Age, Gender Impact Maturing Adults’ Food-itudes

May 01, 2002

A survey released today shows that America’s “maturing adults” aged 55 to 74 are best targeted by age and gender, as opposed to income and education, reports Yahoo. The “Report on Maturing Adults in America” also finds that they believe they are controlling their health through diet, including eating fruit and drinking water regularly. However, about 51 percent of them acknowledged that they eat fast food at least twice a month.

The national study, conducted by Wharf Research at the Center for Culinary Development (CCD), deduces that age and gender are demographic variables having the greatest impact on maturing adults’ attitudes and behaviors regarding food and technology. Also, similar to “tweens” (aged 10 to 13) surveyed by Wharf Research in 2001, maturing adults enjoy ethnic food, including Chinese (most popular with tweens and mature adults), Mexican and Italian. Maturing adults also have high awareness and trial of emerging global tastes, such as quesadillas, sushi and pesto.

Some of the survey’s other key findings:

  • Maturing adults are almost three times as likely to eat sporadically throughout the day than eat three full meals each day
  • Dine-out frequency is one of the few behaviors tied to income and employment — 32 percent with income $75,000 or greater dine out three times a week or more, while only eight percent of those with income under $35,000 dine out as often
  • Nearly three in four surveyed are aware of ethnic foods such as quesadillas and sushi
  • Fifty percent of this group identifies fruit as their favorite healthy snack, with apples and bananas most popular
  • Thirty-five percent drink water after dinner, 31 percent at dinner and 25 percent at lunch
  • Nearly three in four have Internet access, with six in 10 of those with access logging on to the Internet daily or more often
  • More than 80 percent watch more than two hours of television daily
  • Six in 10 own a cell phone, with the majority using it multiple times a day

Moderator Comment: How will the growing number of
mature consumers affect retailing in the years ahead? [George
Anderson – Moderator

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