US Marketing to Seniors Market Report 2020
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“Seniors are a relatively happy and unstressed cohort of the US population. They prioritize family, health and independence to maintain their quality of life. During 2020, COVID-19 has challenged seniors…

US Marketing to Seniors Market Report 2020

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Report Summary

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Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Marketing to Seniors: Incl Impact of COVID-19 – US market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

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What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

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When seniors look back at life, they look back and smile. Nearly half say their lives have even gotten better in the past 10 years, with noticeable improvements in their financial situation, their confidence and their ability to use technology. Seniors are happy and content with their life in part due to their connection to their family and community, which help inform their personal identity. They feel they have the emotional support they need to succeed in life, with senior women relying on their children, friends and siblings, and senior men looking to their spouses. Seniors have always prioritized their health, but their goal of preventing illness has been challenged in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic. Seniors have been forced to adjust their habits and routines to maintain their wellbeing in this environment.

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Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Ariel Horton, a leading analyst in the Lifestyles and Leisure sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Seniors are a relatively happy and unstressed cohort of the US population. They prioritize family, health and independence to maintain their quality of life. During 2020, COVID-19 has challenged seniors in all these areas which have forced them to change their behaviors and has made it difficult for them to balance their mental and physical wellbeing. While there have been struggles, seniors are coming out of the pandemic period with a better appreciation for technology, adjusted shopping behaviors and new ways to connect with their family and friends Ariel Horton
Lifestyles & Leisure Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Definition
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways 
    • Market overview 
    • Seniors feel thankful and content
      • Figure 1: My life, Indexed against total adults, February 2020
    • Impact of COVID-19 on seniors
      • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on seniors, July 2020
    • Opportunities and Challenges  
    • Keep seniors connected
      • Figure 3: Facebook Portal, Congratulations to the whole family post, May 2020
    • Guide seniors’ use of technology
    • Support senior safety
      • Figure 4: New senior hours post, April 2020
    • Enable seniors’ independence
      • Figure 5: Senior preferences, February 2020
  3. The Market – What You Need to Know

    • Fastest growing segment of the population
    • Seniors have small households
    • Continued employment
    • Seniors are saving for stability
  4. Seniors by the Numbers

    • One in five adults are seniors
      • Figure 6: US population by age, 2014-24
    • Size of 65+ audience is growing
      • Figure 7: Change in US population by age group, 2014-24
  5. Senior Living

    • Smaller households
      • Figure 8: Household size, February 2020
      • Figure 9: Household composition, February 2020
    • Marriage rates begin to decline
      • Figure 10: Marital status, by age, 2018
    • All the single senior ladies
      • Figure 11: Marital status of women, by age, 2018
  6. Employment and Income

    • Employment drops at age 65
      • Figure 12: Employment status of people aged 18 or older, by age, 2018
      • Figure 13: Labor force participation rate of older adults, by age, 1998-2028
    • Choosing to work after retirement age
    • Seniors look back on their careers with positivity
      • Figure 14: Senior attitudes – career and finance, indexed against total adults, February 2020
      • Figure 15: Age discrimination, February 2020
    • Income drops after retirement, but net worth continues to grow
      • Figure 16: Median household income, by age of householder, 2017
      • Figure 17: Median household net worth, by age of householder, 2016
  7. Saving and Spending

    • Emergencies are a financial priority
      • Figure 18: Financial challenges, April 2019
    • Seniors cannot rely on social security alone for retirement planning
      • Figure 19: Retirement planning –retired, April 2020
    • Groceries are a COVID-19 spending priority
      • Figure 20: Spending habits, June 2020
  8. Key Trends – What You Need to Know

    • Seniors’ health aided by technology
    • Maintaining independence
    • More representation for seniors
    • Senior living arrangements
  9. What’s Happening Now

    • Mintel Trend Driver: Identity
      • Figure 21: Mintel Trend Driver, Identity
    • COVID-19 heightens the importance of Community
    • COVID-19 neighborly shopping
      • Figure 22: March 2020
    • Seniors only shopping
      • Figure 23: New Senior hours post, April 2020
      • Figure 24: March 2020
    • Tech that helps keep them connected
      • Figure 25: Facebook Portal Congratulations to the whole family post, May 2020
      • Figure 26: Social Media Weekly usage, February 2020
    • Seniors want to celebrate their Individuality
    • Embracing their beauty
      • Figure 27: Better Not Younger Lift Me Up, April 2020
    • Mintel Trend Driver: Wellbeing
      • Figure 28: Mintel Trend Driver, Wellbeing
    • A focus on seniors’ Psychological health
    • Seniors may need tech help, but don’t want to ask for it
      • Figure 29: How to set up bill paying (reduce unnecessary errands), April 2020
    • Family vacations on pause
    • A focus on seniors’ Physical health
    • Health of seniors in nursing and senior living facilities
      • Figure 30: Attitude toward parents among adults who are retired, or not retired, February 2020
    • CBD for pain relief
      • Figure 31: Arthritis Salve post, June 2020
    • Using technology for health and wellness
      • Figure 32: New VitalBand, January 2018
  10. What’s Happening Next

    • Mintel Trend Driver: Rights
      • Figure 33: Mintel Trend Driver, Rights
    • Representation for the senior community
    • Seniors in advertising
      • Figure 34: Over the hill and onto the next one, December 2019
    • Seniors dating in real life (and on TV)
      • Figure 35: The Bachelor seniors still in the works, July 2020
    • LGBTQ+ senior-inclusive living
      • Figure 36: LGBTQ+ senior living community, Living Out, Instagram Post, February 2020
    • Capturing seniors in digital marketing plans
      • Figure 37: Senior tech behaviors, March 2019
  11. The Consumer – What You Need to Know

    • Positive outlook on where they are
    • Personal identity lies in family ties
    • Where seniors get emotional support is gender dependent
    • Managing health is a top priority
    • Financial stability and independence are key to retirement
    • Seniors are more likely to vote
  12. Perceptions of Personal Identity

    • Seniors retain their youth
      • Figure 38: I don’t think of myself as old, net agree, by age, august 2018
    • Seniors’ identity lies in family
      • Figure 39: Defining identity, indexed against total adults, February 2020
      • Figure 40: Child visitation frequency, February 2020
    • Gender contributes to internal versus external focus on personal identity
      • Figure 41: Defining identity, by gender, February 2020
    • Race plays a factor in how heritage and citizenship affect personal identity
      • Figure 42: Defining identity, by race, February 2020
  13. Grandparenting

    • Majority of seniors have grandchildren
      • Figure 43: Grandkids, by age, February 2020
    • Connection with grandchildren is emotionally driven
      • Figure 44: Grandparenting, February 2020
      • Figure 45: Girl creates hug curtain so she could hug her grandparents, May 2020
    • Higher income helps grandparents be more involved
      • Figure 46: Grandparenting, by age and income, February 2020
    • Grandparents seek quality time with grandchildren
      • Figure 47: Child visitation frequency, by grandkids, February 2020
  14. Emotional Support

    • Seniors feel emotionally supported
      • Figure 48: Senior attitudes around emotional support, indexed against total adults, February 2020
    • Seniors rely on friends and family for support
      • Figure 49: Supportive people, indexed against total adults, February 2020
      • Figure 50: Supportive people, by gender, February 2020
      • Figure 51: Grace and Frankie season 1 trailer, April 2015
  15. Seniors and Health

    • Maintaining health is a top priority
      • Figure 52: Changes in character, February 2020
    • Senior seek independence in achieving their goals
      • Figure 53: 2020 Goals, November 2019
      • Figure 54: I don’t need help to achieve my goals, by age, November 2019
      • Figure 55: Let’s stay on track post, February 2020
    • Seniors are less stressed
      • Figure 56: Stress level, February 2020
      • Figure 57: Managing stress, Indexed against total adults, February 2020
      • Figure 58: Yoga for seniors – slow and gentle yoga, June 2018
  16. COVID-19 Effect on Senior Behaviors

    • Concerns over exposure to COVID-19
      • Figure 59: Coronavirus exposure concern, March-June 2020
    • COVID-19 effect on lifestyle
      • Figure 60: Coronavirus life disruption concern, March-June 2020
      • Figure 61: Coronavirus life disruption concern, March-June 2020
    • Change in priorities during COVID-19
      • Figure 62: Lifestyle changes, June 2020
      • Figure 63: Calling all snail mail lovers, July 2020
      • Figure 64: Happy Meal Senior commercial, July 2020
    • Changes in behaviors as a result of COVID-19
      • Figure 65: Behavior changes due to COVID-19, indexed against total adults, June 2020
    • COVID-19 has disrupted shopping routines
    • Looking forward to post COVID-19
      • Figure 66: Future activities, indexed against total adults, June 2020
  17. Seniors and Politics

    • Senior political identification
      • Figure 67: Political party affiliation, indexed against total adults, February 2020
      • Figure 68: Political screener, Indexed against total adults, February 2020
    • They are fatigued but still engaged
      • Figure 69: Senior attitudes – politics, indexed against total adults, February 2020
      • Figure 70: Political engagement, indexed against total adults, February 2020
    • Seniors feel more connected to their country
      • Figure 71: Defining identity, February 2020
    • Important political issues
      • Figure 72: Issues of importance, February 2020
      • Figure 73: Rebuild the economy, April 2020
      • Figure 74: I give you my word as a Biden, March 2020
  18. Retirement

    • Perception of success leads with a comfortable retirement
      • Figure 75: Success in America, indexed against total adults, February 2020
    • An ideal retirement starts with traveling
      • Figure 76: Fantasy retirement, February 2020
    • Independence is important to maintaining quality of life
      • Figure 77: Senior preferences, February 2020
    • Passive activities are preferred
      • Figure 78: Joys, indexed against total adults, March 2019
      • Figure 79: Joys, by gender, March 2019
  19. Seniors Looking Back

    • There are improvements later in life
      • Figure 80: Long view, February 2020
    • Physical and mental health struggles
      • Figure 81: Long view – health, February 2020
      • Figure 82: Free large print crossword puzzles, March 2020
    • Relationships with kids and friends solidify
      • Figure 83: Long view – relationships, February 2020
      • Figure 84: Senior Attitudes – I often feel forgotten by my family
    • Seniors feel more positive about life right now
      • Figure 85: My life, Indexed against total adults, February 2020
      • Figure 86: Senior Attitudes – quality of life, February 2020
  20. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations

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