Shoppers may have fallen into less-healthy eating and wellness practices during the pandemic, but those wellness values are still embedded, and shoppers are getting back on track, our latest How America Shops® report shows. Here are a few tips for how brands and retailers should be marketing WELL now.
The Pandemic Changed WELLness Habits, But Not For Long
Distracted by the health crisis, disrupted schedules and the housebound lifestyles it required, the percentage of shoppers leading healthy lives dropped during the pandemic as many took comfort in “splurge” foods and quick-to-prepare meals.
Here’s how healthy habits shifted:
- The great national habit of drinking water declined – 52% said they drink a lot of water every day to stay healthy, compared with 62% in 2018.
- 42% are still eating less fast food, but that’s a decline of 12 percentage points from 2018.
- 37% are limiting sweets, also a decline of 12 percentage points.
- 15% continue to buy organic and “free-from” foods, down from nearly 20% in 2018.
Retailers Should be Poised to Market these Goods NOW
We believe shoppers are in fact already returning to their healthy habits, and that retailers and brands should be marketing WELL benefits in ways that underscore what people want now – a strong immune system and to feel good about their self-care.
- Millennials are the big opportunity. This group embraces WELLness more than any other generation, with 46% believing healthier choices are worth the paying more for. The WELL opportunity: Fewer Millennials feel financially secure (-11 ppts vs others), which means fewer can afford the WELL choices they want. Creating affordable WELLness will win your place with Millennials.
- Mental health is a growth category. Particularly among the young. Nearly half of Gen Z shoppers are coping with anxiety. That’s significantly more than others. The result is more treat headaches and turn to online apps to feel better. The WELL opportunity: Show you care about mental stress, for everyone, and target remedies to Gen Z.
- Boomers are (more) ready for WELL tech. The number of all consumers using telehealth services for physical conditions rose to 37% during the pandemic, from 11% before. But Boomers represented the biggest gains – 25% consulted with physicians online during the pandemic. The WELL opportunity: Boomers were forced to, or chose to, embrace technology during Covid-19. Now that they see how much easier it can make tasks, be sure to include tech options in all areas of telehealth, from pharmacy consultations to home delivery of prescriptions.
Rx: There’s No Mistaking the Findings
Shoppers are thirsting to get back to normal and that includes embracing WELLness as an everyday part of their lives. Like in the pre-pandemic days. This is an a highly receptive market that has already proven valuable. Retailers and brands can reset, and redefine, the future of WELL now.