Being healthy isn’t a new trend. After all, no one wants to be unhealthy. How consumers approach their health, however, is distinctly different from how they did in the not-too-distant past. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that taking care of your health simply meant keeping your regularly scheduled doctor’s visits, minding your diet and getting some exercise. While these basic principles still serve as a loose overarching framework for general health and wellness, they fall well short of what the average American strives for today.
Given the more comprehensive health and wellness aspirations of today, most consumers are more interested in staying out of the doctor’s office than they are about scheduling their next physical. That’s because they have all the tools they need to monitor, maintain and improve their health on their own. The explosion of information and easy access to it puts knowledge within a finger’s reach, the internet of things lets us track our health with every step we take (or don’t take), and label transparency provides clear insight into what’s in—and not in—the foods and supplements we eat. With the abundance of resources available to them, consumers are using nutrition, information and fitness to meet their health goals in personal, meaningful ways that annual check-ups never could.
Sales growth for manufacturers and retailers has been sluggish over the past few years. And when we look at prospects for 2017, we’re forecasting that sales will grow just 0.9%. So what does this mean heading into a new year and beyond? It means that companies need to find ways to differentiate themselves and find growth. And for many brands, health and wellness is just what the doctor ordered.