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Wellness Thought leaders reveal the underlying drivers, trends and disruptors behind the evolution of wellness to pinpoint white spaces and inform product innovation strategies, from nutrition to technology.

Megatrends: Wellness – Mapping Key Opportunities in Asia Pacific

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Evolving priorities around self-care and prevention are fuelling demand for wellness across the world, with Asia Pacific being no exception. Wellness has re-established itself as a key commercial pivot for business, and while many companies are already benefiting from more health-centred consumers, a shift in certain socioeconomic, behavioural and consumption patterns will require a reassessment of portfolios and positioning through a renewed lens.


Source: Megatrends: Wellness Quantification Model, 2020

Wellness Megatrend, Market Size in 2020

Despite the overall Asia Pacific region being characterised by very low expenditure on wellness, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea are among the top 10 countries globally in terms of per capita spending. Asia Pacific has a strong and deeply embedded culture of traditional healing and holistic wellness, offering strong potential for commercialising both local and international wellness-oriented concepts in the region.


Source: Megatrends: Wellness Quantification Model, 2020

The propensity to spend on wellness and growth in the region has been supported by all age groups, with a higher proportion of younger generations participating in health-related behaviours such as physical exercise, stress-reduction activities and taking dietary supplements. Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey 2021 indicates that on average, more millennials tend to participate in these health-related behaviours on an everyday basis.


Source: Voice of The Consumer: Lifestyles Survey 2021

Relevant health promotion and disease prevention programmes at a national scale have been key factors supporting healthy life expectancy, with a high proportion of the population living a longer life in good health when compared with the rest of the world or regions with a high life expectancy, such as Western Europe. For example, Healthy Hong Kong 2025, launched by Hong Kong’s Department of Health, has resulted in the successful implementation of initiatives such as Move for Health in 2018, with 21% of consumers reporting participating in physical exercise in 2021. Similarly, Singapore’s War on Diabetes initiative was launched in 2016 and has resulted in the adoption of healthier diets, regular exercise, and reduced tobacco and alcohol consumption, with the prevalence of diabetes declining significantly since 2017.

By exploring the key metrics that constitute and shape the wellness megatrend in Asia Pacific, our quantification model reveals that the major drivers are largely within vitamins and dietary supplements and health-positioned foods and beverages, in contrast to sizeable Western markets like the US, where key proxies are much more proportionally balanced (eg, higher proportions for sports nutrition and weight management).


Source: Megatrends: Wellness Quantification Model, 2020

Upon further assessment of the two largest proxies (VDS and HW), the propensity for spending on dietary supplements vs healthy nutrition across a number of countries is clearly observed. This highlights distinct opportunities for blurring functionality and benefits across both segments, as well synergies and revenue expansion in less penetrated categories, such as sports nutrition.

Notable prospects present themselves in more targeted product development in the areas of fortified/functional, naturally healthy and better-for-you product offerings by leveraging ingredients, benefits and positioning across the VDS space.

As the pandemic heightened the importance of physical exercise as means to maintaining good physical and emotional health and advanced the adoption of technology and digitalisation, demand for smart wearables in the region is also likely to gain further traction.

Interestingly, evolving consumer priorities around both physical and mental health are fuelling demand for category convergence and cross-over benefits, with the number of products that have a preventative health feature identifiable by their claim, ingredient, positioning, and/or functionality increasing.


Source: Euromonitor International Product Claims and Positioning

With eight of the top 10 fastest-growing global markets for wellness per capita spending in the next five years located in Asia Pacific, investments in dietary supplements, sports nutrition and healthy food and beverages are likely to become more prevalent, as are prospects for commercialising traditional healing concepts deeply embedded in the region.

Asia Pacific’s distinctly diverse demographic profile provides unique scope for innovation, which reinforces the benefits of targeting age-related conditions and accessibility for the elderly, and digitalisation, technology and less traditional product formats for the young.

To capitalise on Asia Pacific’s growing market for wellness, products blending features and/or the benefits of two or more categories offer great opportunities for growth, as they allow business to disrupt the status quo on shelves, whilst appealing to a broader consumer base.

High value perceptions of traditional medicine and healing offer potential for further commercialisation and premiumisation in this space through the development of more sophisticated concepts by both local and international player.

Wellness Megatrend Per Capita Growth By Market


Source: Megatrends Wellness Quantification Model, 2020

For further insight, read our article, Megatrends: Quantifying Wellness.

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