Specialty Food Magazine

Spring 2019

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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M ore so than any generation before them, aging Baby Boomers are causing a monumental shift in the way senior living professionals are thinking about dining services. Estimated to number 72 million in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Baby Boomers possess the proclivity to elevate the business of aging to a new level. Senior living and hospital foodservice operations are upping their game to appeal to more discerning older adults. BY DENISE SHOUKAS The New Taste of Senior Dining When it comes to choosing a senior community, they expect more, especially when it comes to food. They want all-day dining, restaurant-style menus, retail cafes, local sourcing, fresh produce, fully stocked pantries with cereal and snacks, and chef-driven meals. Facilities that don't put food first stand to lose. Sharon Olson, executive director of Culinary Visions, a Chicago-based foodservice research and forecasting firm, says, "Those who are evaluating senior living environments for themselves or a loved one are often interested in the nutri- tional content and quality of ingredients. Specialty foods for foodservice that have unique nutritional characteristics and clean ingredient statements are likely to be well received." She also stresses that maintaining connection to friends and fam- ily is important. "Over 90 percent of those we surveyed said it was important that they had food that made them proud to invite their family and friends to dine with them." "Food is a highly valued pastime for aging Baby Boomers," says Lori Bitter, founder of California-based consultancy group The Business of Aging, who consults, researches, and develops strategies for companies seeking to engage with mature consumers. And they have pur- 34 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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