NMI Says Americans Seek Instant Gratification in Health/Wellness

HARLEYSVILLE, Pa. -- The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) based here released expanded details on the escalating immediacy of health and wellness information, one of the key trends the organization identified as having a significant impact on the health and wellness marketplace.

The concept of "immediacy" and "instant gratification" has increased among the American population over the last few years, according to NMI managing partner Steve French. "The immediacy mindset of multiple industries, from technology connectedness to same-day furniture delivery to 'reality/makeover' television programming, has migrated to the health and wellness industry. Whether the subject is treating health issues, improving appearance, losing weight or other wellness-related desires for instant results, the trends are clear -- American consumers want it now."

This trend is exemplified in why consumers are maintaining a healthy lifestyle, French said, noting that more than 58 percent of Americans cite improving appearance as a factor -- up almost 10 percent since 2001. The desire for immediate gratification is also demonstrated in the increase of consumers using prescription drugs, said French, adding that the number of Americans treating high cholesterol with prescription drugs rose 21 percent from 2002, with many other increases across other classes of pharmaceuticals.

According to NMI's Health and Wellness Trends Database (HWTD), health issues ranging from high cholesterol to asthma and acid reflux/heartburn have seen a decrease in terms of prevention (a gradual activity), with a respective increase in consumers currently managing/treating these issues using prescription drugs (an immediate activity).

Using acid reflux/heartburn as an example, NMI found:
-Concern with preventing acid reflux/heartburn decreased 8 percent from 2002;
-The percentage of consumers who are currently treating or managing this condition increased 4 percent from 2002;
-10 percent more consumers are using prescription drugs than in 2002 for acid reflux/heartburn.

The pattern indicates consumers want to go for the "quick fix" offered by such products as prescription drugs in the treatment of their conditions, rather than focusing on changing their lifestyle over a period of time to solve their health issues, French said. "This immediacy trend drives many consumer behavior patterns related to seizing the day -- not living for tomorrow. Furthermore, this affects consumer product acquisition patterns, leads to internalized prioritization conflicts, and has many other strategic marketplace impacts."

For more information on the HWTD, contact NMI at http://www.nmisolutions.com/hwtd.html
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