July 09, 2010

The baby boom in Europe and the United States has been well documented: lower birth rates combined with longer life expectancies have resulted in an older population. This trend also extends to Latin America, where more mature adults will soon make up more than a quarter of the population. With that demographic shift comes a need for consumer packaged goods manufacturers to re-think how they market toward this increasingly important population.

The Nielsen Company recently analyzed the demographics of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Puerto Rico, and estimates that people age 50+ currently make up 19% of the population. But that number will rise to 26% by 2025 and 38% by 2050. Households with mature housewives (who drive buying decisions in the home) account for 30% of the region’s populace. In Puerto Rico, such households make up more than half (54%), while in Chile they represent 40%, in Colombia 35%, in Brazil 29% and 28% in Mexico.

Per Capita Spending Power
These older households – while being 13% smaller than the average home – have higher levels of per capita spending than other age groups:

* Chile: 17% higher
* Brazil: 15%
* Mexico: 15%
* Puerto Rico: 12%

“In the next 10 to 12 years, one of every four consumers will be over age 50, and as in other countries around the world, older Latin Americans are defying the traditional stereotypes. They are more affluent, spend more money and are open to new brands and products,” said Mary Paz Roman, Consumer Panel Services, Product Leadership Latin America at Nielsen.

Categories that currently attract a greater preference among more mature Latin Americans include hot and cold beverages, sweeteners/sugar, pet food and hair dyes and coloring, and retailers and manufacturers can expect increased popularity in years to come. But other categories that could benefit – if manufacturers innovate and appeal specifically to this demographic – include a number of health and beauty segments such as shampoo, conditioners and deodorants.

“As competition for a greater share of consumers’ pesos, reals and dollars grows more intense, retailers and manufacturers should re-assess how they view this consumer group if they hope to seize the opportunities this new reality offers,” concluded Roman.

For more information at http://www.nielsen.com


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