Japan’s ‘silver market’ presents a golden opportunity for the ageing population

By Julian Ryall 8-Dec-2017

In Japan, an ageing population has resulted in age-specific products for seniors, as Julian Ryall writes

The cosmetics and personal care industry bases its wealth on personal consumption, targeting its products at the needs and desires of consumers writ large.

This is as true in Japan as anywhere else, but in Japan the industry faces a special problem: plummeting population levels and a dramatic ageing of local consumers.

Not only are there fewer people to sell products to, their age profile and formulation needs are shifting fast.

The personal care product sector has had plenty of time to prepare, however. It was as long as 20 years ago that the Japanese government came to the conclusion that the nation would face, in the not-too-distant future, a population crisis.

Too few children were being born to Japanese women as they opted to get married later, stay in work longer and, in decisions seen as remarkable at the time, even build careers for themselves.

At the other end of the population spectrum, both men and women were living longer. Japan has long been renowned for life expectancies that eclipse the populations of virtually everywhere else in the world because of a diet that is traditionally high in fish, vegetables, pulses and fruits. Modern-day advances in health care and medicine have further extended life expectancies.

Manufacturers have been planning ahead by developing specific age-relevant products and amenities

Today, according to statistics...

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