Consumers are taking their health increasingly seriously, seeing it as a long-term commitment and exploring various methods of creating a healthier lifestyle.
Approaches to Health Holistic Wellbeing
Physical wellbeing and mental wellbeing are top considerations for consumers when asked about holistic wellbeing. Over 40% of global consumers say they are eating healthy and nutritious diets to live healthier lives, with their second top-action being partaking in regular exercise in the past twelve months. Taking care and managing mental health has become a more central concern, with one-third of consumers globally engaging in this aspect of health in the past year and a greater percentage are doing this compared to watching their weight. While physical and mental wellbeing are top of mind for consumers when thinking about health, 2 in 5 consumers regard spiritual and social well-being a part of a holistic approach.
Consumers are taking different approaches to healthy eating, with key routes consisting of natural nutrition, a limiting approach, functional eating, and supplementing. Consumers seem to consider positive nutrition to be at least as important as a limiting approach, with 1 in 3 looking to food and beverage to support proper body functioning. ‘Fresh’ is first place when seeking to eat healthily. A limiting or reduction approach is more prevalent when watching weight, with limiting snacking being of greater importance in Western countries. Supplementation is also a more popular method in North America and the UK.
More than 1 in 3 global consumers indicate physical health concerns as being a strong driver for them to pursue a healthy lifestyle, with increasing importance with age. Contrastingly, younger consumers, think Generation Z and Millennials, mention the desire to look good and maintaining their sports and fitness goals as stronger drivers to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Over 2 in 5 members from both generations said they would exercise more and improve their sleep habits when asked about the top method to achieve physical health. The third most important method is diet and nutrition, with 1 in 3 consumers having made changes in the past 12 months in pursuit of improved physical health.
The top methods to improve mental and emotional wellbeing, according to consumers, are getting more sleep and increasing their physical exercise. Currently, a greater percentage of consumers look at their diet and nutrition to help their physical health (35%) rather than their mental wellbeing (25%), indicating an opportunity for food and beverage. Younger consumers aged 18-34 are presently more tuned into the possibility of food and beverage as a means to improve to their mood and mental focus.
When thinking about the social aspects of health, consumers aged 18 to 24 are most engaged, with 1 in 4 seeing positive social relationships as part of their strategy for healthy living. Spending time with family members is the primary source of pleasure and reward, globally, with dining in with family and friends being an essential social outlet. When looking to benefit society or their community, all age groups consistently support local as their main social and ethical-related action. Two-fifths of consumers claim they make an effort to support local growers, producers, and merchants.
Consumers’ top actions also include efforts that support the wellbeing of the environment. 45% of consumers claim to minimize food waste, while 30% aims to eat and shop in moderation, and 29% choose to eat seasonally appropriate food. Health is one of three top drivers for taking conscious actions around reducing food waste, choosing locally grown, and being more self-sufficient.
Eating a healthy, nutritious diet is the primary approach to living healthily according to consumers. They have varying diet and eating strategies that each point in the direction of choosing fresh, natural, and nutritious foods. A functional diet approach in which food and beverage is consumed to support how the body functions is developing globally, though it is notably more prominent in Indonesia, India, and Mexico.
Key growth opportunities for functional diets lie in aging well, improving cardiovascular health, brain health and in engaging consumers of 55 years and higher, who desire these outcomes but are currently less likely to purchase.
Living healthy goes beyond physical needs, reaching towards mental, emotional, social, and spiritual wellbeing. There are opportunities for multi-dimensional solutions that encompass a broader spectrum of what it means to live healthily.
This article is based on our insider report, “Global Approaches to Health.” If you are interested in reading this report, feel free to request a demo.
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