The aging smarter trend

Americans’ attitudes towards aging are shifting

When attitudes shift, desires emerge. The result is white space for new products for the next 3, 5, 10 years, and beyond. We’re seeing this kind of space opening now in aging,” wrote Jon Berry, vice president and consultant for GfK, in his recent blog post.

The Aging Smarter Trend

The shift in attitude Berry is referring to is Americans’ attitudes towards aging.  According to new research from GfK Consumer Life, we want to age better than our parents and we are buying products that will help us have a better quality of life than our parents did.

It’s not just aging Baby Boomers like me who have a different attitude towards aging.  Almost as many Millennials as Baby Boomers say they hope to age better than their parents and are buying products that will help them age smarter.

Big opportunity for products that meet the needs of this consumer

Many housewares companies will jump on the “aging smarter” bandwagon by bringing out variations on current products that are dressed up in new clothes and positioned as products that will help us age smarter. Most of these products will fail because they were not developed with consumer needs in mind.

Smart housewares companies who want to do more than dabble in the “aging smarter” space will invest in upfront exploratory ethnographic and/or activity-based consumer research to get inside the heads of people who want to age well.  The “aging smarter” product that will be successful are those that meet unmet consumer needs and solve consumer problems.

The Takeaway

The shift in attitudes towards aging means new product opportunities for savvy housewares companies.  To be successful in the “aging smarter” space, housewares companies must understand the needs and problems of the consumer before they start product development.

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