The Grey Market: Older Consumers Will Reshape The Business Landscape

by MR Magazine Staff

IN 1965 Diana Vreeland, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, coined a phrase “youth-quake” to describe how baby-boomers were shaking up popular culture. Today the developed world is in the early stages of a “grey-quake”. Those over 60 constitute the fastest-growing group in the populations of rich countries, with their number set to increase by more than a third by 2030, from 164m to 222m. Older consumers are also the richest thanks to house-price inflation and generous pensions. The over-60s currently spend some $4 trillion a year and that number will only grow.

Yet companies have been relatively slow to focus on this expanding market—certainly slower than they were to attend to the youth-quake. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) calculates that less than 15% of firms have developed a business strategy focused on the elderly. The Economist Intelligence Unit, a sister organisation to The Economist, found that only 31% of firms it polled did take into account increased longevity when making plans for sales and marketing. Read more at The Economist.