oa Journal of Family Ecology and Consumer Sciences = Tydskrif vir Gesinsekologie en Verbruikerswetenskappe - The impact of longevity on older consumer needs : implications for business

Volume 46 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0378-5254



The main objective of this study was to investigate the impact of longevity amongst the elderly on their consumer needs and how business should cater for these specific needs. The study focuses on the perception of senior citizens with regards to businesses’ recognition of, and catering for these needs. Five specific daily needs were investigated viz. clothing, food, cosmetic, entertainment and health needs.

A qualitative study was executed with five separate focus group interviews, involving 20 senior respondents (aged 60+years) in each group. A semi-structured interview guide led the discussions; all responses were tape-recorded and data were content analyzed Summary tables reflected the main themes emerging from the interviews. Results were structured according to five assumptions deduced from available literature. These assumptions were examined, based on responses from participants.

Results suggest that there is ample room for business to improve their catering for clothing, food, cosmetic and health needs of elderly consumers. Businesses’ should enhance training of salespeople serving elderly consumers specific needs in the areas mentioned above. However, more research is needed to verify these findings.

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