We are seeing a merging of worlds across digital and wholesale, grocery retail and convenience, food service and HoReCa, health, beauty, food and drink, to name a few.
As more and more start-ups than ever come to the market, largely due to the rise of ‘enjoyable wellness’, consumers are paying more attention to what they put on and in their bodies when thinking about health, beauty and food and drink. This seismic change is forcing brand owners to think differently and react to this new emotional and physical need state.
While sustainability, ethically-sourced ingredients, plastic and packaging reduction, carbon footprint, anti-slavery, palm oils, waste reduction, organic and free from are just some of the latest buzzwords, they're also topics that brands need to confront. After all, the customer is king and healthier choices are now at the forefront of the shopper’s minds. Retailers need to understand how important this shift is for consumers; it's their responsibility to stay ahead of the curve, choose the right products from suppliers and provide customers with wellness brands.
Brands need to be ready
This new thinking applies to the workplace too. I recently attended the Grocery Aid Diversity and Inclusion conference in London where a selection of representatives from all grocery functions shared the same message, that “Inclusion starts with ‘I'." This resonated with me because we all have our part to play; I believe the changing behaviour of consumers comes from a much deeper place. They're questioning the sort of life they desire and what examples they want to set for their family, including how they want to be seen. They're understanding their values and working out what sort of legacy they want to leave behind as well as what choices they make are all questions marketers need to consider.
We all ask ourselves these sorts of questions in one way or another. How we respond to them can affect our wellbeing, both physically and mentally. We work in diverse organisations with multicultural differences, tastes, opinions and needs. Brands and businesses that adopt these values early are most likely to succeed in a culture that celebrates diversity, because then they know what their consumers actually want and they can respond. Combined with the environmental challenges we're currently facing, it's important to examine how brands support action on climate change. We need to endeavour to ethically source products, recycle, improve our life span and mental health through healthy eating for the benefit of those around us as well for ourselves. What makes us feel good is allowing for this thought change.
For consumers, enjoyable wellness is a mindset. It's about knowing why we're making healthier and smarter choices, embracing small change and noticing how products are sourced - learning about the manufacturing process, its carbon footprint, the ingredient list, the on-pack claims, the brand's story and more importantly, its nutritional value.
Look at Tony’s Chocolonely, a brand built entirely on ending slavery. I still eat other chocolate, but I feel good knowing that in doing so, I am contributing to the abolishment of slavery and child labour. Enjoying products in this way gives consumers a sense of satisfaction, and will contribute to the way they make their purchase decisions. As an FMCG expert I ask myself whether a brand promotes enjoyable wellness. Younger audiences are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious, making them a key target for ethical marketers. Also there are financial benefits to it too. According to a Nielsen poll, 73% of millennials are willing to spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable or socially conscious brand.
Brand owners need to embrace this new role. They need to create great brands that connect and resonate with their consumers, while sharing their story. With the number of platforms to market on is only increasing further, brands still need to rely on authenticity to drive their success and appeal to shoppers. Promoting wellness through honesty works. It's an easy recipe for attracting loyal followers.
Annette D’Abreo, Managing director at Ceuta Healthcare, part of Ceuta Group.