Food and drink manufacturers need to think harder about how to design and market packaging for older consumers, according to Benjamin Punchard, senior packaging analyst at Mintel.
Speaking to FoodProductionDaily at trade show Pack Expo 2012 in Chicago, Punchard said the issue of packaging for the older consumer was a "very serious issue".
Shoppers in the US aged 55 and over were "the fastest growing demographic in the US", he explained, adding that they were outspending younger consumers.
But designing packages for this market was not merely about devising packaging that was easier to open for consumers with infirmities, he said.
Many older consumers were perfectly healthy, but were also very demanding about what they were looking for from products and had their own unique preferences.
Packaging designers and marketers had to think harder about these aspects too in order to reach this important age group, said Punchard.