Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Older Americans Form a New Market

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Older Americans Form a New Market

Article excerpt

FREDERICK ADLER - although only a "baby-boomer" himself - welcomes the "aging of America." He has developed a successful advertising and direct marketing business aimed at the more than 16,000 senior citizen centers in the United States.

Older Americans (65 and up) represent the fastest growing segment of the US population.

Mr. Adler's company, called "The Senior Network," brings the promotional and advertising material of such corporate giants as General Foods, Campbell Soup, Quaker Oats Company, TWA, and AT&T into thousands of senior citizen centers.

"We are a company at the very start of an important new trend," Adler says, one of "reaching out to older Americans."

The increasing average age of the US population is expected to have major implications for American companies in the years ahead, as well as for the US economy itself. Mature Americans, those over age 55, already spend more than $900 billion a year, Adler says.

Companies that aim products at younger age groups will have to scramble to retain market share in the changing demographic environment of the next few decades, experts say. Companies that target older audiences, such as health providers, insurance, finance, or home maintenance firms, stand to gain.

The overall impact of the aging of America will not be entirely upbeat for the US economy. Growth will slow in the number of Americans in the 25 to 45 age group when most families form and spend a great deal on buying and furnishing a house.

US companies have only recently started to direct more advertising dollars to older Americans, industry experts note. For example, about 6 to 7 percent of all ad dollars on television are directed at older Americans, according to Food & Beverage Marketing magazine. Of the more than 2,000 magazines in the US, a handful, such as Modern Maturity, Mature Outlook, and New Choices, are specifically targeted at older Americans. …

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