way this cohort view their own personalities and lifestyles.

Loneliness is a growing area of concern, particularly considering links with physical and mental decline. As CSR strategies become an increasingly important consideration for consumers, there could be a significant commercial benefit for businesses that are deemed to be helping to tackle the UK’s growing loneliness epidemic.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Executive Summary

        • The market
          • Appealing to the booming ageing population
            • Figure 1: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2016
          • 54% of over-75s live alone
            • Focus on health; physical and mental
              • Financial situation split for the over-55s
                • The consumer
                  • Over-55s focus on family
                    • Figure 2: Words and phrases the over-55s use to describe themselves, May 2017
                  • Onset of dementia proves top ageing concern
                    • Figure 3: Over-55s’ top concerns for their future, May 2017
                  • Encouraging the over-55s to try new types of exercise
                    • Figure 4: Exercise habits of the over-55s, by age, May 2017
                  • The social value of shopping in-store
                    • Figure 5: Attitudes towards grocery shopping, by age, May 2017
                  • Boosting socialising opportunities for seniors
                    • Figure 6: Attitudes towards family and social life, by age, May 2017
                  • What we think
                  • Issues and Insights

                    • Reaching out to lonely seniors
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                          • Booming ageing population
                            • Over half of over-75s live alone
                              • Focus on health
                                • Over-65s fare well financially
                                • Market Drivers

                                  • Demographic factors
                                    • Booming ageing population
                                      • Figure 7: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2016
                                    • Over half of over-75s live alone
                                      • Figure 8: Household size for the over-55s, by age, May 2017
                                    • Healthy living
                                      • Obesity rates highest amongst 55-64-year-olds
                                        • Figure 9: Body mass index (BMI), by sex and age, England 2015
                                      • Mental health becomes an increasing priority
                                        • The over-55s and technology
                                          • Over-65’s tablet ownership eclipses the young
                                            • Figure 10: Technology product ownership, by age, December 2016
                                          • Finances of the over-55s
                                            • Encouraging seniors to delay retirement plans
                                              • Figure 11: Working status of the over-55s, by age and gender, May 2017
                                            • Over-65s fare well financially
                                              • Figure 12: Trends in how respondents would describe their financial situation, June 2017
                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                            • Over-55s focus on family
                                              • Changing perceptions of the elderly
                                                • 56% fear developing dementia
                                                  • Money worries rise for 55-64s
                                                    • Encouraging the over-55s to try new types of exercise
                                                      • The social value of shopping in-store
                                                        • Bringing families together
                                                          • Boosting socialising opportunities for seniors
                                                          • How the Over-55s Describe Themselves

                                                            • Over-55s focus on family
                                                              • Figure 13: Words and phrases the over-55s use to describe themselves, May 2017
                                                            • Changing perceptions of the elderly
                                                              • Figure 14: Words and phrases the over-55s use to describe themselves, by age, May 2017
                                                              • Figure 15: Sun Life campaign, March 2017
                                                            • Improving senior confidence with technology
                                                              • Figure 16: Words and phrases the over-55s use to describe themselves, by gender, May 2017
                                                              • Figure 17: Breezie tablet platform, April 2017
                                                            • Giving back
                                                            • Fears for the Future

                                                              • 56% fear developing dementia
                                                                • Figure 18: Over-55s’ top concerns for their future, May 2017
                                                              • Money worries rise for 55-64s
                                                                • Figure 19: Proportion of over-55s who are worried about not having enough money for the future, by age, May 2017
                                                              • Retirement homes prove a disconcerting prospect
                                                                • Figure 20: Proportion of over-55s who are worried about going into a retirement home in future, by age, May 2017
                                                            • Exercise Habits of the Over-55s

                                                              • Encouraging the over-55s to try new types of exercise
                                                                • Figure 21: Exercise habits of the over-55s, by age, May 2017
                                                              • Promoting exercise classes for seniors
                                                                • Figure 22: Exercise habits of the over-55s, by gender, May 2017
                                                              • Encouraging resistance training amongst over-55s
                                                              • Attitudes towards Grocery Shopping

                                                                • The social value of shopping in-store
                                                                  • Figure 23: Attitudes towards grocery shopping, by age, May 2017
                                                                • Avoiding the rush
                                                                  • Figure 24: Tesco’s ‘relaxed checkout’ initiative, December 2017
                                                              • Attitudes towards Family and Social Life

                                                                • Friends prove important part of life for the over-55s
                                                                  • Figure 25: Attitudes towards friends, by age, May 2017
                                                                • Boosting socialising opportunities for seniors
                                                                  • Figure 26: John Lewis Man on the Moon Christmas 2015 campaign, November 2015
                                                                • Bringing families together
                                                                  • Figure 27: Attitudes towards family, by age, May 2017
                                                                • The role of technology in bringing families together
                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                      • Consumer research methodology

                                                                      Companies Covered

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

                                                                      Marketing to the Over-55s - UK - August 2017

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