Health and wellness have been top-of-mind thoughts for many of us over the last 18 months. Of course, we’ve all focused on trying to keep ourselves and our families safe and protected from COVID-19 and other health threats. But we’ve also been thinking about making ourselves healthier from within. We want to eat our greens, cut out sugar, and exercise more. We broadly know what we need to do to become the heathiest version of ourselves. However, we often still struggle to meet our health goals.

This was a strong and consistent theme in our third annual health and wellness survey. High prices, insufficient availability, and the product not tasting good or working well can turn us off healthy choices. In our research we found that consumers generally have a strong understanding across the six pillars of health and wellness – sleep, nutrition, exercise, selfcare, social connectedness, and mindfulness. All this contributes to very strong demand for healthier and more natural products. However, most people are unable to execute on the health and wellness goals they set for themselves. Healthy products still only occupy an average of 21% of consumer wallets.

This presents a great opportunity for consumer products companies. I joined my colleagues Andy Searle and Tony Reynolds at the Consumer Goods Forum earlier in the summer to talk about what industry executives should do now to both capitalize on this opportunity and give consumer what they are looking for. You can watch our full discussion here, with a quick summary of the recommendations we made below:

Take a more holistic approach to healthier products: Companies have focused a lot of effort on reformulations and alternative ingredients. They also need to ensure availability and product performance. Consumers are no longer accepting trade-offs in better-for-you products. 

Strike the right balance between M&A and internal innovation: Focus M&A on “upstart” brands that have unique attributes and marketplace positioning. Focus internal innovation on core capabilities and proprietary assets. Use consumer insights to drive your “mix” for new product development. 

Be authentic: Consumers can detect when a company’s products and marketing messages are fully aligned – and when they are not. Transparency is key. Companies need to start with their stated purpose and make sure their health-and-wellness oriented offerings deliver on their promises.

Health-and-wellness was once a fad -- that became a trend – and is now a major driver of growth across the consumer products landscape. Consumers are demanding more and better products in this space, with attributes, availability, and price points that make them easy choices. Producers need to put health-and-wellness at the center of their growth strategies and execution to capture this demand and avoid getting left behind.