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Older and fitter: raising the older person's agenda -issue for consideration for supermarkets and food retailers.

Omar, Maktoba; Tjandra, Nathalia Christiani; Ensor, John


Maktoba Omar

John Ensor


The global ageing population is well reported within the media and academia (Szmigin & Carrigan, 2001). An ageing population will bring challenges with ramifications on society, impacting on social and health services through a reduction on mobility and an increase in ill-health (Welsh Consumer Council, 2006; Leventhal 1997). Additionally, older people incur financial changes from moving from salaries obtained through work to retirement living on a reduced and fixed income (Brennan & Ritch 2010; Mathur, Moschis, & Lee, 2006; Szmigin & Carrigan 2001). It is anticipated that the number of older people globally will rise to 2 billion by 2050 (WHO, 2012). It has been recognised that the age structure of the UK population will become older. By 2035 it is projected there will be 4 million more people aged 65+ than under 16s (Rutherford, 2012). Scotland is the region which faces a larger increase in the number of people aged 65 and over. Between 2004 and 2031 the number of people aged 50 and over in Scotland is projected to rise by 28% and the number aged 75 and over is projected to increase by 75% (The Scottish Government, 2008). Therefore, the aim of this study is to gain an understanding about the needs and expectations of older consumers when shopping in supermarkets or food retailers. It is believed that supermarkets have an important role in improving accessibility and availability of products enabling older consumers’ better access to facilities and independence (Welsh Consumer Council, 2006). However, little research has been undertaken to understand older consumers’ shopping experience in supermarkets and food retailers (Lumbers and Raats, 2006; Pei & Yin, 2011). Older people are often excluded from products and services in many sectors through age and physical discrimination (Hare, Kirk, & Lang, 2001). Thus, older consumers are often seen as an unattractive prospect for marketers. However the diversity of older people may include 8.3% of the poorest members of society, as well as 6.4% of the richest (IFS, 2008). Further, this new generation of older people often enjoy improved health and are less impoverished due to better financial planning (Hare, 2003; Oates, Schufeldt, & Vaugth, 1996; Myers & Lumbers 2008; Carrigan, Szmigin, & Wright, 2004; Brennan & Ritch 2010).

Conference Name Marketing Relevance - Academy of Marketing Conference 2013
Start Date Jul 8, 2013
End Date Jul 11, 2013
Publication Date 2013
Deposit Date Jun 9, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jun 9, 2015
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Older person; pensioners; ageing population; older consumers; supermarkets; food retailers;
Public URL
Contract Date Jun 9, 2015