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Discovering silver market segments in cooking courses: The case of Basque Culinary Center

Category: Journal Articles


Balderas-Cejudo, A., Alava, J. I., & Zurbitu-Aldama, I. (2022). Discovering silver market segments in cooking courses: The case of Basque Culinary Center. International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science28, 100496.


United Nations has confirmed that older populations who are aged 65 years and over now make up the fastest growing age group in the world. Virtually all countries are anticipating an increase in the percentage of older persons in their future population forecasts (United Nations, 2019). These demographic changes have driven the emergence of a large and growing segment of the consumer market whose needs still remain largely unknown and unmet (European Summit on Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing, 2015).

An ageing population and the increasing participation of seniors in tourism and leisure activities have prompted marketers, tourism providers and governments in many developed regions of the world to identify older persons as a fast-growing emerging market.

Nevertheless, limited studies have been carried out on cooking, and cooking workshops or lessons for older adults. This paper focuses on profile of the students in cooking classes and, specifically the senior and presenior students at the “Fans program” at Basque Culinary Center, a pioneering academic institution whose main aim is higher education, research, innovation and promotion of gastronomy and nutrition. The purpose of this study is twofold: (1) to explore the growing interest of older persons in experiential cooking lessons and (2) to provide key issues regarding the interest of older adults as a growing market.

Following the National Poll of Healthy Eating at the University of Michigan, in recent years, cooking at home has emerged as a key strategy for healthy eating that many older adults already engage in frequently and report as a source of enjoyment Findings generated from this study will help to better understand the importance of cooking and healthy eating linked to older adults. A deeper comprehension on older adults and the benefits of cooking and keeping learning will shed some light regarding gastronomy and older persons and may contribute gastronomy through intergenerational recipe sharing.

Hopefully this will lead to the development of innovative services so as to create effective programs tailored to meet the needs and wants of the senior market segment towards a better active and healthy ageing.

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