Crosscuts: Health & Fitness x Consumer Packaged Goods
At 969 years old, Methuselah was the oldest man in the Bible. Apparently God thought that was too old, so He shortened our lifespan. It is written: “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.” [Genesis 6:3].
The 100s-year-olds club, known as Centenarians, is projected to reach nearly 6MM by 2050, of which 600,000 will be Americans. The median age is progressing toward 50 in many developed nations and challenging views of what it means to be old and middle-age. There are more than 340,000 centenarians in the world today; with women are outliving and outpacing men at a staggering rate. It’s mostly genetics and not lifestyle that can fuel us to old age.
When you think of product or brand life cycles relative to this demographic, it can be a little overwhelming - they have seen everything there is to see. They’ve grown up with invention. They are probably more loyal to brands they adopted eons ago, and aren’t likely to be persuaded to switch in any consumer category. And while they might not be actively shopping, they have do have influence over what is purchased for them. In many instances, their doctors recommend products (not necessarily brands) for use.
The brands centenarians have consumed for a lifetime, may in fact, not be relevant as they once were. But with advancements in science and technology old brands can be given new life to a new demographic. From a brand perspective, Americans have associated the Geritol brand with age - part image, part elixir. Willard Scott on the Today Show has celebrated centenarians for years - Smucker’s Preserve (get it?) highlights these incredible individuals by placing their faces on its labels.
On ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, centenarian Aggie Fenton, 104, shared her secret: “work hard and drink good booze…my doctor told me I must drink three Miller High Life’s a day…” And she has had three beers and one shot (Johnnie Walker Black) a day for 70 years straight. Wow!
So since we can live longer, what products and brands will help us get to 100?