Forget yuppies, wuppies and dinkies, supermarket chain Tesco claims to have discovered a previously unidentified social group called the Fruets.
Fruets (Frugal Retired with Unlimited Enthusiasm for Technology) are a growing army of pensioners who are turning to the internet to stay in contact with younger relatives and hunt out shopping bargains, claims Tesco.
Following research into soaring sales of high-specification laptops on offer for around £1500, Tesco discovered that the majority of the devices had been bought by these so-called Fruets.
Not only are the Fruets keen to keep up with the latest technology, but they are also hunting for hardware at the right prices.
Tesco Computer manager Ian Sinclair said: "Our researchers have discovered how the 'silver surfers' of the 90s have formed an elite - a group that watches for the latest technology to hit specific price points. They're extremely well informed and move like lightening when the time is right.
"When we first introduced a state-of-the-art laptop with DVD for less than £1500, sales immediately soared in the traditional retirement heartlands on the south coast and seaside towns."
Sinclair said that the publicity surrounding online shopping and the savings that can made by buying over the internet has captured the imagination of the retired. "The Fruets are scanning the press and internet for news of upcoming bargains - then pounce the moment they hit the shelves," he said.
The research revealed that many of the Fruets were annoyed at the misconception that computer products are strictly for boffins, students and the self-employed, and of no benefit to the retired.
More than half of the pensioners interviewed by Tesco said they were taught basic computer skills by younger members of their families. They were also the most enthusiastic to learn more about the latest technology, and the most confident to make recommendations to their peers.
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