Nutrition for the ageing

The world’s population is gradually aging as birth rates in many mature developed markets are barely growing, while in many developing regions the portion of populations that are aging past 60 years old is increasing

As people get older, lifestyles and appetites can change the types and amounts of foods they like to eat.  A decreased appetite and/or reduced capacity to buy and prepare healthy foods can negatively affect the intake of essential vitamins, minerals and fibre older adults require to thrive. Research demonstrates that because older adults’ abilities to absorb and utilize many nutrients become less efficient, their nutrient requirements (as a function of body mass) actually increase. Diet quality has a major impact on physical and cognitive condition and their immunity.

In developing countries there is a different problem which is linked to their basic affordability to buy food as in many instances there is a lack of a welfare safety net.

While a lot of attention and innovation has been directed towards infant nutrition in the past decade, the challenge of meeting these increased needs of healthy aging adults is one of the greater opportunities to expand the diversity of dairy demand.

Consumers are becoming more aware of the beneficial foods and ingredients within their reach. Nutrition trends are centered around demands for clean label, naturally-sourced and sustainably-produced choices. Dairy maintains a classic appeal due to the significant nutritious benefits.

While affordability is one of the focus areas, increased research into the functionality of dairy nutrition and the delivery of products into forms that enable greater personalisation of nutritional solutions.

What does this impact?

The strategies of several large dairy processors and brand owners have responded to these opportunities, seeking higher unit value for milk solids through aging and active nutrition segments. As more of the younger generation are lured by alternative proteins, the shifts in product focus as aging nutrition needs become more important will pose interesting choices for producers.