The beauty industry and an ageing population

Host on The Great British Bake Off, Mary Berry, is having a unique impact on the beauty industry Mintel analyst, Charlotte Libby, shares interesting insights into engaging with an ageing population. Libby’s ideas are based on research and the increased media attention the host on The Great British Bake Off, Mary Berry, continues to receive.

Berry is loved by the media, particularly for her age-appropriate glamour. Each week she appears immaculately dressed, with each outfit more impressive as the seasons progress. The celebrity cook is now credited with setting fashion trends amongst older women. This has not gone unnoticed by her co-stars, with Paul Hollywood (a judge on the show) quoted as saying, ‘Whatever Mary wears, sells out. If she came out in a Hessian bag, it would sell.’

Growing beauty influence

As well as her fashion-sense, Berry is having an impact on mature beauty trends and is frequently pictured with bright lipstick and blow-dried hair. Younger audiences are also taking notice; men’s magazine FHM included Berry on its annual list of the 100 sexiest women, featuring her at #73.

Viewers watching Berry may be inspired to try new make-up looks and hairstyles, as the over 70s are less likely to find beauty inspiration through social media channels popular with younger women. The cook also appeals to a generation of older women who are looking to enhance their natural beauty, rather than attempting to look younger.

A mature appeal 

The UK population is ageing, and the number of women aged 65 and over is expected to grow by over half a million over the next five years. With the growing numbers, mature consumers are presenting an increased commercial opportunity. The rising pension age also means many stay in full-time employment for longer and will therefore have higher disposable incomes.

A number of beauty brands are responding to this and have begun targeting more mature ladies with product launches and advertising campaigns. Indeed beauty brands including NARS, Marc Jacobs and L’Oréal are using older women, such as Helen Mirren and Charlotte Rampling, in their marketing and advertising. 

Glam grans propel sales 

The older glamour showcased by celebrities, including Berry, is inspiring older women to take greater interest in the beauty market. Due to its focus on younger generations, the beauty market often seems inaccessible to older women. 

Mintel’s In-salon Hair Services UK 2015 report revealed the following about women aged 65 and over:

A pop with colour cosmetics 

As well as perfecting their hair dos, older women have also shown interest in certain products to emphasise facial features. Although overall usage of colour cosmetics declines with age, lipstick bucks the trend. Lipstick usage remains high across all ages and Berry often chooses a bright lipstick for her TV appearances. 

The use of BB and CC creams and eyebrow definers also lifts slightly amongst women aged 55 and older. BB and CC products may offer more subtle results than a foundation, allowing women to hydrate their skin while providing natural coverage. The higher usage of eyebrow definers among this demographic relates to hair thinning with age and lighter eyebrows. Therefore a defining product can assist in framing the face. 

Mintel’s Face Colour Cosmetics UK 2015 report found age representation is the biggest factor influencing what make-up users would like to see in a brand ambassador. This rises with age, peaking at 57 per cent among women 55 and over, despite a number of makeup brands recently featuring older models in marketing campaigns. This suggests that older women are still not feeling well represented in advertising. Indeed two fifths of colour cosmetics users feel there are not enough older models in beauty advertising. 

To find out more about the big impact the growing senior population is having on the beauty industry, download Mintel’s trends report: Old Gold, by clicking on the following link:

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