Retailing to the Grey Pound: Understanding the food Shopping Habits and Preferences of Consumers over 50 in Scotland

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14 Citations (Scopus)


The number of older people is growing globally and therefore there is an implication for providing products and services to facilitate access to nutritious food, considered fundamental for maintaining health and independence. Historically, older consumers have been unattractive to marketers, however improved finances and lifestyles indicate the “grey pound” has the potential to become lucrative. This exploratory research seeks to identify the current expectation of Scottish older consumers in relation to the products and services available in the supermarket and food retailers. A questionnaire was distributed to participants aged over 50 years in Scotland to voice the opinion of the older consumer in relation to shopping experience and availability of product. The results support previous research indicating the improved lifestyles of older consumers, demonstrating that previous perceptions of older people as impoverished and immobile are not representative of this group. This study contributes to the demand for more information on older consumers׳ food shopping habits and preference in Scotland. It attempts to provide useful recommendations for supermarkets and food retailers in fulfilling the needs of this rising consumer segment. This research concludes that supermarkets could improve access to both products and services to meet the demand from this growing segment of society, through better understanding of their requirements in terms of customer service, shopping experience, product size, price, access and mobility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753–763
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Issue number5
Early online date7 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014


  • Older consumers
  • Food retail
  • Supermarket
  • Shopping experience
  • Scotland


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