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Spending Boost for Over 50s – disposable income up 25% in 4 years

Press Release

Spending Boost for Over 50s – disposable income up 25% in 4 years

  • Over 50s hold key to boosting Food and Drink sector

December 4, 2012: Britain’s over 50s spending power has increased again, with annual disposable income* now reaching almost £290 billion according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), in figures released today. Up 25% since the downturn began, this increase contrasts to a rise of just 2% in disposable income for consumers below the age of 50.

The ONS figures highlight that despite the reported reduction in High Street spending, the over 50s have significantly more cash available to them now to spend after the deduction of essential items listed as housing, fuel, power, food, non-alcoholic drinks, clothing and footwear.

Kevin Lavery, director of Owl Marketing Solutions and over 50s marketing expert, said:

“With £290 billion disposable income available and rising, it is clear that the over 50s have a significant role to play in the UK’s economic recovery. Yet it appears they are not necessarily spending it.

“I believe that clever marketing, skilfully targeted, can unlock significant spending and deliver fantastic results, particularly for food and drink sector, where over 50s have the cash to spend on luxury and gourmet meals. Marketers and brands should target the 22 million over 50s in the UK rather than simply play lip service to them.”

Only around 10% of the total advertising spend in the UK per year is being used on campaigns aimed at the senior market, despite the fact that over 50s hold 80% of the nation’s wealth.

“Over 50s are huge consumers – from long haul holidays, to skincare, household goods and new cars. However, they are mainly ignored by advertisers, who instead choose to focus on the 30-49 group whose growth in spending power has slowed to almost a standstill.”

The figures released by the ONS today – contained in the 2012 Family Expenditure Survey – show that, as the population continues to age, the number of households where the lead person is over 50 has increased by over one million since 2008.


Notes to Editors

Kevin Lavery is heading up an innovative industry “think tank” of experts in every aspect of marketing and targeting who are – uniquely – all aged over 50 themselves, so can deliver some real, mature thinking to the issues raised.

Called the Owl Parliament, it is looking at current advertising, and its relevance to the older consumers, advising brands on how to increase effectiveness.

*Disposable income is what is left after spending on housing, fuel, power, food, non-alcoholic drinks, clothing and footwear

**Source : 2008 and 2012 ONS family expenditure survey

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