By Isaac Fletcher, contributing writer, Food Online
As the global population ages, the demand for products designed for older consumers is increasing, and beverage manufacturers are developing functional beverages and easy-use packaging to meet these growing needs
Many members of the beverage industry are currently focusing efforts on developing the next generation of energy beverages designed to appeal to younger consumers. However, the market research firm Canadean argues that there are numerous opportunities to be found in an aging population.
Canadean beverage analyst Erica Shaw explains, “It is all about the different approaches being taken by manufacturers. On the one hand, across the Western markets in particular, manufacturers are launching more products with active ingredients to address health and vitality issues, but similarly, companies are looking into the more practical aspects of growing older, such as being able to lift and carry the products without difficulty, and designing more convenient packaging.”
Many beverage companies are pursuing the development of anti-aging beverages that contain superfruits, botanical ingredients, and vitamins and minerals. These products are generally marketed to older consumers as offering numerous health benefits. One example of such a product, the Swiss drink CellaNova, is a slightly-carbonated mineral water with pomegranate, cranberry, and OM24, a natural ingredient made from whole green tea leaves that have antioxidant properties. The drink claims to help with the neutralization of free radicals, which cause the aging process of cells.
Other beverage manufacturers, such as Vitamin Well, offer a range of beverages to help address specific health issues and contain key ingredients like vitamin B12 — highly recommended for elderly consumers to complement their diets. Other areas of focus are increased energy, boosted immune systems, and improved concentration.
Just as important as what goes into the drinks is the convenience of the products’ packaging. The ease of carrying, opening, and pouring are critical considerations when developing products designed for older consumers. Several innovations to packaging exist to help aid in convenience, including a one-step screw cap specifically designed to provide a strong grip and require minimal force to open. Similarly, Nestlé Waters Direct in Portugal is promoting the compact MySpring water cooler for elderly consumers who may not be able to carry heavy packaged water back to their homes.