How the Holistic Health Trend Will Influence the Fresh Food Category

By Sally Lyons Wyatt

It should come as no surprise that the store perimeter has seen steady sales growth the past few years – 2.7 times greater than increases posted for the whole store. However, consumers are increasingly blurring the lines between self-care and eating healthy, making it more difficult for marketers to know where one activity ends and another begins.

Holistic health is the new consumer-based definition of health and wellness, and it requires companies to take a 360-degree view of all consumer activities that revolve around health. Growth in fresh foods will continue to trend upward as more consumers develop health-focused practices to enhance their lifestyle. CPG manufacturers and retailers that do not embrace this trend risk losing out, as it will continue to influence where consumers shop and what they purchase.

What is causing the shift toward holistic health?

According to the Kaiser Employer Health Benefits Survey, healthcare premiums for the average household have increased almost 80 percent since 2006. The majority of money spent on healthcare goes toward treating diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity. According to the CDC, approximately 90 percent of Americans consume too much sodium, leading to an increased risk of high blood pressure. It is estimated that by 2023, there will be more than 230 million reported cases of chronic diseases.

Self-health: lifestyle choices play a critical and costly role for consumers

The rising costs of healthcare and the increase in chronic diseases have pushed consumers to adopt a 360-degree approach to their health and self-care. For many consumers, the goal to both prevent and manage health issues can include over-the-counter (OTC) products, alternative medicine and services, natural products, prescription medication, dietary supplements and exercise.

Manufacturers and retailers engaged in fresh foods can deliver health benefits to a variety of consumers as they head to the store for bananas, spinach and other foods that are high in magnesium, calcium and potassium to counter their high blood pressure. With a more holistic approach to health, consumers are changing unhealthy behaviors and taking more control of their lifestyles through solutions they can find in the grocery store.

Embracing innovative holistic health programs

Recognizing consumers’ desire for more health-conscious options, some CPG manufacturers and retailers have already taken innovative steps to meet those needs. Nestlé and Samsung have partnered to see how they can work together to empower consumers to take control of their quality of life. Tyson created a venture fund to invest in companies developing breakthrough technologies, business models and products that can sustainably feed the growing population. At the same time, some retailers are creating healthy eating programs and online resources for consumers in search of meal plans, recipes and nutritional facts.

Opportunities for growth

As of 2017, more than 25 percent of Americans report that they have adopted holistic health activities. This gives CPG marketers the opportunity to capture the attention and wallets of the nearly 75 percent of the population that still need to be educated on the benefits of holistic health.

Brands and retailers can stay one step ahead of the competition by providing consumers with a seamless shopping experience that supports their holistic health goals. Continuing transparency efforts with signage and labels in the physical store are one way to educate consumers with health needs, and information on the health benefits of a product can be included with online descriptions. Together, manufacturers and retailers can find new ways to assist consumers with their personal health goals, including engaging with them online and offline, while also maximizing their own growth.

For more information on holistic health trends and opportunities, watch my webinar with FMI by clicking here.

And, contact me at to learn more about how your company can embrace the holistic health trend to drive sales now and create a foundation for future success.

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