Worldwide, the growing senior population presents nutrition and dietary supplement manufacturers with increased opportunities to market products for senior health. These opportunities will only grow. In the United States alone, the U.S. Census Bureau projected that, for the first time, the number of seniors in the U.S. will eventually outnumber the number of U.S. children. The Bureau pinpoints 2030 as the “important demographic turning point in U.S. history” during which all baby boomers will be older than the age of 65, and when 1 in every 5 U.S. residents will be of retirement age. That means that by the year 2035, there will be 78 million people aged 65 and older, compared to 76.4 million children under the age of 18.1
Manufacturers of dietary supplements and foods have many opportunities to develop products to help older adults remain robust, active, and alert well into their golden years. Depending on who you ask, healthy-aging product marketing is altogether more positive and optimistic than in the past.
“Quite frankly, it’s changed from portraying seniors as ‘doddering’ and forgetful to more youthful and sophisticated,” says Annie Eng, CEO of ingredients supplier HP Ingredients (Bradenton, FL). “As technology and ingredient research have also improved and become more sophisticated, so, too, have today’s active seniors.” The typical depiction of a retired senior may have been of a person “rocking on the front porch in slippers with a glass of lemonade,” but this has changed, she says. Today, “retirement often means indulging in a hybrid hobby–second career, interspersed with travel and new experiences.”
While the opportunities and need for nutritional interventions to support senior health are ripe, the amount of nutrition research specifically performed in seniors leaves more to be desired. Ahead, we point to a handful of recent science, ingredients, and technologies focusing on supporting healthy aging.
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