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Targeting the Over-50s - Ireland - March 2010

Irrespective of the measure used, the over-50s demographic is one that no sector, company, brand or marketer can afford to ignore. Not only are there more over-50s in Ireland now than at any point in recent history, it is the one demographic that is projected to grow significantly in number over the coming decades. Added to this, it is among these consumers that the majority of the wealth – and, thus, spending power – resides.

And yet, only around 10% of marketing campaigns specifically target consumers aged 50+. There is a sense that older consumers represent an elusive market, difficult to reach and even more difficult to convert. However, consumer data presented throughout this report indicate that, while there are certainly differences between older and younger consumers, today’s 50+ consumer is by no means an entirely different species. All that is required is a little insight, a little understanding and a willingness to adjust to their requirements.

This report presents an analysis of the over-50s market both in NI and RoI, examining their attitudes towards finance, leisure and grocery shopping. It also provides insight into the Irish consumer’s approach to life and wellbeing and their hopes for the future.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes
        • Abbreviations
        • Future Opportunities

          • Growing in number and wealth, over-50s cannot be ignored
            • Older consumers could represent lifeline to foodservice sector
              • Possessed by youth envy
                • Defending the title
                  • Financial institutions failing to connect with over-50s
                  • Market in Brief

                    • Over-50s coping relatively well with downturn
                      • Security and safety key considerations in older consumers’ finances
                        • Lack of strong relationship between consumers and banks
                          • Confidence in financial institutions hit by financial crisis
                            • Most Irish consumers aged 50+ are ‘drinkers’
                              • Quiet evening at home the preferred option
                                • High street supermarkets the favoured option for shopping
                                  • Some resistance to impulse buying, but willingness to experiment
                                    • Strong market for foodservice outlets among over-50s
                                      • Travel and holidays popular among consumers aged 50+
                                        • Majority of consumers aged 50+ are ‘online’ at home
                                          • Internet an important source of information for older consumers
                                            • Older consumers keen – but cautious – spenders
                                              • Quality and convenience strong selling points for over-50s
                                                • Strong intent to make the most of the years ahead
                                                  • Family and friends dominate hopes for coming years
                                                    • Three distinct consumer typologies both in NI and RoI
                                                    • Broader Market Environment

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Continuing recession both in NI and RoI
                                                          • Figure 1: Economic outlook, RoI & NI, 2008-10
                                                        • RoI
                                                          • NI
                                                            • Inflation to remain low into 2010
                                                              • RoI
                                                                • NI
                                                                  • Interest rates likely to remain unchanged in short term
                                                                    • RoI
                                                                      • NI
                                                                        • Rising unemployment in both economies
                                                                          • RoI
                                                                            • NI
                                                                              • Disposable income levels in decline
                                                                                • RoI
                                                                                  • NI
                                                                                    • No likely increase in consumer spending
                                                                                      • RoI
                                                                                        • NI
                                                                                          • Wealth erosion impacts on over-50s
                                                                                            • Over-50s’ earnings compare favourably to overall earnings (RoI)
                                                                                              • Figure 2: Average total annual earnings, by age group, RoI, 2007
                                                                                            • High rate of labour force participation among older consumers in RoI
                                                                                              • Figure 3: Labour force participation rates (ILO), by age group, RoI, 2000-08
                                                                                            • One in four of those employed in NI aged 50+
                                                                                              • Figure 4: Age distribution of those in employment, NI, July-September 2009
                                                                                            • The future’s grey for Ireland
                                                                                              • Figure 5: Population projections, by age group, RoI, 2006-26
                                                                                              • Figure 6: Population projections, by age group, NI, 2006-26
                                                                                            • Over-50s comparatively unscathed by recession
                                                                                              • Figure 7: Agreement with statements relating to impact of the recession/credit crunch, by age, NI & RoI, May 2009
                                                                                          • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                                                            • Strengths
                                                                                              • Weaknesses
                                                                                              • Over-50s – Attitudes towards Finance

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Safety and security paramount to older consumers
                                                                                                    • Figure 8: Agreement with selected finance-related statements, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                  • Degree of ‘dislocation’ between consumers and banks
                                                                                                      • Figure 9: Agreement with selected personal finance-related statements, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                    • Older consumers significant ‘influencers’ of younger consumers
                                                                                                      • Ageing population a boon for financial services
                                                                                                        • Confidence in financial institutions eroded among consumers aged 50-64
                                                                                                          • Figure 10: Agreement with “I am less trusting of financial institutions as a result of the credit crunch/recession”, by age, NI & RoI, May 2009
                                                                                                        • Resolve to “get more involved”
                                                                                                          • Figure 11: Agreement with “The recession/credit crunch has been a wake-up call to get more involved with my own finances”, by age, NI & RoI, May 2009
                                                                                                      • Over-50s – Attitudes and Behaviour in relation to Alcohol

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Majority of older consumers are ‘drinkers’
                                                                                                            • Figure 12: Have drunk an alcoholic drink in the last 12 months, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                          • … while majority of drinkers are ‘regular’ drinkers
                                                                                                            • Figure 13: Frequency of alcohol consumption, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                          • Preference for ‘in home’ over ‘out of home’ consumption
                                                                                                            • Figure 14: Location of alcohol consumption, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                          • … but older consumers’ pub visits less affected by recession
                                                                                                            • Figure 15: Agreement with ‘I go out to the pub less and socialise at home more’ as a result of the recession, NI & RoI, May 2009
                                                                                                          • Doubts as to worth of premium-priced products
                                                                                                            • Figure 16: Agreement that it is worth paying more for quality – alcohol, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                          • Little interest in sampling new products
                                                                                                          • Over-50s – Shopping Habits

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • High street supermarkets the favoured option for shopping
                                                                                                                • Figure 17: Where shop for food, drink & household products, any and regularly, adults aged 50+, RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                • Figure 18: Where shop for food, drink & household products, any and regularly, adults aged 50+, NI, 2009
                                                                                                              • Selection of supermarket on basis of quality and freshness
                                                                                                                • Some obstacle to impulse purchases – but willingness to experiment
                                                                                                                    • Figure 19: Agreement that ‘I like to try out new food products’, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                  • Health matters to older consumers
                                                                                                                      • Figure 20: Agreement with selected health-related statements, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                    • Organic ‘message’ not getting through?
                                                                                                                      • Over-50s not a ‘different species’ when grocery shopping
                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Most important factors (top five) when grocery shopping, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                      • Choice of retailer the same for all consumers
                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Food and drink retailers (top five) regularly shopped in, NI & RoI, January 2009
                                                                                                                      • Shopping habits of consumers aged 65+ unaffected by downturn
                                                                                                                        • Figure 23: Agreement with selected shopping-related statements on the impact of the recession/credit crunch, NI & RoI, May 2009
                                                                                                                    • Over-50s – Socialising and Leisure Habits

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Over-50s prefer the quiet life to the bright lights
                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Agreement with selected leisure/socialising statements, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                        • Strong market for foodservice outlets among over-50s
                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Food-service outlets consumers aged 50+ have eaten in/purchased from during last 12 months, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                        • Potential for increased lunchtime trade increases appeal of over-50s
                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Percentage of consumers aged 50+ who have visited a resturant during the day/during the evening in last 12 months, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                      • Over-50s’ Attitudes towards Travel and Tourism

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Majority of consumers aged 50+ have taken a recent holiday
                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Percentage of consumers aged 50+ who have taken a holiday in the last 12 months, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                          • Over-50s travelling abroad in growing numbers
                                                                                                                            • Figure 28: International travel (total number of trips) by age, RoI, 2004-08
                                                                                                                          • Strong interest in ‘other cultures’ among older consumers
                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Agreement with ‘I am interested in other cultures’, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                          • Over-50s the biggest single market for domestic tourism
                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Domestic travel (total number of trips taken), by age, 2004-08
                                                                                                                        • Reaching the 50+ Consumer

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Silver surfers a reality
                                                                                                                              • Over-50s’ internet use not confined to standard activities
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Social networking sites repondents regularly access, NI & RoI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                • Role of internet as information source declines with age
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Agreement with ‘When I need information, the first place I look is the internet’, by age, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                  • Older consumers reluctant to make ‘active’ use of internet
                                                                                                                                    • More older consumers turn to newspapers for information
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Agreement with ‘I rely on newspapers to keep me informed’, by age, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Radio favoured over TV among over-50s
                                                                                                                                      • Over-50s’ Spending and Purchasing Habits

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Over-50s willing to part with their cash…
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Agreement with selected spending-related statements, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                          • … but not fecklessly
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Agreement with selected spending-related statements, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Quality and convenience strong selling points for over-50s
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Agreement with selected purchasing decision-related statements, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Advertising and celebrity endorsement hold little sway
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Agreement with selected purchasing decision-related statements, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Tendency to stick with what’s tried and trusted
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Agreement with selected purchasing decision-related statements, NI & RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                          • The Over-50s – Health, Wellbeing and Attitude towards Life

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • No going ‘gentle into that good night’
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Responses to selected statements related to health, wellness and attitude towards life, NI & RoI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                              • The most positive: ABC1 consumers aged 50-64 in Dublin and Belfast
                                                                                                                                                • Around one in four playing active role in adult children’s lives
                                                                                                                                                  • Financial support of children of interest to financial institutions
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Agreement with ‘I still support my children financially’, by socio-economic group, NI & RoI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • It’s official: Marriage is good for you!
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Agreement with ‘I have had to adjust my lifestyle due to health problems (eg on doctor’s orders), by demographics, NI & RoI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                • The Over-50s – Hopes for the Coming Years

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: What consumers aged 50+ hope to devote more time to over the next five years, NI & RoI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Consumers aged 50-64 not yet ready to settle
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 43: Top five areas to which consumers hope to devote more time to over the next five years, by age, NI & RoI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                    • Intention to socialise more could be boon to hospitality sector
                                                                                                                                                      • Increased expenditure in home improvements likely over coming years
                                                                                                                                                        • Hope to travel high among consumers aged 50-64
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Respondents who hope to spend more time on ‘travel, holidays, seeing the world’ over the next five years, by demographic background, NI & RoI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                          • A third of RoI consumers hoping to ‘get sorted’ over coming five years
                                                                                                                                                          • Consumer Typologies

                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • NI
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: NI consumer typologies, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                              • Family focused
                                                                                                                                                                • Active Minds
                                                                                                                                                                  • Active Bodies
                                                                                                                                                                    • RoI
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: RoI consumer typologies, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • Non-aspirationals
                                                                                                                                                                      • Planners
                                                                                                                                                                        • Go-getters
                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix

                                                                                                                                                                          • Food retailing
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Food and drink retailers regularly shopped in, by age group, NI, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Food and drink retailers regularly shopped in, by age group, RoI, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Most important factors when grocery shopping, RoI, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Most important factors when grocery shopping, NI, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Consumer data
                                                                                                                                                                            • Health, wellbeing and attitude to life
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Responses to selected statements about over-50s’ lifestyles, by all demographics, RoI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Responses to selected statements about over-50s’ lifestyles, by all demographics, RoI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Responses to selected statements about over-50s’ lifestyles, by all demographics, RoI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Responses to selected statements about over-50s’ lifestyles, by all demographics, NI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Responses to selected statements about over-50s’ lifestyles, by all demographics, NI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 56: Responses to selected statements about over-50s’ lifestyles, by all demographics, NI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Hopes for next five years
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 57: Responses to selected statements about over-50s’ lifestyles, by all demographics, RoI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 58: Responses to selected statements about over-50s’ lifestyles, by all demographics, RoI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 59: Responses to selected statements about over-50s’ lifestyles, by all demographics, RoI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 60: Responses to selected statements about over-50s’ lifestyles, by all demographics, NI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 61: Responses to selected statements about over-50s’ lifestyles, by all demographics, NI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Consumer typologies
                                                                                                                                                                              • RoI
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 62: Consumers who agree with various statements relating to over-50s’ lifestyles, by consumer Typologies, RoI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Consumer typologies, by demographic breakdown, RoI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • NI
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Consumers who agree with various statements relating to over-50s’ lifestyles, by consumer typologies, NI, September 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 65: Over-50s consumer typologies, by demographic breakdown, NI, September 2009

                                                                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

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                                                                                                                                                                            Targeting the Over-50s - Ireland - March 2010

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