Appliances for the Elderly Segment

December 2022

As sales to traditionally targeted consumer segments have started to plateau, brands need to find growth elsewhere. According to Euromonitor International’s briefing “The Next Billion Consumers”, the elderly segment is an underserved category with enormous spending power. Elderly households alone spent USD107 trillion in 2020, and this will only increase. As the global population of elderly consumers is expected to rise to 1.3 billion in 2040, how should brands target this underserved segment?

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Diversify marketing focus

Consumer do not like to be singled out as being elderly, implying the need for special aid. Products that do so may struggle, unless there is a discernible value that is marketed. Instead, a more nuanced approach of labelling standard products as “elderly friendly” has seen success in Japan.

Non-intrusive monitoring platforms

According to the US CDC, 36 million falls by the elderly are reported each year. For the elderly living alone, what happens after a fall will be critical. Non-intrusive monitoring systems allow remote caregivers to respond to falls without intruding on the elderly’s privacy. Some systems even allow the monitoring of meal times, nutrition, activity levels and home parameters.

Maintaining physical and mental health

Eating a balanced diet contributes to physical and mental health; eating meals on time equally so. A smart home platform that can offer advice on a balanced diet, taking into consideration dietary requirements, order groceries and then clean up after the meal will offer significant value for many elderly consumers. We analyse this in depth in our briefing on The Future of Automated Kitchens.

Learning from Japan

Japan’s population is ageing and shrinking, increasing the need for automated elderly care. This has resulted in the launch of numerous products targeting the elderly, making Japan the proving ground for elderly care products. Products that succeed in Japan can provide the basis for understanding what concepts resonate with the elderly.

Robots at home

The Tesla Bot was announced in 2021. It is positioned to replace people in repetitive tasks, with the vision for the units to serve millions of households in tasks such as cooking, mowing lawns and caring for the elderly. The Xiaomi CyberOne was launched in August 2022 with similar goals. A humanoid robot could become the ultimate caregiver for the elderly.

The elderly as a growth segment
Why target the elderly?
Key findings
Euromonitor International’s The Future Home
Overview of Home and Technology strategic themes
An overview of the strategic theme: The Future Home
Aspects that give insight into how the future home will work
Companies are meeting consumer needs using various strategies
The elderly is one of four underserved segments
Older households will spend five times more than the other categories combined
Overlooked consumers by region at a glance
Global population is greying fast
In the US, the elderly are predicted to account for 23% of the population in 2040
In the US, Baby Boomers are the richest consumers in recorded history
In Europe and North America, many older people prefer to live alone
Home-based healthcare and the companion home will be key home design concepts
Businesses must adapt to diverse needs and priorities of the ageing
Appliances will an important part of future home designs for the elderly
Value-added services will be important to elderly consumers
Elderly consumer appliance trends
Delisofter – a cooker that makes food soft without losing the texture
Panasonic’s J Concept series targets the elderly segment
Online recipes will help the elderly have a balanced diet
Universities are also looking at this space
GE Appliances’ Shift concept – adapting to different needs
Hoover’s H-abitat is the first wellbeing ecosystem
Zojirushi’s Mimamori i-Pot allows caregivers to monitor hot water usage
Daikin’s room air conditioner monitoring system
Alexa Together – a remote caregiving service from Amazon
The elderly will account for 35% of the population in Japan in 2040
Without immigration into Japan, the society is ageing and shrinking
Japan is the proving ground for elderly care products
Direct marketing to the elderly segment does not work for some products
Targeting the elderly is effective for electronic goods
The elderly do adapt to new technologies, but often slowly
Marketing to a wider audience than just the elderly segment is more effective
Non-appliance case studies: Watami’s bento delivery service
Non-appliance case studies: Preparing for death – the “ending note”
Non-appliance case studies: Active seniors seek to travel and go hiking
Takeaways from Japan
Ageing in place can be a lonely experience
Companies hope to launch robotic companions to alleviate this
In summary, why should brands target elderly consumers?

Consumer Appliances

Consumer Appliances is the aggregation of major appliances and small appliances. Major appliances are an aggregate of the following categories: refrigeration appliances, home laundry appliances, dishwashers, large cooking appliances and microwaves. Small appliances are an aggregation of the following categories: food preparation appliances, small cooking appliances, vacuum cleaners, irons, personal care appliances, heating appliances and air treatment appliances.

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