Although sportswear continued to outperform overall apparel and footwear, 2022 results and the challenging environment ahead suggest more moderate growth over the next five years. In this scenario, consumers’ greater focus on health and wellness has special relevance for sportswear, given the close relation between sports and health.
Wellness set to be one of the megatrends shaping consumer behaviours to 2030
Although wellness has been a major trend for a while, the pandemic only increased its relevance as consumers felt more vulnerable; 18% of consumers experienced some health concern or issue in 2022, according to Euromonitor’s Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition Survey.
Nutrition, health, personal care and fitness industries are rethinking their offerings through a renewed lens, post-pandemic. Understanding how wellness impacts consumers’ approach to health and their lifestyles will be key, moving forward, to recognise the opportunities and innovate, shift from reactive to proactive strategies, disrupt before competitors and stay relevant in the long term.
61% of professionals consider “healthy living” one of the very or extremely influential trends impacting their industry sales in the next 12 months
Source: Euromonitor International Voice of the Industry: Lifestyles Survey 2022
The wellness consumer: Active, with a community mindset and digitally engaged
The percentage of consumers who participated in physical exercise at least weekly has increased in nine out of the top 10 countries for sportswear since 2019, according to Euromonitor’s Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition Survey 2022.
Sportswear companies and brands can benefit from this growing trend, but it is important for them to understand that for consumers who embrace wellness from a holistic point of view, physical activity is important, but it is only one component of their lifestyles.
For these consumers, wellness is how they engage with the world around them. A sense of community guides their actions, and they care about the planet. Furthermore, they are willing to do something about the things they care for.
39% of fitness enthusiasts share their opinion on social/political issues on social media, while 36% make their purchasing decisions based on brands/companies’ social and political beliefs
Source: Euromonitor International's Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey 2022
The pandemic boosted e-commerce sales to their highest levels in sportswear, reaching and remaining at 30% since 2020. Although consumers returned to stores as soon as a sense of normality was evident, they got used to the convenience of buying online. According to Euromonitor’s Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey, 6.4% of “fitness enthusiasts” buy apparel or shoes online almost daily in 2022, up from 4.2% in 2019.
Omnichannel is a must for sportswear brands, moving forward, but it is only one component of the opportunities of a digital transformation. Consumers are increasingly open to digital tools that help them achieve health and wellness goals as shown by the rise of health-tracking technologies over the last few years. According to Euromonitor’s Voice of the Consumer: Digital Survey, 26% of millennials own a wearable fitness tracking device in 2022. Opportunities lie ahead for sportswear brands accompanying their consumers on this digital journey to wellness.
Sports brands have a role to play in the consumer’s journey to wellness
Though the understanding of wellness can be different for different people, the pandemic boosted awareness without distinction across countries. Although physical activity is closely linked to wellness, there is still an important percentage of consumers who do not exercise regularly.
36% of global consumers do not engage in any type of physical activity on a weekly basis
Source: Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey 2022
Furthermore, the prevalence of insufficient physical activity among adults globally has increased by 10 percentage points since 2002, reaching 29% in 2022. Female prevalence is even higher, at 33% in 2022, 12 points higher than 20 years ago. Eight out of 10 of the top markets for sportswear saw an increase since 2017 confirming that, despite the willingness to change habits, disparity remains among certain consumer segments, calling for stakeholders to take further action.Sports brands have a role to play when it comes to promoting exercise, creating a real impact in the communities they serve through either their own initiatives or collaborating/partnering with local authorities or health organisations. Equally important is to adapt the message brands communicate, to include those looking for options beyond performance and competition and more interested in overall wellness.
Read our report Wellness as a Key Value Driver in Sportswear for more analysis on sportswear and wellness.