What’s Trending in the Health-and-Wellness Space?

Research points to consumer focus on sleep, mental health
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Grocery book display
As consumers look for guidance about mental health and how to de-stress, grocers can provide books and other resources on the topic.

Three years ago, at the dawn of the pandemic, health and wellness products focusing on immunity were brisk sellers. Today, the fallout from that crisis and other economic and geopolitical challenges is driving interest in other health and wellness categories, especially around mental health and self care.

Recent studies affirm that consumers are devoting part of their health spend on holistic health products. According to recent insights from The NPD Group, consumers cite work-life balance, the amount and quality of sleep and stress management as top health priorities right now.

[Read more: "Understanding Health-Related Food Certifications"]

Categories centered on such priorities, including sleep aids, are ripe for promotion. NPD’s latest research shows that nearly 80% of consumers said that the amount of sleep they get is a top factor in their overall well-being. Another report from Mordor Intelligence found that North America accounted for 42% of the global insomnia market last year.

Other products that address mental health are also poised for growth. For example, in a recent trend outlook for 2023, Natural Grocers called out omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA as top of mind among shoppers for optimizing their mental well-being.  

Retailers that sell books can also feature books that help consumers enhance their holistic health. NPD’s BookScan, which tracks physical and digital book sales in the United States, found that print unit sales of health and fitness books focused on longevity increased by 145% in the past year alone, while sales for print books focused on mental health have nearly tripled since 2019.

Darren Seifer, food and beverage analyst at NPD, said that retailers and brands can tap into people’s reshuffled interests when it comes to their well-being. “Consumers are actively creating their own dietary and mental health programs. Through self-education and readily available products, they are choosing the best aspects of diets and lifestyles that work for them,” he noted. “Food brands can play a role in helping consumers with their wellness goals by innovating and finding new ways for consumers to make better food choices that fill gaps in mental and physical health needs.”

Other research points to the opportunities to help consumers live their best life. A recent Healthy Minds monthly poll conducted for the American Psychiatric Association (APA) by Morning Consult found that 26% of consumers are experiencing more stress at the start of 2023, up from one in five (20%) last year and 37% rate their mental health as only fair or poor versus 31% last year.

Lakewood, Colo.-based Natural Grocers operates over 160 stores in 21 states. The company is No. 95 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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