The over-65s are likely to account for 23% of the world’s population by 2025 (source: Allegra Foodservice), and they are spending more of their money on hospitality and leisure activities than any other age group. However, many business are neglecting to capitalise on their spending, according to a survey released by Barclays.
Spending an average of £3,372 annually on hospitality & leisure, they are outspending all other age groups reported to be spending an average of £2,486 per year. The figures for the demographic equate to one fifth of the total UK income in the sector.
The results of the survey, which were released at a forum held by BDO, Fourth, and Barclays in London on 9th July, also showed that the sector could be missing out on a further £16bn by underestimating the spending power of the over-65 age group. Barclays’ Head of Hospitality and Leisure, Mike Saul, said: “The over 65s are much more ‘tech savvy’ than most people think. This is a big demographic yet the survey showed only 5% of businesses see them as the most important age group. Operators need to recognise that this is a very important market. Over 65s are looking for more leisure opportunities particularly in the food and drink area. They will look at websites to do their research and they have the money to spend. They are also the age group that are most loyal to a brand but the survey also shows they need to be engaged on a regular basis.”
The research was carried out with a sample of 564 UK hospitality and leisure businesses and 1,100 consumers.
A second study carried out by Allegra Foodservice found that almost half of over-65s prefer to eat British cuisine when eating out, and their preferred establishments are familiar cafés, pubs, and independent restaurants which may often include establishments such as home or garden centre cafés which bring in additional income alongside the primary business. Respondents consistently became more assured of what they like as age increased, with likelihood of choosing new dishes on the menu decreasing. The menu description was the most important factor in encouraging 60% of over-65s to try new dishes.
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