The Changing Landscape of Health and Wellness

Consumers are redefining status by health and wellness measurements instead of monetary wealth. Spiritual, emotional, and physical wealth are the new standards. In addition, this is not a mindset of a select few who shop at specialty health food stores. Consumer interest in health and wellness has gone mainstream.

Pizza Hut—the world’s largest pizza restaurant chain—recently introduced “The Natural,” a new pizza for health-conscious consumers that features a multi-grain crust, organic tomato sauce, and preservative-free toppings. Pizza Hut’s CMO said the new pie was in response to an emerging consumer need—the desire to eat pizza and still remain healthy.

Mainstream marketers like Pizza Hut are recognizing societal cues and providing new options that fulfill the consumer need of making healthier choices—even if those choices are only marginally healthier.

The trend continues outside the restaurant category. In 2007, the Natural Marketing Institute reported that spending on vitamins and other supplements reached $21.7 million (+7%); natural foods and beverages, $19 billion (+4%); natural and organic personal care products, $7.8 billion, (+29%). (Source: MediaPost Marketing Daily, 7/8/08)

These examples, combined with data that shows the increasing importance of health—91% of Americans would prefer to be viewed as someone who is healthy rather than wealthy; 80% of Americans say that being emotionally healthy is a major symbol of success—indicate a major shift in the priorities of our culture. (Source: Business Wire, 1/28/08)

As health and wellness continue to become more accessible and important to the masses, it’s very possible that tangible luxury goods’ relevance will decline. Companies that understand the changing consumer landscape and offer health and wellness goods or services will appeal to these new sensibilities and become increasingly relevant with consumers.

– Contributed by Robyn Gelfand