In Focus
HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong
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Hong Kong's silver population is catching up to Japan

2.4m Hong Kongers will be over 65 years old by 2035.

Japan is often cited as the case study for ageing consumers, as demographic development has led to a significant slice of its population aged over 65 years
old. But according to BMI Research, shifting demographics have already began to influence consumer tastes in Japan and they expect the same to occur in other markets where falling birth rates, declining and ageing populations will have an impact in the future.

In Asia, the 'next' markets poised to see a sharp increase in its pensionable population (over 65), are South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.

While this ageing process is due to take place over a long-term time period, companies in these four markets will need to adjust their strategies towards this
demographic sooner rather than later.

Here's more from BMI Research:

This will increase only marginally over the next five years, with South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore averaging about 17% in 2021, however, by 2030, the demographic picture will be markedly changed with around 25% of the population over the age of 65 years old.

According to our forecasts, in just over a decade, these 'next' four Asian markets will resemble the demographic state of Japan now.

The 'next' four don't represent quite the same opportunity as Japan in terms of market size, as their total population is smaller. By 2035, Japan will have 37mn people over the age of 65, compared to 14.5mn in South Korea, 6.3mn in Taiwan, 2.4mn in Hong Kong and 1.8mn in Singapore.

While far behind Japan, these are still significant markets in our view, as retail saturation has already begun in these relatively developed states with the formalisation process completed.

Unlike in emerging markets where there are growth opportunities outside of urban areas, this is not the case in these 'next' four, with no new customers to
target.

This demographic shift therefore represents a 'new' consumer group to target, with a range of products and services specifically designed for them.
Previously, we have identified a number of trends that have emerged from Japan and other markets with ageing populations.

These include: a shift towards weight management patterns, health consciousness driving functional diets and online/offline convenience formats to benefit. We believe these four markets share a number of similar characteristics that will allow them to prosper within this demographic shift and allow consumer-facing companies to benefit from the aforementioned trends.

- See more at: http://hongkongbusiness.hk/economy/news/hong-kongs-silver-population-catching-japan#sthash.xVvwWuyi.dpuf

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