“Companies don’t need to reinvent the wheel when catering to seniors. As a consumer group, they are much more engaged and much more tech savvy than they get credit for. This lifestage informs their sense of ‘value’. Like younger consumers, seniors are keen on experiential elements, not because they are seeking a break from busy schedules but because they are keen to make the most of the current moment. This opens the door for companies to lean into the notion of ‘being present’ – something typically promoted to younger audiences. While there is a very real sense of pride that they’ve made sound decisions along the way, there is also a feeling of disconnection from the mainstream. Like catering to younger audiences, images that show them in a realistic light – wrinkles and all – will feel most relatable to seniors and help them feel that as a segment they are seen and still matter.”

– Carol Wong-Li, Associate Director Lifestyles & Leisure

This report will look at the following areas:

  • The pandemic’s impact on seniors’ approach to managing wellness and social connectivity.
  • How the unique characteristics of this lifestage informs seniors’ sense of value.
  • The priorities of seniors.
  • How seniors perceive themselves and how they see their peers.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
          • COVID-19: Canadian context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways 
                • Market overview 
                  • Impact of COVID-19 on seniors
                    • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on seniors, 2021
                  • Opportunities
                    • Feeling financially stable, less inclination to trade down means opportunity for promoting premium products
                      • Experiences matter more as being retired shifts orientation towards time
                        • Lean into the notion of ‘being present’ as a part of managing wellness
                          • Challenges
                            • Some reassurance is needed as they feel accomplished yet less resilient
                              • Flux in social circles leads to heavy reliance on family, some help is needed relieve pressure
                              • The Market – Key Takeaways

                                • Seniors are the fastest-growing age segment
                                  • More communications about resources will ease minds, particularly for senior women
                                  • Market Factors and Current Opportunities

                                    • Seniors are the fastest-growing age segment in Canada
                                      • Figure 2: Population aged 0-14 and over-65, 1988-2068*
                                    • Senior needs moved into the spotlight during the pandemic – keep it going!
                                        • Figure 3: Happy Meal Senior, July 2020
                                      • Life satisfaction is high, though senior women feel less secure
                                        • Ease worries by increasing presence (and availability) of resources that assist with life tasks
                                            • Figure 4: Papa Instagram posts, April and May 2021
                                        • Competitive Strategies – A Look Ahead

                                            • Meeting consumer needs through the lens of the Wellbeing and Rights Trend Drivers
                                              • The pandemic shines a new light on wellness and seniors
                                                • There’s a need to keep the momentum going, focus on lower-intensity outdoor activities
                                                  • Figure 5: ‘Spending time outdoors’ as an important area to maintaining my quality of life (% very important), seniors vs overall, 2021
                                                • Visual representation matters
                                                  • Figure 6: You Wouldn’t Say It to a Dog, March 2017
                                                  • Figure 7: AARP Instagram post, January 2020
                                                • Consider product range to ensure they are also properly outfitted
                                                  • Figure 8: US Triathlon Facebook post, October 2020
                                                • Meeting consumer needs through the lens of the Technology Trend Driver
                                                  • Seniors increased usage of online platforms, effort needs to be made to keep these behaviours sticky
                                                    • Leverage more omnichannel tools in-store to engage seniors
                                                      • Figure 9: Product selection as the factor most important for shopping in-store (any rank) and use mobile device to shop or look for information while in-store, by age, 2020
                                                    • Ensuring omnichannel tools in-store that are purposeful and senior-friendly will have broader benefits
                                                    • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                      • Demographic differences run deep and impact perception of value
                                                        • Managing wellness qualitatively differs from younger consumers
                                                          • It is a time of flux making them lean heavily on family for connection
                                                            • Seniors feel accomplished, though less resilient – they need some reassurance
                                                            • Getting to Know Seniors

                                                              • Differences run more than skin deep, impacting their perception of value
                                                                • Living in smaller households means a need for smaller-format packaging of products
                                                                  • Figure 10: Household size, seniors vs overall, 2021
                                                                  • Figure 11: Pulmuone Sliced Vegan Kimchi (South Korea), November 2020
                                                                • Being retired and financially stable shifts their sense of value
                                                                  • Figure 12: Employment status and perceived financial health, seniors vs overall, 2021
                                                                • Proving quality will prove value
                                                                    • Figure 13: Apetit Instagram post, August 2020
                                                                    • Figure 14: Tested to be trusted, June 2019
                                                                  • Being retired also impacts their management of time
                                                                    • Figure 15: ‘My days are busy’ (% any agree), seniors vs overall, 2021
                                                                  • Current shifts in day-to-day activities creates a need for more engagement options, so tap into experiences
                                                                      • Figure 16: Gardening with Edibles Facebook Live | Episode 4, November 2020
                                                                      • Figure 17: National Parks Board Instagram post, September 2020
                                                                  • Priorities

                                                                    • Health and time with loved ones are the primary focus
                                                                      • Figure 18: Most important areas of life being prioritized for the remainder of 2021 (any rank), seniors vs overall, 2021
                                                                    • Managing physical wellness is about maintaining quality of life rather than achieving goals
                                                                      • Figure 19: Health-related areas important for maintaining quality of life (% very important), seniors vs overall, 2021
                                                                    • Mindfulness in moments will also matter to seniors
                                                                      • Figure 20: Whole Foods Market Instagram posts, March 2021
                                                                      • Figure 21: Communication methods used to keep in touch with friends and family, seniors vs overall, 2021
                                                                    • Time with loved ones is prioritized above making new connections
                                                                      • Figure 22: Satisfaction with life areas and ‘My days are busy’ (% any agree), seniors vs overall, 2021
                                                                    • Socially, it’s a time of flux for seniors
                                                                      • Heavy reliance on families to stay connected suggests a need to build communities to support both sides
                                                                        • Figure 23: Socialization-related areas important for maintaining quality of life (% very important), seniors vs overall, 2021
                                                                    • How Seniors See Themselves and their Peers

                                                                      • Seniors see themselves as having made good choices
                                                                        • Figure 24: Top three words that best describe you (any rank) and ‘I am happy with what I’ve accomplished so far’ (% any agree), seniors vs overall, 2021
                                                                      • Help them continue to be thoughtful about their choices
                                                                        • Figure 25: C’est Qui Le Patron?! Instagram post, March 2021
                                                                      • Despite taking pride in their achievements, they see themselves as less resilient than their peers
                                                                        • Figure 26: Top three words that best describe a ‘typical’ person of your generation vs words that best describe yourself (any rank), seniors, 2021
                                                                        • Figure 27: ‘I have a lot in common with younger generations’ (% any agree), seniors vs overall, 2021
                                                                      • Break the stereotypes and provide reassurance by acknowledging that they’re keeping pace
                                                                        • Figure 28: ‘I am well informed’ and ‘I enjoy learning how to use new technology’ (% any agree), seniors vs overall, 2021
                                                                      • Don’t be shy about using social-media platforms to connect with seniors, but use relatable content
                                                                        • Figure 29: L’Oreal Paris Facebook post, October 2020
                                                                        • Figure 30: Age UK Facebook post, October 2020
                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                                          • Mintel Trend Drivers
                                                                            • Abbreviations
                                                                              • Terms

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