Watching my grandmother suffer from cognitive decline was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever experienced. I’d known and loved this amazing woman my entire life–she was strong, willful, and confident, yet I watched her slowly lose her identity over just a few short years. At the time I felt powerless; there is very little action that family members can take against Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other types of cognitive impairment. Our family’s situation is not unique; millions of seniors in America suffer from some type of age-related cognitive decline.
Seafood Fights Cognitive Decline
Recent studies are suggesting that eating seafood at least once a week actually helps slow down the rate of cognitive decline, . Moreover, eating seafood is associated with larger grey matter volumes in brain areas responsible for memory and cognition in the elderly. We’ve known for a long time that the omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood are excellent for protecting the heart, but we’re now learning that they have powerful brain-boosting capabilities! The complex mix of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, protein and other micronutrients found in oily fish and shellfish can actually help protect the brain as our bodies age.
Shifting Marketing Techniques for a Valuable Demographic
If we take an age-snapshot of San Francisco’s population, 19.2% is over 60 years old while the national average is 18.5%. Our city also has more elderly residents than children under 15! This offers the seafood industry in San Francisco a unique opportunity: we can appeal to and support this segment of our population, maybe even sparing them the pain of cognitive problems later in life. By marketing specifically to older residents, seafood markets can bring beneficial information to customers’ attention while also establishing strong community bonds.
Appealing to San Francisco Seniors and Their Families
So how can your business bring older customers and their families to your seafood counter? It’s more simple than you think. Start with targeted messages to customers in multimedia, social media, magazines and newsletters. Here’s what you’ll want to keep in mind:
Be specific and honest!
Choose to highlight the seafood with the most brain-boosting power. These are the oily seafoods like salmon, trout, herring, sardines, and mackerel. Offer ideas for recipes along with healthy sides and beverages that pair well with specific types of seafood (a high acid white wine, like New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, goes perfectly with darker, oilier fish like herring and mackerel). Make sure to include other food items that benefit cognitive health, like nuts, seeds, and avocado, for an extra dose of brain protecting power!
Take advantage of San Francisco loyalty
Many of the people over 60 who live in San Francisco have been residents of the city for decades, so you can bet there’s a sense of devotion to our beautiful city. Appeal to that loyalty by focusing on local seafood from San Francisco and Monterey Bay that is only available seasonally, such as dungeness crabs, mackerel, herring, king salmon, lingcod, and squid. wild king salmon, albacore,
Create a special promotion or sale, such as highlighting a particular type of seafood and offering 25-30% off for senior citizens one day a month, or offer free delivery or a 2-for-1 special. Don’t think of seniors as penny pinchers (because they aren’t!), just consider such a promotion as a way to initiate a relationship and establish a bond with this demographic.
Don’t emphasize age in messages and ads
Avoid words like “elderly”, “old” or “aged” in advertisements. Instead, when you are highlighting your seafood, focus on the amazing health benefits. Put together a short article or a simple handout that outlines how omega-3s and micronutrients in certain kinds of seafood are healthy for the brain. Your flyer might read: “Wild-Caught Salmon Keeps the Mind Sharp”, rather than “Wild-Caught Salmon Helps Prevent Alzheimer’s in Elderly People”. Staying sensitive about the terminology you use will help you continue to establish trust within your community of older customers.
Don’t complicate things
Keep it straightforward. Don’t focus on loud, complex, or abstract advertisements. Millennials may enjoy deciphering elaborate collages, but your older customers will appreciate sincere and uncomplicated messages and photos. A straightforward message goes a long way towards building a loyal customer.
Make use of social media
Don’t make the mistake of thinking older San Franciscans are incapable of using smartphones and the web. In fact, seniors are the fastest growing demographic on social networks. If your business runs a Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook account, be sure to include advertisements created just for people 65 and older!
Building a Loyal Community
Most of our marketing efforts tend to cater towards millennials, which makes sense as they are the largest demographic group in the United States. However, marketing toward the older generations is an undervalued opportunity as baby boomers and senior citizens have over 70% of the country’s disposable income. And, the proportion of older citizens in America is growing every day as the large population of baby boomers approaches 60+ years of age. It’s time to focus our attention on this very important demographic in ways that will benefit them and the seafood industry.
With the right marketing techniques, you may find that this older demographic becomes some of your most loyal customers. Let trusted wholesaler Pucci Foods support you in this effort by providing you with fresh, high-quality, and sustainable brain-boosting fish and shellfish.