NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
What has a long shelf life and is worth approximately $32 billion?
- New Zealands ‘booming’ grey generation!
ACNielsen delivers a 360° view of the ageing Kiwi population
The biggest demographic change of current times – the ageing Baby Boomer generation – is causing one of the most
significant changes in consumer behaviour seen in this country, and ACNielsen has captured the implications of household
size and structure, workforce participation, education and health in a recently published 360° view of New Zealand’s
“Although it’s widely understood that New Zealand’s population is ageing, the behavioural characteristics of this
demographic and the economic implications are less clear,” says Alistair Watts, Managing Director, ACNielsen New
Zealand. “By integrating information drawn from our various New Zealand research businesses, we have built a profile
that has broad implications for businesses and government.”
In developing its report, ACNielsen New Zealand combined resources and expertise from across parent company VNU’s
various research businesses. Additional in-depth syndicated, quantitative, and qualitative research and analysis was
On family and children: “Chain them up outside the supermarket!”*
Lower fertility rates mean less demand for baby products, toys and educational products and services. And ageing New
Zealanders claim to be less patient with smaller children these days, compared to when their own were small.
On retirement: “You don’t get much bang for your buck from $1,000 a week at a retirement village.”*
Choosing when to retire is a judgement call for this group, based on education, health and wealth factors. Some claimed
they couldn’t afford to retire. The trend for women to live longer and partner older men means that some couples will
manage one partner into assisted living accommodation, with the other partner becomes a single household.
They want to plan for their retirement and don’t want to put it off until they are too old to enjoy it; they don’t want
to feel they are wasting precious time doing things they don’t enjoy; and part-time work is an increasingly attractive
option. Retirement is far more fluid a concept for this generation.
On wealth: “I want to support myself in my old age, and I want to relax and enjoy myself.”*
Those surveyed intend to spend their accumulated wealth now, rather than leave it to their children. Instead, they try
to provide for them as the need arises, for example, funding tertiary studies and allowing children to live at home much
longer, sometimes rent-free.
On their aspirations: “I still want to ride a Harley across the USA.”*
They’re driven by their own concept of success. They want to be taken seriously and happily embrace change. Holidays,
family and travel are high priorities. They go through cycles of fearing age and then accepting it. Regrets include
unfulfilled career aspirations, not dealing with health issues earlier, leaving school without qualifications, not
managing their weight and image issues and wishing they had found confidence to do what they wished to do earlier in
On health: “As the car gets older you tend to drive it slower.”*
Not surprisingly, health is a high priority for ageing New Zealanders. They know they’re likely to live longer and
potentially enjoy a higher quality of life. They realise the importance of exercise, particularly cardio-vascular, and
want to look and feel healthy. Interest in traditional sports such as bowls is declining in favour of more strenuous
exercise such as running and cycling.
However, ageing New Zealanders feel confronted by age through joint pain, deteriorating eyesight, aches and pains, and
memory loss. They are focused on what they can do to prevent health problems.
On shopping: “I like trying free tastings of new products.”*
They are often well-educated and adventurous shoppers who like bargains, trial new products and use loyalty cards. They
are less attracted to shopping around for the best price and are less likely to enter competitions or instant prize
draws. They are not bothered about the time it takes to go shopping.
On technology: “I love sending a message overseas and getting a reply instantly with no wires involved. But I have over
20 PINs – how am I supposed to remember them all?”*
They enjoy technology but want it kept simple and useful. They think txt is great but are frustrated by small pinpads,
fonts and screen sizes. Digital cameras are great for photos that can be sent around the world, but they still want
hardcopies for albums. There was considerable dissatisfaction among those surveyed about multiple PINs and access
numbers, icons instead of words on buttons (such as remote controls) and self-service telephone call centres (such as
press button menus in government departments). They appreciate and use online and telephone banking.
Ageing New Zealanders have increased the numbers of PCs in their homes and have increased the time they spend surfing.
They use the Internet for accessing information such as the White Pages, banking and travel, health and product
information, as well as news sites.
* Comments taken from ACNielsen focus groups held in Auckland 4th and 5th April 2005.
How the research was conducted - methodology
ACNielsen | Qualitative Research
Three focus groups held with the ageing population in Auckland to determine key drivers such as what’s important to
people in this age group, what keeps them going, what they worry about, what their lifestyles are like, how they feel
about getting older and how they see their future.
ACNielsen | Consumer Finance Monitor
Examines the findings from our 2004 Consumer Finance Monitor with 1994 findings to compare and contrast the ageing
population with the same age group 10 years previously. Particular areas covered in the research included brand
switching, electronic banking, cash cards, face to face service and credit card usage.
ACNielsen | Homescan™ PanelViews
Findings from our Homescan PanelViews survey linked actual purchase behaviour with consumer attitudes to provide
insights into what motivates consumers to purchase products. This unique research is made possible by collecting
attitudinal and behavioural information from the ACNielsen | Homescan panel of 1,500 demographically representative
households in New Zealand.
Nielsen Media Research | Panorama
Nielsen Media Research | Panorama, a fully national syndicated quantitative database compared results of 2004 to 1994 on
topics such as housing, technology, household composition, personal attitudes, health, education and products. CNIS, a
Nielsen Media Research department, provided access to their library of TVCs to show qualitative focus group respondents.
As the global standard for internet audience measurement and analysis, Nielsen//NetRatings were able to focus on the
online behaviour of the ageing population using their unique range of data including internet usage, online purchasing
and types of sites visited.
VNU is a global information and media company with leading market positions and recognised brands in marketing
information (ACNielsen), media measurement and information (Nielsen Media Research & Nielsen//NetRatings), business information (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Computing, Intermediair) and directory
publishing (Golden Pages). VNUs business operations in New Zealand comprise of the following companies:
ACNielsen, a VNU business, is the world’s leading marketing information company. Offering services in more than 100
countries, the company provides measurement and analysis of marketplace dynamics and consumer attitudes and behaviour.
Clients rely on ACNielsen’s market research, proprietary products, analytical tools and professional service to
understand competitive performance, to uncover new opportunities and to raise the profitability of their marketing and
Nielsen Media Research
Nielsen Media Research, a VNU business, serves the information and marketing needs of television and radio broadcasters,
advertisers, agencies, media planners and publishers. Nielsen Media Research provides a suite of advanced tools and
expert advice to help you identify your target customers, set your budgets, and optimise your media investments. You can
rely on our robust, constantly updated media intelligence and market information. Allocate your media funds with the
confidence that comes from dealing with an internationally trusted and respected organisation that stands behind the
quality and accuracy of its research data.
Nielsen//NetRatings, partly owned by VNU, is the global standard for Internet audience measurement and analysis and is
the industry's premier source for online advertising intelligence. Covering 70 percent of the world's Internet usage,
the Nielsen//NetRatings services offer syndicated Internet and digital media research reports and custom-tailored data
to help companies gain valuable insight into their business.
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