What’s Next in Wellness?

March 1, 2016

STAMFORD, Conn., (MARCH 1, 2016) – Global retail expert and Private Brand pioneer Daymon Worldwide just released its ‘What’s Next in Wellness” retail trends to help retailers successfully respond to the global consumer move toward better, broader wellness options.

“Today’s consumer has embraced wellness. The shakeout is evident in the new wellness-related technologies, products and services that cater to this knowledgeable, wellness-engaged consumer,” said Daymon Worldwide CEO Jim Holbrook. “If retailers haven’t yet made wellness a key priority, or there’s uncertainty about what’s truly meaningful to individual store shoppers, they need to know that competitors are not waiting and are looking to woo their customers away. Sustainable success requires that both retailers and suppliers truly understand the why behind the consumer’s wellness journey – at every stage – so that they can respond with relevant, exciting and authentic product solutions and services.”

According to Holbrook, Daymon Worldwide’s “What’s Next in Wellness” trends will help retailer and supplier partners to better track and respond to future consumer needs and preferences in 2016 and beyond.

Click below to view the What’s Next in Wellness video series.

1. Wellness Builds Community

Wellness choices are individual decisions, but wellness-oriented consumers actively seek community connections to validate those choices, and to learn about what’s next and what’s new. These thriving communities are built around shared beliefs and understanding about the social and environmental impacts of food production. They demand transparency in how food is farmed, what is or isn’t in the ingredient deck, plus where it comes from, how it’s transported and how it’s prepared. They also care about the health and welfare of those who grow this food. In short, wellness choices are individual actions applied to change the world, and to feed a growing population while sustaining the planet. The movement permeates all age groups, especially younger consumers, and is seen in fitness communities, local food networks and organizations dedicated to ethical and environmentally sustainable food production. Takeaway: Retailers need to actively seek engagement and partnership with these communities.

2. Organic Takes Center Stage

Organic is now mainstream, and is the fastest-growing segment of the global food industry. Almost all categories of conventional food are becoming available in organic versions as three out of four Americans are purchasers of organic products.

Retailers that are just now starting to think about their private brand organic offerings have already missed the first wave of organic growth. Those that were ahead of the trend are now expanding and extending their organic lines. The next phase of organic growth is in convenient and portable formats in fresh, foodservice, ‘grab and go’, and snack categories. New flavors for organic foods inspired by a diverse array of global, regional and local traditions and ingredients are showing up on shelves every month. Takeaway: Cost will increasingly become an industry-wide challenge as demand for organic food continues to outstrip production, and supplies remain tight.

3. Everything Old is New Again

We have come to equate “innovation” with “new.” But some of the hottest trends in wellness are significantly informed by the old; even the ancient. Consumers searching for beneficial health and wellness discoveries are finding a treasure trove of products and practices from the distant past. Long-dormant traditions are helping to
direct the quest for superfoods. Traditional cultures are the source of ancient grains like amaranth and teff. A look back in time has resurrected healthful kombucha teas, drinking vinegars and bone broth. Ancient wellness practices like yoga and Chinese medicine are also increasingly popular today. There is a powerful resurgence in
the practice of biodynamic agriculture, a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to chemical-free agriculture. Takeaway: The bar continues to rise, requiring that retailers work closely with forward-looking suppliers to deliver the wellness-inspired products and services consumers are embracing.

4. Accent on the Positive

For many years, a key purchase driver for wellness-aware consumers was framed in the negative: what isn’t in a particular food. Today, consumers crave the positive. The new emphasis is on naturally nutritious superfoods, seafood, sprouted grains and probiotic foods. Packaging highlights the positives, loudly and clearly. Retail messaging places greater emphasis on the end-benefits, like stress-busting, deep rest and even happiness itself. A more expansive approach even includes the social and global benefits from cleaner ingredient lists, such as reduced impact on the environment; ethically-sourced foods; or humanely-treated animals. Takeaway: Products that are free from artificial ingredients, and low in sodium and sugar are the new baseline. Retailers are now emphasizing the positive with their “free-from” foods’ wellness benefits.

5. Dejunking Through Culinary Technique

A cleaner label often results in blander food, but recent experience shows this tradeoff is not inevitable. Ingenious culinary techniques are coming to the rescue to mitigate taste losses from the elimination or reduction of sugar, salt and trans-fats. New textures enhance how food feels in the mouth, increasing satisfaction and satiation, such as oats in yogurt and nuts and seeds in snack bars. Roasting, smoking and charring techniques each lend their own savory essence to food.

For those who love the taste and texture of fried food, air frying does it with less fat or oil. Chefs are performing savory magic by adding new umami-rich ingredients such as mushrooms, truffles, fish stocks, fermented soy and seaweed. Culinary innovations are raising consumer expectations for the tastiness and pleasure of natural and organic foods. Takeaway: Retailers can bring these experiences to life for their customers, to delight and differentiate.

6. Digestive Health: The Gut Reaction

Consumers are thinking more than ever about what happens to their food — and their bodies — after the meal. The effect of food on our digestive system, and the effect of our digestion on our overall well-being, fundamentally influences our purchasing behavior. The digestive health trend recognizes that there is an
ecosystem of microorganisms in the human gut called the ‘microbiome’. The balance of the microbiome determines the quality of life itself, including immunity to disease, better absorption of nutrients, and even emotional balance. Conversely, our gut needs us to feed it nurturing foods. The new awareness of gut health has already given rise to the fast-growing probiotic and prebiotic supplement industry, and has renewed the popularity of foods with gut health benefits like yogurt, kefir, and ginger tea. Takeaway: Retailers should tailor their offerings to include gut-health product choices, including educational information about the history and benefit behind them.

7. Redefining Protein

While meat and dairy remain the primary sources of protein for most consumers, new alternatives are growing in popularity and availability. Plant-based proteins such as legumes, seeds and ancient grains are becoming more sustainable sources. Vegetable-centric meals now have a strong foothold in foodservice, and more vegan choices debut at retail almost daily. Takeaway: By offering alternative proteins across many categories, retailers can build on the protein trend in everyday snack and meal options.

“The fantastic thing about the growing global wellness movement is the opportunities it presents for retailers to play a key role in helping people to eat and live better while simultaneously securing their loyalty,” said Carl Jorgensen, Director, Global Consumer Strategy – Wellness, Daymon Worldwide. ”To be able to make a positive impact in the lives of your core customers while also building that unique trust relationship as partners in their wellness journey is a powerful differentiator.”

About Daymon Worldwide

Daymon Worldwide provides expert global retail strategies and services that make the cash register ring. We are global leaders in building successful private brands, and delivering high-impact experiential consumer marketing and in-store services. Our business network includes more than 100 major retailers and nearly 6,000 manufacturers in 50 countries. We currently handle more than 1,700 brands and approximately 165,000 individual SKUs globally. Founded in 1970, today we have more than 39,500 highly-trained and passionate associates worldwide, with offices on six continents. For more information, please visit www.daymon.com.