Older adults’ 3 key nutritional needs – make business with premium ageing nutrition

Older adults want to stay active and energetic, maintain their brain functions and enjoy the taste of food. In fact, their quality of life depends on in. As a result, ageing adults are willing to invest in food products that support these objectives. What a great opportunity for the food industry!

We know that food plays a crucial role in healthy ageing. There is a scientifically proven link between nutrition and healthy ageing. Older adults have diversified nutritional needs depending on whether they are healthy and active, recovering from an illness or in need of assistance in their daily lives:

  1. Appetite and energy need often decrease. This could be the result of a more sedentary lifestyle, loss of muscle mass, illness or decline in sensory abilities.
  2. Muscle mass and strength start to diminish significantly after 50 years of age, and serious muscle loss called sarcopenia affects 30% of people over 60, and 50% of people over 80. This has a great impact on maintaining activity and independence – and thus, quality of life.
  3. The need for nutrients does not decrease. In fact, it might increase. Deficiencies in nutrition may lead to accelerated ageing such as weak muscles and bones as well as memory problems.

Another concern for older people is their memory. Brain health is one of the top two concerns for people when they are ageing. People are really scared of losing their memory and, as a result, their independence.

A known fact is that brain goes through ageing just like other parts of the body. Scientific research shows that nutrition plays a major role in maintaining healthy brain function. We do not have an official health claim for any milk ingredients yet, but research shows that the fat naturally occurring in milk has a supportive role in brain health – especially the phospholipids in milk.

How to make business with healthy ageing?

As we eat every day and make about 200 food-related choices daily, food is an easy way to enhance healthy ageing and lifespan. I love the way the beauty and personal care industry has established a successful business model with positive language and proactive, premium products for advanced needs that are marketed to people of all ages. I think the food industry could do the same and even better, as the attitudes towards ageing are changing.

Let’s take our brand-new product, Valio Eila™ Nutri F+ lactose free formulated milk protein powder as an example. It is a great ingredient for older adults who have diversified nutritional needs: an ingredient from which everyone over 55 years will benefit, whether she or he is all healthy or recovering from an illness.

The reason why our product is so good is that it fulfills the three key needs of older adults mentioned above. It has good quality milk protein that is easy for the body to digest and utilize. Sufficient protein intake can help in preventing muscle loss. The product’s milk minerals help in keeping bones healthy. Also, everyone wants their brain to function optimally, so the product has milk phospholipids as well as key vitamins and minerals to support normal brain functions.

Full taste and texture to make food pleasant for older adults

Decline in sensory abilities often makes it difficult for ageing adults to sense the taste of food. That is why the taste and texture require special emphasis when developing food products for older adults. Valio Eila™ Nutri F+ powder gives products a pleasant rich taste and full texture. This helps our customers to make their products desirable for the ageing foodies. Valio Eila™ Nutri F + is the only lactose free ingredient that is also high in milk protein, phospholipids and minerals.

The powder gives a rich taste and full texture to different applications. We have successfully tested it in these and many more:

  • Drink powders
  • Special nutrition drinks
  • Dairy drinks
  • Nutritious food
  • Dietary products

Valio Food Solutions team is ready to help you with product development! We have a Nobel prize winning innovation and we know milk: our R&D team of 100 experts including our nutrition experts are ready to help you in very different cases. We can help in product development, with optimizing processes, and of course with any nutritional features that our customers want to improve in their products.