“Focused health” puts the consumer at the centre of their wellness journey. Instead of taking a broad view of one’s overall health, the focus is around specific health goals such as mental well-being, physical fitness, nutrition, as well as certain medical conditions.
Recently we’ve been faced with formidable challenges with the stats certainly painting an emotive picture. With 49% of US consumers feeling stressed, 38% feeling anxious, a further 22% mentally exhausted and 20% dealing with the effects of burnout1. Conscious of the negative implications of these factors and exacerbated by an unbalanced lifestyle, many concerned consumers are paying greater attention and taking this more personalised “focused health” approach.
For this reason, consumers’ lifestyles and daily routines are adjusting as they check in with their mental and physical health at particular moments in their lives. Searching for healthier products that cater to a specific need. It’s this aspect of “focused health” that helps consumers make progress as individuals as they come to understand and address said needs, whether mental or physical, in any given consumption moment. Indicative of this, a recent report revealed that 58% of global consumers say, how well the product/service is tailored to my needs and personality, “often and always” has the greatest influence on product choice1.
In terms of physical health, on the one hand, there has been an increased interest in products that provide functional benefits such as muscle recovery, as well as protective ingredients that promote longevity and help reduce the risk of disease. While on the other, the importance of mental health and related cognitive functions playing a role, with consumers seeking out products that support their individual brain health as well as emotional well-being. By way of example and in line with this thinking, a recent study revealed that 33% of US consumers indicated that “energy-boosting” is an “essential/key driver” when deciding which food/drinks to purchase, and 32% said, “aiding relaxation or improving my mood” is key2.
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Generational differences play a role in shaping consumer needs and preferences when it comes to their health. For millennials and Gen Z mental health and stress management is a key focus area, together with what the experience offers and the novelty that a product brings. While Gen X and baby boomers, prioritise health and wellbeing tied to ageing, longevity, and cognitive function.
The effect “focused health” is having on individuals is mirrored in the innovation we see in the industry, in support of taking this healthy lifestyle approach.
For example, a relaxation gum was launched by Dente Medical Solutions that contains matcha, lemon balm, buckthorn, and vitamin B to promote relaxation and mental wellbeing – also available as an energy gum. So too, Pokémon Sleep a smartphone app that works with the cult-favourite Pokémon GO – allows you to measure your sleep data. The app features an island where one can interact with other Pokémon’s that have similar sleep styles.
In the Middle East and Africa 18% of consumers when asked “how do you see your lifestyle evolving over the next 3 months?” responded saying that they will start “taking time out to rest and relax”3. Cognisant of this and in line with the “focused health” approach, initiatives in the MEA region to support communities when it comes to mental health, work-life balance and a reduction in stress levels are becoming more evident. Illustrated by way of example in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with an initiative to introduce a range of mandatory benefit enhancements that focus on preventative care and mental health coverage.
Taking a closer look at consumer behaviour in the region, when asked “how well the product/ service is tailored to my needs and personality” 64% of Middle East and African consumers responded, “often and always”.
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