Blog > May 2017 > Harnessing the Power of Self-Care to Drive Sustainable Growth
5/4/2017 9:08:59 AM
By Amruta Gupta and Bob Sanders



Supplements taken? Morning protein shake made? Fitbit charged and ready to go?

With rising health care costs and economic uncertainty, these items are becoming the norm as Americans are more motivated than ever to take their health and wellness into their own hands. Self-care behaviors have become pervasive, as they grow and transcend multiple industries. This disruptive change in consumer behavior has resulted in a massive $400 billion self-care market.

Self-care is essentially a set of empowerment actions that include exercise and diet, and the use of over-the-counter products and dietary supplements. It also includes the use of alternative medicine, diagnostic and motivational devices, personal care/beauty products and the practice of good hygiene. This comprehensive approach to health and wellness has resulted in a blurring of lines between categories, leading to an expanded and complex competitive landscape.

To win, CPG manufacturers must accurately and broadly define the competitive arena for long-term success. CPG retailers, too, can take advantage of this trend to drive loyalty and basket rings by offering their shoppers an individualized, solution-oriented shopping experience.

Activating Against Consumer Sentiment

For consumers, health and wellness typically involves a 360-degree approach. They use a variety of activities and products to help take care of themselves. And these healthy behaviors and beliefs are on the rise.

Consider this: Most consumers now trust that over-the-counter products and supplements are safe, and 22 percent are taking more supplements now than they did a year ago. Thirty-seven percent of Americans think food is just as powerful as medicine, and they expect transparency from food companies regarding ingredients’ origins and usefulness and product sustainability.

This increased consumer focus on health and wellness is also coming with a demand for a more personalized experience in store and with products. In the context of self-care, personalization is about “ME” care. Consumers are demanding solutions specific to their unique needs and wants, depending on factors such as their age, gender, genetics, lifestyle, and what medical conditions they suffer from. These factors are the driving force behind shoppers’ buying decisions.

To help manufacturers and retailers more effectively leverage the self-care trend, IRI has developed a proprietary self-care segmentation. We’ve found that the self-care market consists of eight consumer segments, based on their motivations, their self-care behaviors, demographics and purchase behavior. These segments include Proactive Naturalists, Active Health Managers, Awakened and Dedicated, Unconcerned Realists, Healthy Passives, Preventive Moderates, Advice Seekers and Doctor, Doctor! These distinct consumer segments help CPG brands and retailers target consumers based on their specific orientation and motivations toward self-care.

What’s Next?

For marketers to win in this growing industry, they must: 

1) Recognize that self-care will become even more pervasive with rising health care costs, economic instability and shifting demographics.

2) Understand that category lines will continue to blur, offering marked growth opportunities as marketers redefine the competitive set.

3) Have a holistic solution-oriented mindset that focuses on innovation.

4) Realize that personalization is here to stay and will disrupt the industry. Manufacturers and retailers will need to customize offerings to appeal to the distinct needs of a shifting demographic landscape.

5) Monitor the evolution of new CPG products and solutions as new trends emerge.

6) Accept that self-care for consumers is about taking care of themselves from the inside and outside as well as what surrounds them.  

Are you and your brand/s ready to disrupt the $400 billion self-care market?

If you’d like to learn more about IRI’s self-care segmentation, contact