SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — As South Korea enters an aged society, the so-called ‘silver’ industry – denoting products and services targeted to seniors – is expected to grow rapidly.
Among them, the food industry is expected to be the most promising.
In a report released Sunday, the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade (KIET) predicted that the country will enter a super aged society in 2025, with the proportion of people aged 65 or older exceeding 20 percent.
A super aged society typically results in various social problems such as financial burdens and an employment imbalance due to the increase in social spending, but it also has a new growth potential called the “aged-friendly industry.”
As a result, the Presidential Committee on Ageing Society and Population Policy has selected and fostered 16 strategic items in the elderly-friendly industry.
The market size is expected to grow 13 percent annually from 27.38 trillion won (US$23.4 billion) in 2012, reaching about 73 trillion won this year.
Among elderly-friendly industries, the portion of food, which accounted for 23.3 percent, has emerged as the second-highest promising industry after the leisure industry, which accounted for 34 percent.
Following food, the elderly-friendly cosmetics industry is also promising, which is expected to reach 2.16 trillion won this year, the KIET forecasted.
A survey of senior citizens also showed high demand for food and cosmetics.
The KIET asked about which items would be purchased when 1 million won was given to senior citizens living in Seoul aged 55 or older, and health functional food showed the highest response rate.
Next on the list were anti-aging cosmetics and fashion items.
Accordingly, the food industry is also overhauling its lineup of pro-aging products while analyzing these consumption tendencies, while introducing products targeting the silver in rapid succession.
Maeil Dairies Co., a major dairy company, established a sarcopenia research and development center in February last year to lead the adult nutrition business.
It also launched its adult nutrition business by launching a brand called Sellex that specializes in adult nutrition and introducing high-protein drinks and protein bars.
Meanwhile, CJ Cheiljedang Corp., the country’s leading food manufacturer, also launched Returnup, a health food brand that offers customized health solutions for each transition period after the age of 40.
D. M. Park (email@example.com)