The senior population is the fastest-growing purchasing demographic — so why do so few companies recognize this unique group of consumers?

The buying power of those 60+ years and older is immense, which is why businesses across all industries must pay attention to their preferences and needs, especially regarding packaging. Although many companies do not prioritize packaging, it is one of the most crucial variables to ongoing product success.

Whether you sell cosmetics, food, pet or cannabis products, everyone needs to consider senior packaging trends and adjust their strategy accordingly.

Seniors Are Presenting A Massive Opportunity

By 2030, approximately 71.5 million Americans will be over the age of 65, which will be approximately 20% of the entire U.S. population.

Retailers are investing millions to capture the attention of millennials, yet older consumers spend more time online and often have more money to make purchases. Data shows that nearly half of those aged 52 to 70 spend at least 11 hours a week online — a figure that continues to rise. A significant amount of that time online is spent buying products. Many companies may be surprised that one in four people aged 55 and older shop on their mobile phones.

This demographic is also more likely to become repeat customers. A survey from Morning Consult polled 2,200 internet users, reporting that older shoppers are more willing to commit to a brand. It was found that 75% of Baby Boomers and 67% of Gen Xers said that when they find a product they like, they buy it repeatedly. These figures fell to 59% for Millennials and just 49% for Generation Z.

So, if seniors are such a large purchasing demographic who remain loyal to their most-loved brands, why do so few companies consider this population when creating packaging? Now is the time to consider the latest trends and adjust your packaging!

Issues Seniors Have With Packaging

The topic of senior packaging has long been discussed, particularly within the medical community. A 2014 study highlighted seniors’ daily issues when trying to open medicine packages. As many as one in four patients over 65 struggled to open their medications, and not all reported a management strategy. It was concluded that this population needs more user-friendly product packaging.

Here are some of the most common issues seniors face with packaging today:

  • Bottle lids are too small, have difficult child-proof directions, or require a strong grip to open.
  • The printing on the packaging is also too small. For example, the text relating to cautions, directions, nutritional info, ingredients, etc.
  • The plastic sealed around a product in molded transparent-type packaging is strong and thick, making it difficult to open, even with scissors.
  • Foil seals maintain product freshness or provide consumers with tamper-free evidence, but they are hard to open or puncture.

How To Overcome These Packaging Issues

Becoming educated on this subject is the first step towards improving your packaging for seniors. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be to develop the type of packaging that works for all consumers, specifically seniors.

Here are some considerations:

  • Remain mindful of the type of closures used, particularly child-resistant closures. In this case, EZ grip closures are the perfect choice for your health and beauty, nutraceutical and household products.
  • When designing labels, use bold, legible text with plenty of color contrast. This strategy is ideal for those with limited eyesight, macular degeneration, etc.
  • Recognize the large senior audience online who is shopping via eCommerce. Market to this group on several channels, including social media and email, as well as within brick-and-mortar stores. This omnichannel approach can help you increase your return on investment.

    EZ grip closure
    The ergonomic ribs found on EZ grip closures make them a senior-friendly option.

Now is the time to conduct a product audit to brainstorm better alternatives that target seniors. Regardless of your industry, the growing senior population is something you should not ignore. Given their propensity for brand loyalty, it is worth adjusting packaging if needed to get this segment of the population into your user base and secure them for life.

Partner With MJS Packaging

If you’re reconsidering your packaging with seniors in mind, MJS Packaging has what you need. With over 135 years of learning and leading, we offer packaging solutions for every need and exceptional customer support. Please contact our knowledgeable packaging solutions specialists for help with your new packaging goals.

For more information on senior packaging, read our previous blog on the topic How to Meet the Demand for Senior Citizen-Friendly Packaging.