Senior Citizens form 14% of the population in the US which is approximately 40 million consumers and is projected to increase to 72 million by 2030 and will be 20% of the population by 2040. The growing elderly population has attracted many consumer product companies to create senior citizen friendly packaging and labeling.
This consumer group struggles with the packaging, finding it hard to open, use and close product packaging used every day. With many health restrictions on their diet, senior citizens are very discerning and would like to know what’s in the package, know the ingredients, know how it needs to be consumed, etc. However, readability is a key issue when it comes to senior citizens packaging and labeling. Older people need information in larger font and easy to understand language so that they can use the product independently.
In an online poll in September 2015, Packaging Digest asked packaging professionals “In general, do you consider the needs of seniors when designing your packages?” While the overall numbers seemed to be in line with what you might expect—39% of respondents Always or Usually consider seniors’ needs, 24% Sometimes do, 28% Seldom or Never do and 9% said they Don’t Know. You can read more about it here (http://www.packagingdigest.com/packaging-design/are-seniors-top-of-mind-when-you-design-your-packages1510)
The regulatory trend in the Pharma industry is to share more information with the healthcare provider and the patient. This increases the amount of text that needs to be placed on the label or insert and with space at a premium, the font sizes are at the bare minimum required. This is true in Food and Cosmetic labeling too where limited space means smaller fonts and less readability for the elderly. With consumer companies favouring millennials, design trends that attract their attention are in vogue which are not exactly senior citizen friendly. Smaller single use packaging have very little real estate on the label and hence large font is not an option. Placing QR codes on packaging so that mobile apps can lead consumers to more information online is a trend that senior citizens haven’t caught on to as smart phones are cumbersome for them to use.
With the demand growing, it’s only a matter of time before consumer product companies start to release senior citizen friendly packaging and labeling.
Image Credits: Every care.