Holistic health incorporates different aspects of overall health – diet, physical activity, mental health, emotional and spiritual well-being, and others. Of course, physical health, how a person feels body-wise, and mental and emotional health as part of holistic wellness have become even more important in recent years.
Consumers tell us they are pursuing a healthier lifestyle because they want to feel well, age well, and enjoy physical health. How are consumers doing this? By eating a healthy, nutritious diet, staying hydrated, and getting regular physical activity. Many also take supplements, led by consumers in Canada, the US, and Brazil.
Holistic Wellness Incorporates Healthy Aging
We asked consumers around the world about the importance of healthy aging, and a solid majority said that healthy aging is moderately, very, or extremely important. Not surprisingly, half told us that physical activity and maintaining an active mind are essential for healthy aging. Their actions follow their words, with almost half saying they exercise regularly and high percentages reporting improving sleeping patterns, managing their weight, eating a balanced diet, and seeking mental stimulation. Despite widespread media coverage of specialized nutrition and personalized nutrition, however, few consumers reported looking for alternative therapy or medication for healthy aging.
Food and Health are Partners
The connection between food and health remains front and center in the minds of consumers. When asked where they think food and beverage manufacturers should concentrate their innovation efforts, consumers worldwide said that health benefit is the most important factor. Subsets of consumers also tell us that they will pay more for functional ingredients, especially those that boost physical health, along with personalized nutrition products and products for mental health. Weight loss motivates diet change for nearly one-third of consumers, and three-quarters of global respondents say vitamins and supplements are essential for their health.
Several individual food components have a strong association with health. On the positive side, nearly half of respondents globally say they are most interested in protein and fiber as functional ingredients. Fiber is vital to gut health and has been a foundation for holistic health for decades. Nutrients that consumers are limiting include sugar, fats and oils, and salt and sodium.
Health Claims Support Holistic Health
Consumers globally use health claims in their quest for holistic health. They value information and feel confident in their decision-making around healthy food choices. Product launches support their interest — hydration claims and electrolyte claims are increasing, products for better sleep show strong growth, gut health claims focus on specific ingredients and benefits, and immune health claims continue to be strong, especially on supplements.
Trends Point Toward Continued Focus on Health
Health is a common thread that runs through Innova’s global, macro consumer, and food and beverage trends. In pursuit of health and happiness, consumers strive to live healthier, feel well, and eat well. Product manufacturers are responding with new product launches that support holistic health.
Personalized nutrition is opening the door to customization and health solutions tailored to their individual needs and health concerns. Genetic testing and health tracking are able to inform consumers regarding the optimal nutrition strategies for their individual profiles and which products to incorporate into their diets. AI and other technology tools are expected to be able to merge personal diagnostics with nutrition advice, lifestyle recommendations, and specific brands of food, beverages, and supplements for holistic health and health improvement. The emerging food as medicine movement empowers health professionals to prescribe food and beverage as part of a person’s medical plan. Products with health and nutrition benefits are likely to compete for their place in the prescription system and on the plate.
This article is based on our report, “Embracing Balance: Unlocking the Power of Global Holistic Health & Wellness.”
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