The Agequake

The human population is ageing at a truly stunning pace. Within 35 years, there will be more people alive older than 60 than there are people younger than 16. This represents a seismic shift, and this “agequake” will impact us all. 
Paul Bulcke, CEO of Nestlé and co-sponsor of the CGF’s Health & Wellness Initiative, said, “Human longevity is increasing across the globe, in both industrialised and developing nations, bringing to nearly one billion the population of over 60 years. Consumer goods industries have a huge and rapidly increasing opportunity to provide them with appropriate goods and services that serve their needs and expectations.” 
Some of the major trends that characterise this shift include falling birthrates, increased longevity, improved health for mature citizens, increasing wealth of mature consumers, and increased employment for people between ages 65 and 74. The study notes that once an adult has reached the age of 60, he or she can expect 13 more years of full health in India, 15 more years in China, 19 more years in the United States, and 21 more years in Japan. A key element of the mature consumer business proposition is that in developed societies, mature citizens control much of the wealth. Additionally, people are working longer and businesses need to take advantage of the experience and potential of workers over the age of 65. 
Dick Boer, president and CEO of Royal Ahold and fellow co-sponsor of the CGF’s Health & Wellness Initiative, said, “Ageing populations will dramatically shape the face of our society moving into the future. We see this as a unique opportunity for companies deeply embedded in the social fabric of the communities they serve. We have a responsibility to help the ageing consumer access the goods and services they need and want, but also continue to recognise them as valued and engaged members of the community.” 
The Consumer Goods Forum also held a roundtable in October 2012 that included external and member company experts in ageing, nutrition, urban planning, sociology, housing psychology and other fields to provide an in-depth understanding of the consequences and needs of a growing ageing population. 
Mike Moriarty, A.T. Kearney partner and moderator of the expert roundtable, commented, “This demographic earthquake requires us to rethink the nature of our social contracts and our pension and health systems, not to mention the way we design our products and our stores, the way we hire  and train and educate people and the way we think of our careers, our family structures and our communities.” 
The full report on the impact of ageing consumers is available for download via A.T. Kearney and The Consumer Goods Forum. 
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The Consumer Goods Forum 
The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) is a global, parity-based industry network, driven by its members. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of over 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers and other stakeholders across 70 countries and reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Forum member companies have combined sales of EUR 2.5 trillion. Their retailer and manufacturer members directly employ nearly 10 million peop
By 2047 There Will Be More Than Two Billion Mature Consumers 
PARIS, 15th March 2013 – The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) and A.T. Kearney today announced the publication of a joint report – “Understanding the Needs and Consequences of the Ageing Consumer”. The report highlights the urgency at which the consumer goods industry needs to address changing consumer demographics, and follows a global survey of more than 3,000 shoppers and consumers that represent the unique characteristics of the 65-and-older age group. The report also provides key insights from a recent international roundtable of industry and academic experts. 
le with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. 
Sabine Ritter, Executive Vice President 
The Consumer Goods Forum | +33 6 45 56 66 44 
A.T. Kearney 
A.T. Kearney is a global team of forward-thinking, collaborative partners that delivers immediate, meaningful results and long-term transformative advantage to clients. Since 1926, we have been trusted advisors on CEO-agenda issues to the world’s leading organizations across all major industries and sectors. A.T. Kearney’s offices are located in major business centers in 39 countries.