As consumers strive to live more healthful lifestyles, their purchasing behaviors are rapidly changing, driving every buying decision. And, more than ever, consumers want – and expect –retailers and manufacturers to assist them on their health and wellness journey inside the store, according to a white paper released by Global Market Development Center (GMDC), Colorado Springs, Colo.

The white paper, “Next Practices: The Health & Wellness Consumer, Helping Trading Partners Shape the Future…Today,” offers market insights, trends shaping buying decisions and barriers and solutions for retailers and manufacturers to address in order to best serve consumers.

“As consumers around the globe search for better, healthier and smarter solutions that fit their lifestyle, the motivation for brands and stores to meet these needs means modeling an experience they cannot achieve with e-com,” says Patrick Spear, president and CEO.

Within the $3.4 trillion global wellness market, $1 trillion annually is spent on beauty and anti-aging, $574 billion is spent on healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss and $433 billion is spent on preventative and personalized health.

The trends shaping the new consumer-driven health and wellness movement include:

  • Exercising three days a week on average.
  • 63% are trying to eat healthier, and 44% eat more at home.
  • 45% read product labels to make healthier choices.
  • 8 in 10 consumers use vitamins and supplements to enhance their wellness.
  • 48% of consumers shop local for natural/organic.
  • 45.7 million consumers use their phone to search for health and wellness solutions.
  • Baby Boomers spend 42% more on health and wellness than Millennials.
  • 1 in 2 Americans are shifting from healthcare to self-care as a result of rising costs.

“Health and wellness is a foundational element in everyone’s daily lives,” says Mark Mechelse, director of research, industry insights and communications. “For consumers to change behavior, they must have the motive, means and messages to do so. That is the essence of opportunity for collaboration between trading partners.”

GMDC’s leading-edge research also identifies four barriers consumers face as they make purchasing decisions, and provides “next practice” solutions to create seamless trips in the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle (the four Cs). These include:

Convenience – Make it easy.
Confusion – Make it simple.
Commitment – Make it mine.
Cost – Make it valuable.

“By offering the right products, mix and merchandising strategies, consumers feel the difference in stores and can spend less time hunting for products that pertain to their health and wellness motives,” says Jeff Rehling, marketing practitioner and lead author of the white paper.