Age UK launches new scheme to aid inclusive designs

29 March 2012

Age UK has launched an accreditation scheme to encourage UK businesses to design products and packaging suited to the growing market of older consumers. The scheme is available to companies involved in its Engage Business Network. Businesses can apply for the Engage Business Network Accreditation kitemark for its products and services at a cost of £1,500 per application, with the money raised going back into charitable work.Eligible products and services can come from any area and could range from food packaging to customer service and in-store experience. According to the charity, it aims to ensure that the design process has taken into account the needs and lifestyles of as many people as possible, making sure the older consumer is valued in order to improve later life.
The number of people in the UK aged over 60 is also set to rise by 50% in the next 25 years. Age UK said this means that businesses need to make sure their products and services are relevant and suitable for this market to stay ahead of the competition.
According to an Age UK/TNS (Nov ‘10) poll nearly half of over 65s can struggle to take lids or caps off products such as plastic milk bottles or jars because of the packaging and over half have difficulty reading the instructions on food products as the print is too small (54%) (PackagingNews, 27 March 2012).