The dawn of agelessness: Unpicking the final prejudice

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

© Skynesher / Getty Images
© Skynesher / Getty Images

Related tags healthy aging Marketing Beauty from within Collagen

Age is the last acceptable prejudice in product marketing, but it too appears to be dissolving as consumers rally against being defined by their years, according to active nutrition market insights consultancy Nutrition Integrated.

Speaking during a webinar entitled "The Endless Opportunities of Agelessness", Nick Morgan, managing director at Nutrition Integrated, revealed how society is reframing age and the impact this has on communication of health and nutrition products.

He explained that as the world’s population ages, the concept of ‘agelessness’—not growing old or showing the effects of age—is increasing in popularity and originates not only in the aging demographic but also from a “broader societal paradigm shift”.

Referencing contributions from societal commentators and authors Professor Bobby Duffy and Dr. Eliza Filby, Morgan discussed the fact that younger generations are putting off traditional markers of adulthood, such as leaving education, joining the workforce, purchasing a house, having children and so on.

These commentators say that defining consumers by their generation is a powerful idea, which has been "horribly corrupted by terrible stereotypes, myths and clichés", which can distort our view of what people are really like and therefore, how to speak to them.

Morgan also shared the case of Dutchman Emile Ratelband, who in 2018 at age 69, launched a legal battle to lower his age by 20 years in order to boost his dating prospects, arguing that in a time when people can change their names and genders, they should also be able to change their ages.

“This all comes back to the fact age is the last acceptable prejudice," Morgan said. "It’s almost like a final frontier of identity politics. Are we moving towards a time when our age becomes fluid—like gender and sexuality—and something we can self-define?"

Holistic beauty concepts

Morgan added that he is convinced that the concept of agelessness is at the heart of ingredients like collagen and predicts that the marketing of traditional beauty-from-within products will increasingly lean towards more holistic messaging rather than just focusing on hair, skin and nails.

Looking at Vital Proteins’ collagen marketing, he highlighted that the company is "promoting living better and fuller lives, promoting natural beauty, combining this with beauty from within, and making the most of every moment your given—saying your body shouldn’t be a limitation but a catalyst."

Some other brands tapping into this agelessness messaging include U.S.-based Science Research Wellness which uses the slogan 'You have two ages, and you can change one’, as part of a stated mission to transform the way consumers think about and experience aging.

"It’s very emotive in the way it connects," Morgan said. "It reminds you 'agelessness' is an emotive term. The idea of there being some aspirational element to it is quite compelling."

He further signaled the brand Timeline, which presents mitochondrial health and cellular nutrition in a more clinical but still aspirational sense with messaging like, "Your healthier future starts here". And Nestlé Health Sciences brand Solgar markets its range of cellular health supplements with the statement: “We are here to help you own your own healthy aging narrative and age boldly.”

All the brands provide a very positive message about aging, Morgan said, suggesting that consumers need not be defined by their age.

Thriving through menopause

This same concept is clear within the women’s health category, with many brands looking to support women to live through the menopausal life stage without being defined by it.

Using Selaura as example, Morgan pointed out the brand's mission is "to help women to continue to live—and love— their lives—without compromise—by redressing the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause."

In terms of why it is so "difficult to get it right" despite the prominence of the healthy aging trend, Morgan said, "Well, it’s because we keep telling people how old they are and how shit it’s going to be if they don't address it with our amazing solutions...It is not exactly what people want to engage with."

He added that moving toward the concept of agelessness removes the need to put people into generational buckets, which are limited by stereotypes and clichés, and actually opens up this concept to every product or brand on the market.

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