3 useful approaches to tapping Taiwan’s silver hair market
Based on the statistics by Taiwan’s Ministry of Interior, Taiwan is one of the fastest aging countries in the world, with the over-50s currently makes up about 34% of the population, and is likely to soar to 47% within the next 10 years. By 2050 it is expected that one in three Taiwanese will be above the age of 65, and no doubt this rapidly growing population will become an important consumer segment. In fact the greying population is already showing their influence on the FMCG market, with several categories including beauty care, health supplement, oral care and hair care etc. all showing strong growth driven by the silver hair segment. Kantar Worldpanel Taiwan forecasts an additional sales of 20 billion that the greying population will contribute to Taiwan’s FMCG market in the next decade, and to tap into the billions dollar silver hair market, these are the three advices for manufacturers to keep in mind.
1. Avoid stereotyping: personalize your product and marketing strategies
While they may fall into the same demographic, this does not mean the senior consumers likes and cares about the same things; their physical condition will also show a greater variation than the younger consumers. For example one 60 year old may still be fit and leading an active working life; another would be retired and enjoying the much deserved freedom; but there are also those struggling with long term diseases and require assistance to their daily necessities, therefore Kantar Worldpanel Taiwan points out when marketing to the elderlies, rather than treating them as one group, manufacturers should define and customize their strategy to cater for different consumer needs.
Health food supplement market is a very good example in reflecting the growing favouritism for personalized and customized solutions. Kantar Worldpanel observed that in recent years, the senior population is demanding less of the multi-purpose products, and are instead favouring single ingredients such as calcium, glucosamine and single vitamins (A,C,D). This demonstrated that rather than a little bit of everything, elderlies are starting to make purchase choices that can assist in solving a specific health condition they are facing.
2. It’s not ‘age’ but ‘change’ that matters
While they may be aging, that does not mean they desire less in life, especially the aging baby boomers generation. These 50+ demographic have strong spending power, and are willing to invest in themselves to live better, younger and have more fun. Hence when communicating to the senior audience, it is important to know that it is not ‘age’ that’s influencing their buying choices, but rather the ‘change’ in their physical condition that they need to overcome in order to lead a youthful lifestyle.
‘Change’ such as vision loss, wrinkles, loose teeth etc. To overcome these problems, the senior consumer seeks improvement using health supplement, skincare products or oral care. Kantar Worldpanel’s data showed that despite a flat FMCG market performance last year, senior consumption in health food supplement has grown an additional 800 million in sales value, skincare driven by the anti-aging sector, and oral care showing an impressive 10% growth, far above the market average. All these are proof that to appeal to the silver hair segment, solution to their physical ‘changes’ is the key to their wallet.
Other than physical changes, the senior population is also facing changes in ‘lifestyle’; increasing amount of free time and the willingness to further improve themselves, this is also influencing the buying choices, namely their selection of shopping channel. For the past three years, Kantar Worldpanel observed an average YoY growth of 11% in senior internet shopping penetration. Spending wise the segment also shown an impressive 26% growth, far above the 19% growth from the younger demographics. The growth of Senior internet shopping is not only contributed by their growing acceptance of modern technology, but also the fact Internet was able to keep them entertained with the newfound free time due to retirement, and most importantly providing the convenience of one-stop shopping, when many of them may no longer be physically able to complete such task. This once again, spells out the importance of eliminating obstacles in life if the manufacturers wish to tap into the silver hair opportunity.
3. Make them feel special
While functionality maybe important, it is also important to incorporate factors that will make the seniors feel valued and special. Take adult paper for example, in 2015 the market grew 9% in spending, driven mainly by the pants style. Kantar Worldpanel pointed out that compare to the traditional tape style, the pants not only provides protection, but also allowed the seniors the ease in continuing an active lifestyle while maintaining their dignity. It is precisely this thoughtfulness that help drove the more expensive pants sector to 13% in growth.
Then there’s the hair dye market, traditionally the senior sales are mainly confined to the cover-white sector, but Kantar Worldpanel has observed that more and more senior ladies are stepping out of their comfort zone and trying out more color dyes; no longer satisfied with just covering the white roots, color dye for senior ladies has grown an average of 20% for the past three years. The consideration of the ladies’ need for beauty and fashion, and not just function is the reason behind the market’s growth.
As Taiwan continued to age, it is clear that the senior population cannot and should not be overlooked, and to take advantage of this growing market, it is important to keep in mind the above three approaches, and be supportive of the inconvenience that the aging process brought upon this segment.