Healthy living used to be defined pretty simply: eat your vegetables before dessert, avoid things that are not good for you (when you can), and keep yourself and your personal space clean. Today, in 2018, living a healthy life means so much more.
Here are ten trends we’ve been watching both as observers of our world and, importantly, as partners with our clients in an effort to understand what products and services consumers want us to provide.
Eating Healthy Foods: Not only are more consumers reading labels and shopping the perimeter of the store, they’re also taking the time to find out where their food was sourced and whether the company that makes that food uses ethical and sustainable business practices.
Gut Health: Yogurt has been popular for years, but focus on the benefits of Probiotics and Prebiotics has expanded way beyond yogurt. We’ve seen a marked rise in mainstream use of fermented foods like kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh, some pickles, kimchi and miso.
Natural Beauty Products: Beauty products made from natural ingredients are now able to deliver coverage and bold colors as well as their non-natural counterparts. New benefits, of increasing importance, include protection against pollution, UV rays and blue light from electronics. And it’s not just women who use beauty products anymore; men are in the game now too.
Protecting Our Planet: Environmental consciousness is no longer “on the fringe”. Consumer concern about how what we do affects our environment has permeated every facet of life – from green packaging to serving products grown at local farms at area restaurants and even schools.
Sleep: Technology has entered the bedroom; as more people become aware of the importance of sleep in maintaining health, they look for mattresses and pillows that will provide the most restful sleep, use sleep monitors to measure how well-rested they really are, and download apps that can do things such as telling you the best time to go to sleep/wake up or provide mindfulness meditations to promote sleepiness.
Fitness: Most everyone knows the enormous benefits of exercise, both mental and physical, so workout clothing, gear and exercise equipment continue to be big business. But the emergence of ever-more-powerful wearable items that do everything from tracking steps to measuring heart rate to much more have become the new must-have accessories, and they’ve changed the game.
Self-Care: Women, in particular, have historically been hesitant to spend too much time on self-care lest they be seen as “self-centered”. The new focus on healthy living has changed this paradigm for many, who now realize that they cannot give what they don’t have. So yoga and Zumba classes are booming, and spa services are considered a necessary way to maintain mental strength.
Our Pets: Consumers are just as adamant about feeding their non-human best friends natural, healthy foods as they are about eating healthy themselves. Pet supplements are also a growing business, as more people see them as a way for pets to get vitamins and nutrients they need to live long, healthy lives.
Brain Boosting Products: Supplements such as fish oil and Ginko Biloba are making their way into more homes than ever, as people strive for optimal mental acuity throughout their lives. Beyond supplements, there are an endless array of apps and programs that promise to keep our minds sharp.
Travel to Unplug: Not surprisingly, more and more consumers are yearning for time to disconnect from the world and reconnect with themselves and their loved ones. Travel used to be about having external adventures, now it’s often about turning inward.
We don’t want to just live longer, we want to live BETTER, so our focus on mental, physical and spiritual health is likely to continue growing. Companies can no longer just create products and services that “give people what they want”. They must, instead, become valued lifestyle partners to the consumers they wish to serve.