From sales of activity trackers to the rise of ‘athleisure’, it’s clear that health and wellbeing is becoming more important to consumers than ever. In fact, the value of the UK’s health and wellness market grew from €22.6 billion (£20.3 billion) in 2013 to more than €26 billion (£23.4 billion) in 2018, Statista reports.
As social media and government campaigns shine even more light on wellbeing, the impact of this phenomenon is being felt across a wide range of industries. It should come as little surprise, then, that it is sparking a marketing trend.
We know many factors can impact our physical health, from diet to exercise, but there’s a growing understanding of the effect these can have on our mind too. While mindfulness and self-care might seem like buzzwords, it shows a shift in attitude towards health. It is no longer seen as just being about the body, it is the mind as well, and the two are intrinsically linked.
Of course, this has given rise to new sports nutrition brands and mindfulness apps. But other brands are realising how much consumers value their health. Individuals and brands alike need to acknowledge that wellbeing is not just skin-deep. It goes beyond how you look and what you eat – it penetrates deeper into our culture, society, and economics. For example, diets now align with values rather than fitness aspirations. This is evident through the recent spike in veganism, paleo and sugar-free diets. According to the BBC, there are now four times as many vegans in the UK as there were four years ago.
Some brands are already implementing this view of wellbeing into their marketing. Boots’ latest ad focuses on how customers want to feel, with the title ‘It’s Not Just How It Makes You Look’. It highlights the people rather than the products, and the importance of products making you feel good, as opposed to just looking good.
Wellness of brands
But it isn’t just in ads where brands need to show how they are incorporating the health and wellness culture. Consumers have more choice than ever before and, as a result, brand ethics are becoming increasingly important in decision-making. Social media has helped individuals be more educated when deciding what to buy.
As Adweek puts it: “For consumers, the rise of wellness culture means embracing a personal sense of integrated wellbeing while, for brands, wellness culture is a disruptive force, causing many companies to re-orient their values to reflect those of consumers.”
Brands therefore need to adopt wellbeing into their company culture. If they don’t start to adapt their views, their messages, and their products, consumers will find out. With a rise in apps providing consumers with the tools to find brands that align with their health and wellbeing aspirations, such as Think Dirty and Good on You, consumers quite literally have the power in their hands.
The danger of not adapting
With consumer preferences pivoting towards healthier options, big brands are suffering. According to the Market Mogul, fast food restaurants and carbonated drinks manufacturers have felt the pinch while health food sales were expected to reach $1 trillion last year. In late 2016, Coca-Cola revenue fell 7% – the company’s sixth consecutive yearly decline – due to falling demand.
Offering healthier alternatives that reflect the values and needs of their customers could help brands stand out in the market. An Obesity Society study in 2015 revealed that healthy menu items for children led to healthier ordering patterns. Chip orders decreased from 57% to 22%, while healthy main course orders rose from 3% to 46%. Brands can play an active role in supporting consumers with their health and wellbeing aspirations.
Linney has a wealth of experience in trends analysis across different sectors and uses insights to make a brand’s marketing as effective as possible. Speak to Linney about trends in your sector.