Moments of Truth for Consumer-Driven Health & Wellness

The rise of the consumer is happening today at the pace of technology advancement, and sometimes even exceeding it. Consumers view health as wealth in the new economy, and easy access to information, is fueling that attitude.

As a person who strives to eat and live well, you probably feel that your health is more important than your job or income, right? Because being healthy means living a longer life and ultimately experiencing more with friends and family. It’s a sign that cultural and societal values are reaching deeper into the core of what really matters in life.

Most people think that way. And, since nothing comes easy, there are some barriers we are faced with in order to reach our personal health and wellness goals, such as:

  • Busy lifestyles
  • Ever-rising costs, especially in healthcare
  • Finding affordable and natural food options
  • Managing chronic conditions

Although chronic conditions are not yet a reality for younger generations, they are dealing with the knowledge and experience of looking at what their parents are dealing with. Chronic conditions are top of mind for boomers. In fact, statistics show that 7 out of 10 deaths in the US are due to chronic illness.

Most consumers today are more optimistic about the healthcare system than ever before, but it has not lessened the fact that more and more consumers are taking matters into their own hands.

Healthcare = Selfcare

The retailers who are winning today know that well. Suppliers who are working collaboratively with retailers to address health and wellness spending are innovating products that retailers need in order to keep the shopper coming back.

This trend is showing up in the numbers we see coming out of the healthcare system. Visits to Urgent Care clinics are at par with a growing population, while trips to the family physician are declining.

Here’s the real throw down affecting the system — people know that taking care of their own health and wellness is very costly. So the best way to be healthy is to help themselves.

Retail has the opportunity to cash in. Selfcare is translating into a 7% increase usage of Retail Clinics since 2014, and is outpacing Urgent Care visits.

It boils down to major shifts in consumer behavior and mindset — are we as businesses being driven by the lens of the consumer?

Shopper awareness is illuminating the way.

A multi-dimensional approach to health and wellness buying is needed inside the store. The retailer who engages shoppers for their total healthcare needs, and understands today’s trends, will win. This means not only knowing how the shopper shops, but also realizing how fresh food, pharmacy, provider and hospitals reducing patient stays, are changing the way consumers think and spend.

A consumers’ journey to health and wellness inside brick and mortar is about information and discovery that can influence. Households are becoming more aware of their personal fitness and food intake which is causing high-expectations for stores to offer a broader variety of products across the health-seeking spectrum. This means eating styles and understanding of nutrition is driving what is being put into the basket.

For example: Looking at product packaging takes precedent for consumers before filling the basket. According to Nielsen, more than 1/3 of all consumers are looking for keywords on a label that they cannot pronounce, signifying something chemical-based is inside, and if found, they leave it on the shelf. The best labeling on products that make it into the basket are: Fresh, Reduced Calories, Natural, Lightly Sweetened and Low In Sugar. The words that don’t have real meaning, or give mixed impressions are Health and Light/Lite.

Don’t just rethink. Be progressive.

Consumers that are on the bleeding edge of health and wellness are progressive, and understanding those shoppers, is the key to unlocking retail next practices. Consumers that are most proactive and future focused want retailers and suppliers to guide them easily to the hard-to-find products that can help them acheive new levels of personal health and wellness. Knowing where to provide the right signage and engagement during shopper journeys inside the store is imperative. Know where those shoppers spend time in your store, deliver messaging about GMOs, biodynamic farming, and other sustainable diet habits, and a retailer will deepen customer loyalty within niche and mainstream lifestyles. As this shopper-base grows and retailers measure the results, the store experience will be forever altered.

Want to learn more?

Watch the recent infocast on GMDCconnect.org by clicking the link below…

…or visit the GMDC content library to download a retail next practice report featuring category insights that matter to your business.

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