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#ConsumerCorner: Consumer Health and Wellness Trends for 2024

Health and Wellness trends
By Rebecca Togher
30 January 2024
Consumer Industries
Food & Drink/FMCG
Travel, Tourism & Leisure

DIY beauty regimes, at home fitness routines and the prioritisation of healthier alternatives are just a few of the trends we saw dominate the health and wellness market in 2023.

But just a month into the new year, consumers are deciding to return to their old ways and realising maybe nothing beats the use of professional equipment and classes at the gym or the trained services of others to keep up our beauty regimes.

The shift is being helped by the continual growth of social media marketing and the rise of influencers, in addition to new research that suggests the public see the mental and physical benefits of using professional services can be greater than when we do it ourselves. Consumers appear to see it as an “investment” rather than a “cost”.

So, who is driving these changes and what can brands learn from it?

Firstly, it is noticeable that the shift in this £1.8 trillion global wellness market is being driven by Gen Z and Millennial consumers.

They are shelling out much more to improve their physical and mental health, appearance, and fitness routines over those in later generations.

Last year, the priority was natural ingredients and searching for cost-effective solutions, which helped to hoist the DIY/at-home trend. Across both the beauty and internal health branches of the market, consumers were reaching for the box hair dye, press on nails, and green tea to help subsidise their usual go-to’s.

But now consumers are forking out and going back to their old ways to maximise their end result. They are returning to their usual hairdresser or nail artist to gain the dream look they’re going for, and shoppers are spending the time looking into different products and ingredients that work for them, rather than rummaging through the kitchen cupboards for an at-home remedy.

But what changed so fast? Are we much more aware of the chemicals and products we’re putting into our bodies, or are brands just shouting louder about the benefits of the ingredients contained in their products, making us want to learn more?

As we know, social media has an astronomical influence over smart-phone users across the world, and the health and wellness market is found at the forefront of this. Over on TikTok, the hashtags #wellness and #health have a combined total of 8.9m videos linked to them, showing that users everywhere are focusing on improving their overall health.

Frequent TikTok users will know that apple cider vinegar gummies took the internet by storm last year. With benefits of reducing cholesterol, aiding with weight loss and supporting immune systems, this product was flying off the shelves. Now, these gummies are old news, and we’re seeing an influx of super green powders being pushed online.

This new and trendy supplement contains a range of different ingredients, such as blended fruits and vegetables, probiotics, fibres, and vitamins, and is marketed as a quick and easy way to get all your key nutrients into one glass. As this trend has taken off across social media, several fitness and health brands have jumped at the chance to make sales from this by creating their own blend of greens, trying to go above the rest by creating a solution that comes with all the benefits, all while tasting good.

After the global pandemic closed gyms and fitness centres across the world, we were forced to make do with following YouTube videos in our living rooms and investing in dumbbells, yoga mats and skipping ropes to maintain our usual lifestyles from the comfort of our homes.

The public are returning to their local gyms to hit a new personal best and attain a proper workout with the best equipment. Covering strength, cardio and resistance training, gym-goers are finding that returning to the gym has helped to improve not only their physical health, but also their mental health. A survey conducted by ukactive showed that 78% of fitness fanatics found that going to the gym regularly had a greater impact on improving their mental health and wellbeing.

Putting mental health and appearance at the top of their priority list for 2024, consumers are putting in much more time, money and effort to achieve optimum results across the board.

Brands that can follow the trends early enough stand the best chance of winning over business, especially at a time when consumers may be spending less, but are still willing to invest when they see they are getting a return.