New Nutrition Concepts for the Elderly: Meeting the Gap with Supplements
Today’s senior citizens living in the United States are living longer than previous generations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 1
According to their research, life spans have been increasing 1.4 years every decade. For instance, in 1997, the average lifespan was 76.5 years; in 2007 it increased to 77.9 years. In order to sustain this growth though, it is imperative that supplement business owners educate seniors on how nutrition can help them lead productive, independent and comfortable lives for many more years to come.
Need for Nutritional Awareness among the Elderly
Eating a balanced diet is important at any age, but seniors may have a more difficult time due to physical difficulties or health concerns. For instance, arthritis can make it difficult to cook or go out. There are all kinds of reasons ranging from dental problems, financial burdens to side effects from medication which inhibit the elderly from getting the nutritional intake they need.
According to the New Nutrition Business annual report, seniors represent the single-biggest opportunity for functional and nutraceutical companies. Younger seniors between the ages of 50 and 60 are more likely to turn to joint health ingredients to keep their joints healthy. Those in the 70+ age group are more likely to turn to nutraceuticals that help maintain lean muscle.
According to Euromonitor’s recent report, seniors may well live into their 80s. This new age group is creating greater demand for cognitive and bone health products, but most resist nutritional interventions because they lack knowledge about nutraceuticals and their positive impact on health. Innovations in formulations are necessary, but a major priority for supplement business owners is to create nutritional awareness among the elderly.
Nutritional Intake in Early Life Impacts Your Health In Later Years
On the earlier side of the age spectrum, adequate nutritional intake during childhood and throughout adulthood is known to positively impact health in the longer term. However, most young people don’t realize that making an investment in nutrition today could pay off in a big way in the senior years of life. Getting consumers in younger age groups to become serious about nutrition is a challenging task for marketers. While this age group may understand the benefits of taking supplements for heart health and digestive health, taking supplements for cognitive and bone health may not seem so appealing because the results are not as obvious or quick since they mainly provide protective benefits.
How Can Supplement Business Owners Meet the Health Needs of the Elderly?
Although the American Dietetic Association encourages seniors to obtain nutrients through diet alone, without the use of supplementation, the elderly, in particular, may not be able to get all the nutrients they need from the foods they eat because of compromised digestive health. Most people at this age cannot meet their Recommended Dietary Allowances because of insufficient dietary intake. Studies show that low-dosage of vitamins and minerals can significantly improve micronutrient intake. In fact, because the elderly may not be able to achieve their RDAs through diet alone, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition For the Elderly supported the daily use of low dose multi-vitamins and minerals to improve nutritional intake. 2
Apart from vitamins and minerals, other nutraceuticals for seniors include omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants specifically ones that are known to improve cognitive health and vision. Areas of health concerns include digestive health, prostate health, heart health, joint and bone health, sexual health, and weight management.
Packaging Considerations for Senior Citizens
Special attention must be paid to packaging supplements for seniors. Packages should be easy to open and re-seal. Smaller packages with single doses that don’t have to be taken with large volumes of liquid are easier to take.
The New Nutrition Business trend-spotting report released in January 2012 identified senior nutrition as the leading driver of innovation in the functional and nutraceutical sector in 2012. The aging population is growing. Disposable income and interest in science-backed benefits make seniors a key consumer target for supplement business owners. 3
Contact Us for a Free Nutraceutical Manufacturing Quote Today!
Now that you’ve read about the latest supplement manufacturing trends for the elderly, NOW is the time to expand your product line to include condition-specific supplements that help support the health needs of senior citizens! To learn how to get started, call (855) 492-7388 to speak with one of our Production Specialists or submit your request to receive a free quote in 48 hours.
All of our capsules, tablets, and powders are manufactured in NSF GMP certified facilities. We also can provide you with world-class, in-house packaging, graphic design, and order fulfillment services that are designed to save you time and money so you can concentrate on what matters most…growing your business!