Research from Mintel confirms new AARP Foundation research assessing the shopping habits of the 50+ community. Mintel's research found that, among beverage drinkers, taste trumps other factors - including health/nutrition and functional attributes. The difference was significant. 72 percent indicated that taste/flavor was the primary influencer, with health/nutrition only at 21 percent and functional attributes even less at 16 percent.
These findings align with AARP Foundation's 50+ consumer research. When asked whether taste or nutrition was a more important factor in deciding what to eat (foods and beverages), taste won out by a significant margin. What was even more interesting is that, within this finding, men valued taste over women and, at the same time, the importance of nutrition (compared to taste) increased as individuals got older.
It's an interesting "forced choice" when asked on a survey and one the food industry can take note of as the 50+ demographic becomes an increasingly important market for new products and innovations. Of course foods and beverages for any age certainly need to balance taste and nutrition but the way we communicate "delicious and healthy" might need to morph depending on the particular age cohort targeted.
Women care more about nutrition and, not surprisingly, are more likely to look at nutrition labels and use them to guide purchasing decisions.
Some nuggets to consider as we learn more about how to effectively communicate and promote nutrition education among older adults.