Senior-Friendly Packaging Tips

As the older population in the United States grows, it’s important to stay attuned to their specific needs and keep your packaging and containers senior friendly.  

The Impact of Our Senior Citizens 

Currently, adults over the age of 65 account for approximately 15% of the American population. By the year 2050, it’s anticipated that there will be about 83.7 million individuals who are least 65 years old living in the United States. That means this population boasts, and will continue to boast, impressive buying power throughout the entire globe. In fact, the aging Baby Boomer population holds an annual approximate spending power of a whopping $2.6 trillion worldwide.  

Aging Adults Have Specific Needs 

Though people in any age group are susceptible to medical and health concerns, seniors have their own set of unique needs. Approximately 80% of aging adults take at least one prescription medication and 60% of Baby Boomers will face multiple chronic diseases by the year 2030. This indicates that our elder population experiences distinct problems, which is something that retailers must keep in mind, especially when selling products that are specifically marketed to senior citizens. It’s also important to note that this doesn’t only apply to brick and mortar sellers, but to ecommerce businesses as well. Approximately 67% of adults over the age of 65 use the internet and 53% of Baby Boomers prefer online shopping in place of in-person shopping.  

Health Concerns to Address 

There are a few common health concerns that many elder adults experience. While none of these will likely stop them from living life to its fullest, they do cause some day-to-day inconveniences. You as a retailer can help make daily life easier for our senior population by creating packaging material that addresses these concerns and allows for easy operation. These problems frequently include, but certainly aren’t limited to, poor dexterity and bad vision. Below, we’ve provided some tips that can help you utilize effective packaging materials to benefit customers who may be experiencing these complications.  

Easy-to-Open Containers 

Chief among the concerns of many senior citizens when it comes to packaging is ease of use. As individuals grow older, they tend to lose some ability in their fine motor skills, which can make opening containers more difficult. By providing packaging that opens and closes with little effort, you can maintain a positive relationship with your older customers. Examples of what you can do to assist these consumers could include placing textured plastic grips on the sides of small containers, using lower strength adhesives on the seals of paperboard boxes, or opting for large blister packages for individual pills and medications. 

Large and Legible Fonts 

Poor eyesight is not an uncommon problem amongst much of our population, but becomes increasingly prevalent throughout older age groups. Even with the help of reading glasses, small print can be difficult to interpret. This makes many tasks frustrating and can even be dangerous when an individual can’t read the print on packaging for essential goods, such as pharmaceuticals or nutrition information. Thankfully, there is a very simple solution to this problem. Manufacturers should be sure to use large, legible fonts when printing on containers or packaging, particularly on anything that requires specific instructions for use. Be certain to make your labels obvious and easy-to-read or even consider utilizing distinct pictures and symbols in your messaging.  

Bold and Contrasting Colors 

One method that can assist customers who have eyesight problems, poor dexterity, or both is the use of bold, contrasting colors. This goes a long way in helping out your older consumer base. Bold or contrasting colors are easier to read for those that can’t see as well and enhance the visibility of labels. Plus, it looks great! For example, when large, bright text is placed on a dark background (or vice versa), customers with poor eyesight will have an easier time interpreting the information you need to convey. Furthermore, it’s also incredibly beneficial to use a contrasting color on the closure of your container or package. This shows your low-vision buyers exactly where they need to open and helps those with poor motor skills know where to grip.  

Why Senior-Friendly Packaging Benefits Manufacturers and Makers 

Brand loyalty is important to maintain with any consumer, but older buyers more often tend to stick with the companies they like. On top of all this, Baby Boomers have money to spend. This age group has had more time to build their wealth than nearly any other demographic and they’ll stay loyal to the brands that keep them comfortable and provide great services and products. Baby Boomers are not a generation that settles for less. They seek the best value for their money and stay loyal to those that offer that value. If you can capture their devotion, you’ll easily have a buyer for life.