This is one of The Food Channel's Top 10 Food Trends for 2011, based on research conducted in conjunction with CultureWaves®, the International Food Futurists® and Mintel International. For the full list, click here.
Looking for foods that keep us young, strong and active. It’s no secret that Americans are reaching retirement age in record numbers, now that the Baby Boomers are starting to hit their mid-sixties. And, as they have since they first began to walk, boomers will influence nearly everything in 2011, including foods. As Mintel reports, many boomers will continue to work—and they’ll demand foods that provide the energy and vitality to power them through the day. As sales for Viagra prove, boomers want to stay in shape for nighttime activities, too. Look for more food products to make bedroom performance claims in the years ahead. Nutmeg, for one, has gained a lot of press coverage recently for its reputation as a female aphrodisiac.
Perhaps it’s age denial, but today you often hear the phrase “60 is the new 50,” or “50 is the new 40,” usually spoken by someone who just celebrated a milestone birthday. The fact is, we are living longer, and boomers want to live stronger, too. They’ll lead the search for the “next superfood”—anything that promises to delay the effects of aging. We’ve seen what they’ve done for the pomegranate, açai berry, and goji berry. Look for mangosteen to go mainstream, and perhaps chia, too, thanks to the boomers.
As we all know, added pounds get harder to avoid as we age, and products designed to help us stay slim will earn fat profits. Obesity has been called “the new tobacco” by Richard Cope of Mintel. It will continue to be hyped in the media and singled out by wellness experts. In response, more older adults than ever are joining gyms and health clubs, and they’re trying to eat smarter for reasons of both health and vanity.
On the restaurant scene, the aging boomers are looking way beyond the Early Bird discount. Because of their sheer numbers, they’ll expect to be catered to, with healthier menu options—even if they often ignore them. Balance is still the magic word with boomers; they want healthy choices, but they like to indulge, as well, especially when dining out. They want their cake, but they want to eat healthy, too. For boomers, it’s still about overall quality of life.
And yes, they'll be looking for special offers, too, when they do retire and start living on a fixed income. But they’re more likely to look for deals on their smart phones than they are to clip coupons. For the full top ten list, click here. To view our Top Ten Foods to Watch in 2011, click here.
For evidence, read: