Capturing your share of the ‘grey pound’ catering market

Imagine the perfect advert for your restaurant. What does it look like? The chances are that even if it does not have young people in it, it is probably aimed at them. For the vast majority of people, advertising is aimed at a young, affluent, trendy audience. If this is the case for your business, you might want to think again.

The grey pound

This is the first time since records began that households headed by people over the age of 65 are the wealthiest, while the financial security of under-45s has dropped. Since the financial crisis there has been a shift in wealth towards the recently retired, according to the Resolution Foundation. This means that the over-65s now have more disposable cash than any other group, and they are not afraid to splash this hard-earned cash.

This financial shift has a direct impact on the spending habits of different groups, with the ‘grey pound’ now being stronger than ever. In 2014 spending by over-50s accounted for £320bn of consumer spending. A report by Saga and the Centre for Economics and Business Research found that over 50s spending on non-alcoholic drinks and food increased at an average rate of 5.1% per year during the period 2003-12, rising from £26.2bn to £40.8bn. The study’s five-year forecast estimated that this would accelerate to 6.0% per year, with expenditure reaching £54.8bn in 2018.

Capturing your share of the ‘grey pound’ catering market

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What does this mean for caterers?

For caterers and professionals in the food service industry, the grey pound can be a huge share of the market. Providing a quality service that appeals to the most affluent audience group − the recently retired − will be critical to any catering business. Creating a calm, quiet, family-friendly environment will appeal to older audiences. Friendly staff and a warm environment will also make over 50s feel more welcome, while a diverse, reliable offering will keep your new audience coming back. Having high-quality equipment is a must in any professional kitchen, of course, and food machinery auctioneers such as are a great place to find all the equipment your professional kitchen needs at affordable prices.

Over 50s account for around 76% of the UK’s financial wealth, so be sure to attract high-spending retirees to your business to capture your share of their spending power.

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