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Marketing food to seniors and retirees

Discussion in 'Marketing mastery' started by Toms Tuckerbox, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. Toms Tuckerbox

    Toms Tuckerbox Member

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    I'm looking to sell specialised meals to older people.

    I'm looking to learn about getting the attention of seniors that are interested in their health.

    - facebook ads targeted to location, age and interest

    - large font flyers with seniors discount, info on late stage health

    - cooperation with golf clubs and lawn bowl clubs, RSL

    ...

    Any help much appreciated.
  2. Hunter Sinclair

    Hunter Sinclair Member

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    I think an impediment here might be that your average senior isn't connected via social media. The other hurdle may be the fixed incomes of retirees depending on how well they've planned for it of course.
  3. Toms Tuckerbox

    Toms Tuckerbox Member

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    100%

    And many retirement or old care factor in food into their expenses so they are already paying for bad food.

    Thats why I ask. Do many seniors and retired care for low carb food or are they the pill popping vitamin generation?
  4. Bushmechanic

    Bushmechanic Member

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    The problem is that most nursing homes and retirement facilities realise that food is a major money spinner, regardless of quality or nutrition, and work mostly in house.

    For the 'pensioners' outside of this arena, cost is obviously the major factor over nutritional value.

    Think, mmmm, if I shoot a polly, I WILL get the best food, health and dental care available, let alone a roof over my head, education and all the physical care I would need for the rest of my life, and maybe some income.

    Living conditions won't change because I can't / don't get out much anyway.

    Hell, I'll probably get more social interaction than I'm getting now.

    Please excuse my sarcasm, but your concept would be very much influenced by your target market, well to do self funded retirees or 'pensioners', inner city dwellers or the rural fringe.

    I commend you on your concern for the well being of others and with regard to your advertising questions, one could be why do 'Seniors' go to the 'clubs'?, because that is where there are affordable meals, and some social interaction. So I think you may be viewed as trying to poach their market share, I am willing to be corrected.

    Meals on wheels do a wonderful job, usually from the kitchens of a public institution such as a local hospital, but the social aspect is very limited.

    As you no doubt are, I am basically altruistic in nature but also, looking out for how to make a 'buck'.

    Looking forward to a spirited conversation.

    Peter
  5. Hunter Sinclair

    Hunter Sinclair Member

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    I don't think you'll find many in your target demographic (over 65) who are big low carb enthusiasts. Thats a food movement which has only really taken off in the past decade or so and it's debatable whether or not low carb is necessarily healthier. My mother is a Baby Boomer but over 65. She hates all kind of fad diets including low carb. She was raised on bread being the staff of life, there is no way she would ever give it up.

    People tend to eat what they grew up on, so your over 65ers are likely to adopt the health recommendations of their era. Many of them would have grown up in the 1940's/50's. Meat and two veg crowd.

    Most people run into health issues around 40-50yrs, so the advice of their Dr way back in the 70's or 80's is likely to be what's still influencing their dietary decisions now, aside from budget of course. All things to think about. Why not get out there speaking to 65+er's yourself?
  6. Bushmechanic

    Bushmechanic Member

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    I seem to remember , in particular, the images of the 'Dancing man'.
    There is video footage of a man dancing in the street celebrating the end of WW2 in Sydney I believe.
    Looking at him and most people in the footage, my old pics of grand parents and such, and thinking they were raised on 'meat and three veg'. Probably, making Sam Kekovic and Lee Lin Chin justified, mostly lamb and mutton as the staple.

    Their physiques were nothing like today's, mine included, so what changed?
    Greg_M likes this.
  7. Hunter Sinclair

    Hunter Sinclair Member

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    Proliferation of packaged and processed food. People used to eat their home cooked meals and nothing else all day. There weren't supermarkets, cafes, takeaway joints and franchises on every street corner. No-one was taking the bus to work and picking up a latte and muffin on the way in. Nor were they scoffing the office cookies every coffee break.

    If you go back to eating three meat and veg meals a day and stpp snacking you will lose a heck of a lot of fat. Take a look around you and count the number of times your coworker snacks during the day. People these days eat from getting out of bed in the morning until collapsing at night. Food is instantly available everywhere and it causes us to overeat.

    That's my take anyway. I was a low carb-er once, the beauty of that lifestyle is that it stops you eating any kind of processed food because most of it's full of sugar and therefore high carb. Remove that from the equation and you can't help but lose weight.
    Georgi likes this.
  8. Greg_M

    Greg_M Renowned Member

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    What's changed IMO is that many have forgotten what real food is, that and a VERY sedentary way of life for most people.

    In that generation (and mine to a lesser extent) hard physical work was common, as was playing sport after work. As a kids we were chucked out of the house in the mornings and often didn't get back in until dark...in the meantime we ran riot, all of it physical activity. If we didn't walk or ride a bike it didn't happen. There was no such thing as appropriate screen time.

    The food was generally fresh, grown or killed locally without any packaging or processing and if you didn't actually cook it there wasn't much to eat. Food was also an expensive item that took a big chunk of the household budget so it wasn't wasted...if you didn't eat what was put in front of you, you didn't eat, and your siblings got it.

    Now what I see often, is obese people feeding their kids crap and driving them everywhere.

    Back to the OP's question...as a 64 year old semi retired boomer I think your peeing into the breeze trying to sell pre processed food to older folks.

    They do remember what real food is and generally only opt for processed crap if they're institutionalised or sometimes if they're living alone and cooking gets too hard to manage.

    They don't trust or understand the internet and wouldn't use it to order imo.

    If they are IT literate, they're probably more affluent and can afford better choices...I don't think processed food delivered to the door would be one of them.

    The other thing older people and retirees have, is TIME...time to shop, time to cook, time to enjoy their food.

    I think you'd be better off targeting fatties with no time, too much work and no ability to cook.
  9. Toms Tuckerbox

    Toms Tuckerbox Member

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    This all makes a lot of sence.

    The information and generational gap with nutrition is hard to cross.

    I thought there was an opportunity with bad mashy food and the youngens seeing their mum and day growing weak on weak food.

    The safe bet is going to be young and middle aged that have the knowlege base and social networking.

    Thought I'd throw the idea out there anyway. The task seems to be making overweight people see the low carb light.

    Fat has a bad wrap with branding, deitary fat and body fat get conflated. Its almost like obesity needs a public relations campaign. To rebrand it as carbesity or carboexess.
  10. bb1

    bb1 Renowned Member

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    Can I suggest instead of asking the people on the forum, who don't fall in your target age group, and are making a lot of assumptions, go and ask your target market. Maybe just maybe, they will go with your ideas, go talk to retirement homes, and other places where the seniors hang out, you will be surprised a lot of seniors are more progressive than people think.

    Don't give up on an idea because a hand full of people outside your target group say don't do it.
    Georgi likes this.
  11. Georgi

    Georgi Member

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    Hi Tom,
    I guess it depends on what you mean by specialised meals. Prepackaged meals that are NOT processed would be acceptable to me but, I still prefer to prepare my own food. I am also a baby boomer, but definitely not retired, and not a nursing home contender (if i can help it). Once a bread-a-holic, I was recently disgnosed with gluten intolerance, and I now cannot eat anything with gluten or I get sick, so we can all change or adapt at any time, given the circumstances of our health.
    Suggest you do what Bert said - ask the age group you are targeting.
    I also think that us 'oldies' are far more IT literate and health conscious than some of the younger people's comments here give us credit for. Having started a new business last year (at age 68), it's tough going, but we're making headway. It's never too late to do anything, if you have the energy and commitment.
    Good luck with your idea, and don't be afraid to move in another direction with it, or give it up altogether if a different opportunity appears.
    Georgi
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  12. StuartL

    StuartL Member

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    If you want to have a glimpse of what older people are eating when it comes to pre-packaged meals check out the menu at heartyfoods.com.au.

    They service an area here in Queensland that runs from the Sunshine Coast right up to Bundaberg and a large part of their regular customer base are older people who either can't get out of the house or don't want to go through the hassle of preparing their own food.

    They deliver to these people once a week and most of their customers order online.

    I did notice that one of the early responses suggested that your target market probably weren't big users of Facebook but I'm not so sure about that. Older people use FB to keep in contact with their kids and grandkids ... and people they knew from school and high school.

    To test whether your target market is on FB or not do a dummy ad and go through the process of submitting it and see how many people FB tells you it can show your ad to in the age group for your target market.

    Just my two cents worth ... and I should say that Hearty Foods have been a long-term client of my partners web design business who built a site to their exact specifications :)

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