Global market research company, Euromonitor International, released a new white paper summarising the findings of their 2019 Health and Nutrition Survey.
With over 20,000 respondents across 20 core markets around the world, the report provides consumer insight into everyday and long-term health behaviours and attitudes, with specific focus on mental well-being, dietary restrictions, sports nutrition as well as vitamins and supplements. As a company which strives to stay on top of the trends within our marketplace HTC Health recognise the need to understand consumer perceptions and habits, in order to be able to formulate the best competitive proposition for our customers.
The landscape of health and nutrition is constantly changing with consumers looking to improve their well-being in a different way than they used to. As new trends emerge and consumers focus more on the holistic approach to healthcare, brands and companies must adopt a similar view when developing their products and services and look for innovative solutions addressing the evolving trends and disruptive changes within the industry.
Mental well-being key to feeling healthy
In line with many other publications coming to light recently, Euromonitor’s report reveals a dramatic shift in attention to mental well-being. 65% of the Survey respondents agree that the meaning of ‘Being healthy’ has more to do with the state of mental welfare rather than with avoiding illnesses or staying in top physical form, which traditionally would have been associated with overall level of good health.
Amrutha Shridhar, resaerch consultant at Euromonitor, explains that “mental well-being encompasses several areas, whether it is feeling relaxed, calm, confident or self-assured, but most importantly consumers are looking to spend time on themselves.”, which is perfectly in line with the recent trend of “self-care” gathering many promoters.
Stress and anxiety seems to be an increasingly worrying issue. Japan, Italy and Poland ranked as the top 3 countries with 20% or more respondents reflecting on high or extreme stress levels, due to the rise of social media, fast and on-the-go lifestyle, alongside fluctuating political and environmental landscapes. It’s becoming clear that consumers are making active changes in their daily behaviours with the aim to lead more balanced lifestyles and maintain mental health.
With these shifting attitudes, it’s important that brands adjust their strategies and products to fit into these lifestyle changes, if they want to remain relevant and grow a loyal consumer base.
Addressing the new breed of consumers
According to the report, Multivitamins remain the most popular form of health supplements in both Europe and North America and staying in the top 3 in the other big markets. Multivitamin supplements encompass a variety of health-boosting ingredients in one tablet, making it easy-to-use and efficient to take. They are thought to provide overall health and wellness, mainly by supporting immune system and providing energy.
Even though majority of respondents claim to prefer getting their nutrients from a balanced diet rather than from behind a pharmacy counter, they also seek convenience in getting the right vitamins and minerals that supplements provide, mainly as a form of prevention rather than treatment. The trend to focus on nutritious diets is mostly popular in Europe, where the level of trust in supplements is relatively low with only just 40% of respondents agreeing they were safe to consume, compared to nearly 70% in North America.
As well as revealing a general lack of trust in health supplements among Europeans, the report also shows where the consumers go for advice on health and nutrition. Fortunately, the health experts (doctors and other medical professionals) top the charts, with most respondents pointing at them as the most reliable source of health-related information. Friends and family, as well as dietitians and nutritionists, also enjoy a relatively high degree of trust, with brand ads, social media influencers and celebrity endorsements ranking the lowest.
With vegan trend clearly going main-stream, it’s important to understand the driving forces behind purchasing decisions. Diet choices are not only dictated by food intolerance or personal health anymore. While it might be true for products boasting sugar-free or high-protein claims, as the report demonstrates, more and more consumers look for products that help them support wider issues, such as environmental changes, animal welfare or local community engagement, which makes it essential for companies to highlight these aspects when engaging with this new breed of consumers.
Sports nutrition to support balanced lifestyle
Fitness trends continue to grow, with more and more consumers seeking a wider range of physical activities to combat their sedentary lifestyles. Alongside mental well-being and healthy eating, exercise is becoming a vital part of leading a balanced lifestyle. The report highlights the connection between physical activity and promoting person’s fitness image via social media, encouraging companies to strengthen their presence in this channel if they want to reach these consumers and in the long-term become part of their regular fitness routine.
To resonate with this active consumer group, the brands need to make their whole strategy social-media-friendly, starting with an eye-catching packaging to collaboration with gyms and personal trainers. It’s also important to understand why specific groups reach for sports nutrition, with men focusing more on strength and muscle tone and women looking for weight-loss aids. According to the report, both genders are consuming sports nutrition products to hydrate, recover and increase endurance.
The balanced lifestyle and diets consumers are prioritising, are also reflected in the most sought-after sports nutrition features, with the convenience of ready-to-drink shakes and energy bars, but without compromising on ingredients, keeping their diets clean and supporting their fitness regime in a healthy way.
As the report’s author points out: “The overall movement towards living a balanced lifestyle and focusing on health-care with a holistic view is rooted in the idea that making these changes can prevent illnesses and ailments in the future.” The new, pro-active consumer would rather spend time now on enhancing their diet, improving their fitness level or looking after their mental well-being, rather than seek treatment for issues at a later stage, when the conditions have already developed. Therefore, it’s important for brands to stress the preventative aspect in their communication and make it clear how the health supplements fit with the holistic approach to health.
If you’re interested in reading the full report on Top Consumer Trends Impacting Health and Nutrition, you can download it by clicking here.