Robert Welch Designs survey reveals shopping habits of middle-aged consumers

A study of 2,000 adults conducted by Robert Welch Designs has revealed the top 50 signs of middle age, which include being happy to spend money on carpets rather than clothes, and finally ditching flatpack furniture in favour of something a little more upmarket.

Those closer to the age of 50 will also book more holidays a year after realising life is too short, and spend time scouring home and garden stores for fun.

For 52% of those polled, being middle-aged simply means someone is more likely to know what they want out of life. Just over four in 10 say they have become more concerned about the upkeep of their property and its contents as they have got older. For some, this means planning major renovations, caring about matching cushions and investing in better quality cookware, cutlery and tableware. In fact, knowing the names of different tableware ranges is also a sign that someone is reaching the mid-forty mark.

A Robert Welch Designs spokesperson said: “Being middle-aged is an era to celebrate and for many it is simply a time in our lives when we finally know who we are. This age group is an exciting one: people start to take a more sensible approach to life, whether that’s with their own health and fitness, or looking after their home.”

Many of those quizzed believe reaching middle-aged means you take a vested interest in looking good – from spending money on good food to joining a gym. Having a fridge packed with vegetables, shopping in the butchers and greengrocers, and taking up CrossFit or cycling are all commonly associated with someone who is more mature. Understanding which wines accompany which foods and going back to school to prove you’re never too old to learn also feature on the list.

The spokesperson concluded: “The survey results indicate that those who are middle-aged are making intelligent choices, and spending their money wisely. It seems that middle age today is all about investment – investing time in things we really like to do, investing in nice things for the house, and investing in ways to enrich our lives.”



  1. You start to notice people at work aren’t ‘your age’, and could potentially be your children
  2. You suffer fools less than you did previously
  3. You start checking your face and body for grey hairs and wrinkles
  4. You visit the opticians after realising you perhaps do need glasses after all
  5. You realise you’re older than most of the authors, actors and musicians you like
  6. You start considering a cruise holiday
  7. You’re happy to spend big money on things you know will last, like a garden fence or new flooring in your home
  8. You accept you’re now a dress size bigger and there’s nothing you can do about it
  9. You love scouring home and garden stores
  10. You feel you know more about politics than ever before
  11. You know exactly what you like to listen to on the radio, and won’t tolerate ‘new bands’
  12. You book more holidays a year than ever before after realising life is too short
  13. You’d rather spend money on home décor than anything else
  14. You join a gym to fight middle-aged spread
  15. You believe that spending money on changing the carpets is more important than spending money on clothes
  16. At work you care less about speaking your mind and exerting your authority
  17. When you leave the house, you are super prepared for every eventuality
  18. You take a vested interest in plants’ names and growing your own vegetables
  19. You spend more on good food than opting for cheaper own-brands
  20. You store all your energy for a big night out on the weekend, because you can’t handle it in the week
  21. You become conflicted about whether to try and dress to match modern trends, or dress in what just feels comfortable
  22. You ask for homewares for your birthday/Christmas gifts
  23. You accept that a speed awareness course is better than three points on your licence
  24. You know exactly what takeaways/dinner you like, and order the same every time
  25. You convince yourself that the finer things in life are worth the investment
  26. You start planning major renovations to the home
  27. Your fridge is packed with vegetables
  28. You suddenly change your hair colour or get a new haircut to create a ‘new you’
  29. You know what wine accompanies which foods
  30. You try to get on with your children’s friends and ‘be cool’ in front of them
  31. You are obsessed with matching soft furnishings such as cushions
  32. You start getting hangovers all over again
  33. You invest in better quality cookware to upgrade your cooking experience
  34. You invest in a new motor such as a sports car or an impressive motor home
  35. You will only go to a festival if you are ‘glamping’
  36. You take up cycling/CrossFit in a bid to get fit all over again
  37. You suddenly start shopping in the butchers and greengrocers
  38. You start getting advice on what to wear from younger colleagues
  39. You start investing in Botox or eyelash extensions to detract attention from the lines on your face
  40. You decide to go back to school/train in something new to prove you’re not too old to learn
  41. You know the names of different tableware ranges
  42. You suddenly start hosting loads of dinner parties
  43. You revisit your old haunts such as nightclubs and late night bars
  44. You start drinking smoothies and cutting out bread, pizza and cakes
  45. You start living your life on Facebook, documenting every event
  46. You decide it’s time to get rid of all your flatpack furniture
  47. You won’t eat with a knife and fork set that doesn’t match
  48. You buy expensive cutlery or tableware in a bid to one-up your peers
  49. You enter a sporting race/event that you would have entered some 20 years ago, to show you still can
  50. You make more of an effort to go out clubbing before you get ‘too old’

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