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Fast Company argues in a story this week that “marketers have it wrong. The most important consumer group isn’t the 18-to-24 set, as conventional business wisdom has it. It’s older adults.”

Here’s the explanation: “Globally, 55-year-olds will outnumber 5-year-olds by 2020, and by 2050, the number of people aged 50 and older will rise to 3.2 billion, a twofold increase since 2015. In the United States, those 50 and older accounted for $7.6 trillion of economic activity in 2015, almost half the country’s gross domestic product. Worldwide, spending among older consumers could reach $15 trillion next year."

And yet, while “the imperative for businesses to better serve aging populations is clear,” it isn’t hard to see “that the world is designed abysmally for older adults, from microscopic screens to packaging that can’t be opened easily to broken elevators and inaudible announcements on public transportation … This isn’t necessarily a failing of individual companies. Rather, it’s a societal failure to understand the value of older people–to see aging as a welcome progression of life, rather than an inconvenience.”

The piece is part of a series in Fast company called “The New Business of Growing Old,” which you can read here.
KC's View:
I suspect that we’re going to see a lot of these stories in the coming days; it was just the other day that Michael Sansolo wrote about how airports are adapting to older travelers and the lessons this can teach retailers. Part of the reason we’re going to see increased coverage is that writers and editors are getting older, and becoming more aware of the issues. This would include Michael and me … though speaking for myself, at least, I’m going into this demographic kicking and screaming.