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The development of the wellness consumer

In this article, we are going to look at how some of the most notable consumer shifts over recent years have impacted the wellness industry.

When it comes to wellness, consumers expect the brands and services they’re buying into, to provide them with control, convenience, transparency, and personalisation.

The shift in values and behaviours of the wellness consumer

But beyond these core desires, shifts in values and behaviours can also play a huge part in the way individuals think about and engage with wellness.

In general, there are four factors that influence consumer behaviour –– cultural, social, personal, and psychological.

These states ebb and flow, influenced by global events, shared attitudes and beliefs, access to information, and many other cultural and economic factors. Consumer buying behaviour follows suit.

Let’s explore how some of the most notable consumer shifts over recent years have impacted the wellness industry.

2014-2015

As wellness began to cement itself as an aspirational lifestyle choice, consumers turned to wellness brands to offer alternatives to less healthy social activities. Boutique fitness studios began blending exercise classes with nightclub-style lighting and music, wellness social clubs launched, and plant-based cocktails started to emerge.

The rise of social media and the sharing of wellness-related content led to a spike in interest around healthy eating, fitness, and other wellness pursuits, as consumers turned to bloggers and Instagrammers to help them take ownership of their personal health.

And, as the clean-eating trend entered mainstream consciousness, informed consumers demonstrated their commitment to the cause with a willingness to pay extra for packaged food without any artificial ingredients or GMOs [1].

2016-2017

Looking beyond the idea of personal wellbeing, a new generation of conscious consumers, driven by increased awareness around the health of the planet, were demanding that wellness brands demonstrate purpose over (or at least alongside) profit. Within this landscape wellness brands quickly discovered that sustainability could be a driver of growth.

Elsewhere, a meteoric rise in consumers prioritising experiences over possessions saw a huge raft of wellness festivals, popups, and travel concepts coming to market. And, a growing rejection of existing approaches towards wellness that were often one-dimensional in nature, and unsustainable in practice, fuelled a move towards a more balanced, reflective and enjoyable form of wellness.

2018-2019

As individuals searched for new pathways to help them connect with their sense of self, and others around them, alternative wellness rituals embedded in mysticism and spirituality made their way into mainstream consciousness as a way of constructing purpose and a more intentional way of life.

Recognition grew around the interdependency between health and wellness, with the once distinctly separate industries starting to merge to form a more holistic approach to health.

And, thanks to high-profile campaigns and outspoken celebrities opening up the conversation around mental health, it cemented itself as one of the major pillars of consumers’ relationships with wellness.

2020-2021

With the Coronavirus pandemic altering peoples’ values, behaviours and lifestyles irrevocably, it hugely also impacted the way consumers engage with wellness. The mass migration to digital – and from that, the emergence of what’s been widely coined as the ‘new digital wellness consumer’ – has been one of the most well-documented fallouts.

Elsewhere, supercharged by a desire for resilience and immunity, the gradual convergence of health and wellness has now taken on new relevance. This has accelerated a shift towards science-backed and credible brands.

As consumers increasingly prioritise health and wellness as the new ‘non-negotiables’ underpinning the customer journey and experience, moving forward, every business will need to clarify how they can become a part of this new health-focused ecosystem.

If you’d like to learn more about building a future in the wellness industry, check out the online course from Welltodo, below.

References

[1] Top 6 Insights from the 2015 Global Consumer Trends Survey

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