It’s no surprise that many Americans aspire to live healthier lives. And while being healthy isn’t a new trend, the way consumers manage their health is distinctly different from times past. Going to regularly scheduled doctor’s visits, choosing careful diets and exercising throughout the week are still useful tactics in managing a healthy lifestyle, but many Americans today are much more mindful of other factors when it comes to managing their health, such as health care costs and alternative channels to seek care. And fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturers and retailers should be taking note.
So what sparked this shift? In recent years, health and wellness has elevated in importance for countless consumers, largely due to a convergence of factors, including rising health care costs and an aging population. Consumer health risks are also evolving. As Americans are living longer, chronic diseases are also on the rise, meaning consumers are looking to new, affordable and convenient formats to address their ailments, such as in-store retail clinics.
While rising costs and rising ailments may seem like doom and gloom, there is some light at the end of the tunnel for manufacturers and retailers to capitalize on the growing health and wellness trends among Americans.
RISING HEALTH CARE COSTS
In addition to being proactive about their health, U.S. consumers are growing increasingly aware of the rising costs associated with traditional health care. According to the World Bank, U.S. health care costs will amount to 20% of U.S. GDP by 2025 (up from 17.5% in 2014), the highest in the world among industrialized countries.
A recent Nielsen Strategic Health Perspectives survey found that health care costs remain the top concern for consumers. While 19% of consumers said they’d like to see improved quality of health care, 43% said reducing out-of-pocket expenses is most important.
As a result of rising health care costs, consumers are making adjustments in several ways. In 2015, 27% of Americans asked their doctor or pharmacist about less expensive alternatives to prescriptions.
IN-STORE RETAIL CLINICS
Retailers have a huge opportunity to enrich consumer lives by supporting the medical needs that influence their in-store purchasing. Many retailers across all channels have already seized the opportunity by using health and wellness as a growth strategy, focusing on initiatives like offering health foods in the center of the store and opening in-store retail clinics.
In addition to offering consumers an alternative to heading to the traditional doctor’s office, retailers that understand the influence that trips to retail clinics have on additional in-store purchases will be best positioned to capitalize on additional spend potential. Nielsen’s Retail Health Care Services as Total Growth Opportunity survey found that households with children, Hispanics and Millennials visited in-store retail clinics more frequently than the U.S. average.
By keeping abreast of the strategies consumers are using to stay fit and healthy—at every life stage—manufacturers and retailers can do much more than simply help them meet their goals. They can become partners with them at every step of their journey.
For additional insights, download Nielsen’s Capitalizing on Health and Wellness Trends report.
The insights from this article were derived from:
- Nielsen Strategic Health Perspectives, 2016
- Nielsen’s Retail Health Care Services as Total Growth Opportunity