Quantifying Megatrends: Wellness
In April 2021, Euromonitor ran a webinar Quantifying Megatrends: Expanding Your Portfolio in the Right Spaces, which discussed Euromonitor’s new tool for quantifying megatrends, and shared the methodology behind the data and the key findings. Wellness is a key megatrend identified by Euromonitor International’s network of industry, country, economic and consumer experts as having the furthest-reaching impact on industries and consumers in the future.
The pandemic accelerated all micro wellness-related trends with the primary aspects of health and wellness in its purest form gaining immediate priority. As we look towards a recovery, the more holistic sense of prevention and self-care will start settling back in, with much higher considerations of chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular health, respiratory diseases and diabetes, as well as gut health, alongside increasing consumer attention to emotional health.
Exploring wellness in the context of other megatrends reveals scope for investment in more experiential products and services, as well as the implementation of digitalisation and initiatives around social and environmental purpose. Indeed, in the context of a mass migration to digital the need for supporting wellness routines through technology is being reinforced, while supply chain and sourcing transparency has become a wellness pursuit in its own right.
Conversely, as the impact of the pandemic resurfaced, with a number of structural inequalities and heavily disrupted spending on Premiumisation, associations of wellness with wealth and the privileged will become more contentious. Alongside physical and emotional health, new dimensions of wellness will have to factor in the financial aspects involved and address disparities through greater accessibility and economic, ethnic and geographic inclusivity.
Mapping key investment opportunities
Dissecting further metrics behind the quantification of the wellness megatrend allows for a closer assessment of proportional spending patterns on particular wellness-aligned categories – from healthy nutrition and supplementation, to adoption of smart wearables and penetration of sleeping aids.
When comparing a selection of markets across the globe, the propensity for spending on dietary supplements vs health and wellness nutrition across a number of countries in Asia is clearly observed. In contrast, in sizeable wellness markets such as US and Canada, the demand for healthier foods and drinks, alongside sports nutrition are far more embedded and hold a higher proportion of overall spend on wellness. This highlights distinct opportunities for blurring functionality and cross-over benefits across certain product segments, as well as cross-border influences and synergies, and revenue expansion in less penetrated categories.
In the case of the US and other developed markets, sports nutrition, for example, is shifting towards a more holistic ‘protein plus’ proposition with multiple extra health benefits, such as gut health, immunity and mental wellbeing, and by broadening the appeal among a more diverse consumer base beyond the preserve of professional athletes. Similarly, health-positioned foods and beverages are getting a ‘sports’ makeover by incorporating protein to enhance credentials around energy support and physical resilience.
Opportunity spaces in Asian markets with higher tendency for supplementation and limited availability and lower spending on wellness food and beverages present themselves in more targeted product development in the area of fortified/functional nutrition, naturally healthy and better-for-you product offerings.
Boosting further penetration across developing markets
Unsurprisingly, some of the fastest growing markets for wellness per capita spend in the next five years are those where current spending is three to five times smaller in comparison to strongholds such as the US, Australia and the UK where average per capita expenditure lies in the range of USD35-60 per annum.
Rising awareness of the importance of holistic wellness to counteract the impact of busier and more indulgent lifestyles is fuelling demand for wellness propositions, particularly among younger consumer segments in countries such as China and India. Furthermore, the National Nutrition Plan (Year 2017 – 2030) issued by the State Council in China, alongside various governmental regulatory initiatives around the supply of more health-oriented ingredients and food fortification to address nutrient deficiencies, are boosting accessibility and product proliferation in the wellness space in the country.
Further investment in health-positioned nutrition, as well as immunity-boosting, energy, gut health, and mood-enhancing supplements across Asia should also exploit the vast opportunity in commercialising traditional healing concepts and ingredients which are already highly embedded in local cultures and have a strong resonance with consumers; Ayurvedic herbs and TCM ingredients and foods being a key case in point.
In broader terms, the desire for a more holistic approach to wellness and wider-encompassing need will result in further benefit blurring across both standalone and adjacent categories across the whole wellness spectrum, including healthy snacks and drinks, supplements and even ingestible beauty-positioned offerings.