Tetra Pak discovers the gold in the golden years



Tetra Pak invited Packaging of the World to their headquarters site in Denton, Texas. 

Where is the gold you may ask, and how we as packaging designers or manufacturers can go for the gold? Stay tuned for more deets.

With a market presence in more than 170 countries, Tetra Pak is the world leader in liquid food processing and packaging solutions. As an industry leader, Tetra Pak frequently conducts research studies and extends media invitation to all around the world to attend product launches and whitepaper reports. This autumn, we are honored to be invited by Tetra Pak again, to their headquarters in Denton, USA for the exclusive launch of the latest edition of Tetra Pak’s consumer generation whitepaper series focusing on seniors.

US$10tn globally by 2020
So who are considered the seniors? In this whitepaper, Tetra Pak investigates the market opportunity for those aged 60 and above.

According to the United Nations, by 2050 more than 22% of the world’s population will be aged 60 and over, compared with just 8% today. This makes them one of the fastest growing consumer age-group in the world, and therefore a key target for global food and beverage manufacturers.

“Seniors spend 20% of their income on food and beverages. They have more disposable income than previous generations, and are poised to become one of the most important consumer groups over the next decade with a total spending power of US$10 trillion by 2020. This creates a huge opportunity for manufacturers to respond to their needs.”Libby Costin, VP Global Marketing, Tetra Pak

The study shows that not only are they one of the fastest growing consumer group, they also have an increasing level of total income, however they are an underserved demographic group. The Seniors are indeed the hidden gem in the market, so how do we meet with their needs?

Seniors have different needs and priorities from younger, less affluent groups. So who, precisely, are the Seniors, and what makes them so different?

Seniors’ Consumer Habits:
1) They shop more often, and buy different product categories
2) They tend to shop closer to home, and in smaller stores
3) They are more loyal and demand greater quality
4) Seniors also have a higher spending on food and beverages compared to the rest of the adult population. They spend 20% of their income on food and beverages, where the average for those under 60 is 18%.

The 5 key “ingredients” for ideal packaging for Seniors
Tetra Pak believes that the packaging industry plays a vital role in meeting Seniors’ requirements. The best products that meet Seniors’ particular needs are no good unless they are packaged in a way that is friendly to their lifestyles. So what do Seniors want from a package?

1) Easy to open
Packages need to be easy to open, so as to overcome any issues of reduced wrist strength. Caps should be at a proper height to avoid slipping from Seniors’ hands.

2) Lightweight Packaging
Packages need to be lightweight to enable better holding. Round cross-sections are also easier for Seniors to hold than those with a square cross-section. Packaging material needs to be firm so it is easier to grip and prevents spillage.

3) Longer Shelf life
Packaging needs to be better able to preserve a longer shelf life, to require fewer shopping trips.

4) Easier To Read – Larger Fonts
Print should be larger, images more striking and labeling clearer. That means bigger words and brighter colors.

5) Prominent Nutritional Info
Nutritional information and the product’s expiration date should be displayed prominently.

An example of a senior-friendly packaging design

From the insights observed, through Tetra Pak’s research, there is indeed an opportunity to tap more effectively into this demographic group and better meet the seniors’ particular needs. The opportunities are enormous. Producers that develop packages that meet the needs of people who have money to spend and time to spend it will be able to tap into a growing demographic that is only set to become more influential in the decades ahead.

For more info about the consumer generation whitepaper, please visit Tetra Pak’s website.

About the author
Carroll Ho joined Packaging of the World as an editor in late 2013. An out-going person, she added great energy and enthusiasm to Packaging of the World. Her ideas and thoughts are always fresh and she always push hard to put the website to new innovations.