Current Trends in Health & Wellness and Their Impact on the Marketplace

If you think the health & wellness movement has become stagnant over the last few years — where have you been?

Things are changing rapidly and will continue to do so. And those changes are happening across the board.

Just look at all the wearable tech, such as Fitbit and all the smartphone apps out there people are using to strategically monitor their health.

Health & wellness minded people are influencing every imaginable industry from fast food, fine dining, grocery, beverage, tech, fashion — even the auto industry isn’t safe from these health and environmentally conscious consumers. Pretty soon they’ll have treadmills on the floorboards you can use while stopped in rush hour traffic — or seats that give you a vibration workout!Health and Wellness Trends 2016

1. Food Culture

Back in the day, consumers relied on people like Tony Little and the Body by Jake guy to tell them how to burn off all the extra Micky D’s and Hagen Daas they’d been gorging on all week. Now, with the Internet in full swing and the Acai Berry scandal dayz behind them, consumers understand that it’s more about what they put in their mouths that determines how they look and feel. They still know that exercise is important, but food is just as.

They’re also no longer interested in “management” of various health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. Smart consumers are looking for healthy food and beverage alternatives to comfort foods and fatty-sugary drinks. They want to ditch their cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes medications for good. This doesn’t bode well for businesses that can’t adapt their model toward a healthier future.

This means food retailers and manufacturers need to be abreast of what these folks are thinking and the information they’re spreading to their uniformed friends at a rate that was never possible before social, blogging and YouTube were part of the equation. Vegetarianism, low-carb Paleo, gluten-free, and keto diets are on the forefront circa 2016.

2. Push Button Tech Solutions to Health

Fast food is all about comfort and well, laziness. Consumers aren’t giving up on their lack of desire to change their eating-out habits; they just don’t want to shovel down a bunch of fat, sugar, or preservative-laden junk anymore. That doesn’t mean they don’t still want one-off solutions that take the effort out of planning a meal or workout, or counting the calories they eat and burn on a daily basis. The Fitbit is all the rage, whether you like it or not. And there are more calorie counting, exercise tracking, motivational and inspiring apps in the Google Play and iTunes stores than can be counted.

In line with wearable tech and health and wellness apps are the consumer’s desire to prevent disease and dysfunction. Gen Z have been brought up in a health-conscious world and they’re already topping the scales at over 23% of the U.S. population! If they can’t scan it or look it up online, they likely won’t buy it — food, drinks, clothing, hair and skincare products.

3. More in Touch With Their Gut

There’s a couple of key influencers to discuss here.

First, guys like Dave Asprey of the Bulletproof brand have made huge strides in educating the public about what goes on beneath the skin when it comes to our “gut”. Our stomach, intestines, bowels — all have their own delicate ecosystem that needs to be maintained in order to keep the brain and body working and in balance. Modern consumers understand this and will be looking to their gut when making food, beverage and health food supplements. Product developer and retailers all need to be just as knowledgeable to compete.

This can extend far past just what consumers consume through their mouth though. Renters and home buyers want assurances that there isn’t any mold, bacteria or viral issues “floating” around in the places they inhabit.

4. Everything Else

The sugar and gluten-free trend has been building steam for awhile. Other trends that are emerging can have a huge impact on the rest of the produce and animal products being sold in the market. Trends like only eating grass-fed animals and the refusal to eat genetically-modified vegetables and fruits will continue to gain momentum as the next few years move forward.

Cage and cruelty-free meat is another topic that isn’t going away anytime soon. Essentially, while health & wellness consumers continue to increase their tech knowledge and expectations from that industry; they’re also moving their food and manufacturing methods back in time. To a time where food was pure, animals weren’t raised using antibiotics and steroids, and one didn’t have to read labels to discern the healthfulness of the things they consumed.

Jessica Alba’s Honest Company and their motto about using only safe, sustainable and environmentally-responsible products for babies is another trend to watch for. Not just for babies though. Everyone and their mother is now aware that many of the household cleaning products, clothing and skincare products that have been pushed on them for years are dangerous to health.

Share your thoughts on health & wellness products and their impact on the current and emerging markets…


Main Image Credit: Mike Vance/Flickr