The growing role of mobility in wellbeing management

Learn more about nutrition’s impact on lifelong mobility

21 Jul 2022

4 min

#Global #Insights #All Categories #Fast Facts #Active Lifestyle #Nutrition

The World Health Organisation has indicated that mobility is a key component driving healthy ageing success and maintaining mobility is a core concern seniors face. Consumers have a growing understanding that healthy ageing is about how different parts of our body work together, and mobility is an area that more consumers are focusing on to drive overall wellbeing, and they are looking for products to address it.

1 in 5

consumers believe that their mobility health has deteriorated over the last 12 months, linked to everyday lifestyle choices.  


This indicates that over the coming years, the market need for mobility products is something that will grow alongside the ageing population, as a greater number of people suffer from mobility related health problems.

Consumers recognise that mobility can influence wider areas of health.

Healthy tendons, ligaments, muscles and bones help us maintain balance, strength and flexibility – all of which are important for mobility. While you might think it should be obvious, nutrition sometimes flies under the radar as a core element of mobility, often over-shadowed by exercise. However, nutrition is also critical for mobility success long-term - alongside physical activity.

Percentage of consumers who believe poor mobility can impact the following.

Fast Facts July Figure 2

Consumers associate worsening mobility to poor dietary habits and seek to improve this.

We know that one of the key elements to quality of life as we age, is being able to maintain independence and mobility for as long as possible. To best support mobility throughout your life and improve outcomes as you age, including dairy in your diet is important from youth right through into your golden years. 

Mobility is important for several reasons, ranging from quality of life and independence to reducing pressure on the social systems supporting an ageing population.

Percentage of consumers who mentioned mobility has worsened due to poor dietary habits.

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Facts Facts July China


Maximising protein intake is deemed central to improving mobility

Animal food sources of protein (such as dairy) tend to be of higher quality compared to plant sources (with soy being the exception).

Therefore, we can get by with smaller serving sizes of higher quality protein-rich foods and ingredients such as dairy foods, whey, milk proteins, eggs and soy compared to lower quality sources of protein such as beans and lentils.

Dairy foods have a multifaceted role in helping support and maintain mobility throughout a person’s life span. Dairy foods are an easy, accessible source of high-quality protein to build strength and help avoid sarcopenia. Dairy foods also provide calcium and other bone building nutrients. For instance, dairy milk provides 13 essential nutrients including protein, calcium, vitamin D, potassium and magnesium-all important nutrients our bodies need to stay heathy and mobile throughout the lifespan.

In order to maintain quality of life throughout the lifespan and independence into older age, physical activity and nutrition are critical. 

Percentage of consumers who associate protein as an ingredient that helps aid mobility issues.

Fast Facts July Figure 4



Consumers want to stay fit and active later in life – partly to minimise the risk of illness and partly to break the stereotype associated with ageing. There is an increasing awareness that in order to achieve this, consumers need to be making lifestyle choices to address their mobility.

Addressing mobility health should not be positioned as an obligation but instead, as a lifestyle choice that enables a fun and active lifestyle. In previous generations a loss of mobility may be considered an inevitable cost of ageing, but with the rise in proactive health awareness, consumers are becoming more aware that they have more influence on how fast their health changes with age than they realised.

Improving dietary habits, for example, through inclusion of proteins and calcium, is a strategy that consumers are pursuing, and brands can get in behind. It is also important to back these mobility claims with scientific evidence communicated in a consumerfriendly way that can help gain consumer trust and improve credibility.

Despite the growing need for addressing mobility, consumers identified a lack of available products as the top challenge in maintaining good mobility as they age.

These trends highlights untapped opportunities for brands for a generation with high spending power, and with a growing ageing population there is a need for more products to be developed in this space.

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This article was based on the July edition of NZMP Fast Facts.

  • [1] FMCG GURUS: Mobility survey 2022.

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited and its group members involved in the manufacture or sale of NZMP branded products (‘Fonterra’) has provided this ‘NZMP Fast Facts’ for informational purposes only. It does not constitute recommendations or advice for the purposes of making financial decisions regarding trading in dairy products or commodities, or dealing in financial instruments relating to dairy commodities. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of reproducing and interpreting such information, no warranty or representation of such is made and Fonterra shall have no liability in respect of any reliance placed on such information in the formulation of any business decision.

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