January 12, 2010

THAILAND: 'Grey market' keeping certain segments afloat

. BANGKOK, Thailand / The Nation / Business / January 12, 2010 'Grey market' keeping certain segments afloat: IPG Mediabrands While many products and services were badly hit by the recession, those for seniors, such as insurance, healthcare and personal products, held up well, thanks to the greying of society. A new survey by IPG Mediabrands shows the elderly are quite open to learning and trying new things. They also like to share information with younger people. Kanokkarn Prachongsaengsri, deputy director for research and information analysis, yesterday said the population grew only 1.2 per cent to 66.9 million last year and only 0.6 per cent in 2008. Elderly women in rural Thailand. Photo courtesy: travelpod.com Thailand had the sixth-lowest population growth, behind North Korea (minus 3.5 per cent), Japan (minus 0.2 per cent), Taiwan (0.2 per cent), South Korea (0.3 per cent) and Hong Kong (0.5 per cent). The birth rate has been declining year after year. The high population-growth countries were Laos (2.4 per cent), the Philippines (2 per cent), Brunei (1.8 per cent), Cambodia (1.8 per cent) and Malaysia (1.7 per cent). The population profile has been slowly changing, with more older people but fewer aged below 40. Those aged up to nine dropped |1.5 per cent to 9.2 million last |year, while those aged 10-14 fell |2 per cent to 4.9 million. Those |15-29 fell 0.2 per cent to 15.8 million last year, while those 30-39 shrank 0.6 per cent to 10.9 million. In contrast, those 40-49 in-creased 1.3 per cent to 10.6 million, and those 50 and up expanded 4.3 per cent to 15.5 million. Those aged 50 plus are expected to jump from 23 per cent of the population today to 32 per cent in 2020. They are some of the main grocery shoppers and still the household head. The survey also showed 79 per cent of boomers aged 50-64 were open to learning new things. About 82 per cent of them are more willing to try things and just as open as youths. However, they did not like to take any risk, as 79 per cent of those boomers seek information before making any decision. They always read product labels and believe in expert recommendations. More than 60 per cent of boomers admitted they valued quality over price, while 70 per cent look for familiar brands and have a good attitude towards ads. Some 83 per cent do not think ads waste their time. They often share information and opinions with children (84 per cent), spouses (83 per cent) and co-workers (71 per cent). They are comfortable with traditional media but also open to new technology. Ad spending on products for seniors also shot up, from Bt70 million during January to September 2008 to Bt142 million in the same period last year. Of that, Bt61 million worth of ads was for insurance, Bt57 million for personal products and Bt24 million for health services. [rc] © 2006 Nation Multimedia Group Seniors World Chronicle adds: Also read: The Bangkok Post report The greying of Thai Society