Pensioners are driving the surge in popularity for fermented dairy products like kefir, research for The Grocer has found.
More than 40% of the nation’s kefir was consumed by over-65s in 2018, taking sales of the fermented dairy products to £4.2m, according to Kantar Worldpanel [52 w/e 2 December 2018].
It comes despite the majority of marketing for the ranges being geared towards millennials, said Kantar analyst Emily Garrigan. In fact, those aged 16 to 44 accounted for just 27.9% of consumption.
“Kefir is more likely to be consumed for health needs in particular,” said Garrigan, noting recent own label launches by M&S as a mark of retailer confidence in the category. Arla and Danone have also launched ranges in the UK over the past few months.
Much of the demand among older consumers could be attributed to the desire to find a product that addresses key concerns among that age group, like vitamin levels and ingredients associated with bone-strengthening, said Bio-tiful Dairy founder Natasha Bowes.
“It’s also good for the digestive and immune systems, which are all factors we pay more attention to as we age,” she said.
“Add that the fermentation process makes it much easier to digest - because humans lose some of the ability to digest cows milk beyond age three - and even in the absence of multimillion-pound marketing budgets, the word of mouth marketing has spread like wildfire.”