The Wellness Opportunity Is Bigger Than You Think

You can’t read through an issue of HomeWorld Business without encountering references to health and wellness.

Housewares, health and wellness are connected like never before. Promoting healthful living is as integral to kitchenware marketing today as it is to home comfort marketing.

Lifestyle Convergence

Read through the annual Health & Wellness Report in the June 25 issue. You’ll find analyses on such countertop kitchen appliances as blenders, rice cookers and food dehydrators sharing top billing with such traditional health-aligned categories as air cleaners, home spa appliances and water filtration. There’s also a profile on anti-fatigue mats, a relatively recent housewares addition emblematic of the lifestyle convergence of wellness, performance and style taking place across the industry.

This special annual supplement originated several years ago as the Home Health Care Report, and it conveyed the more clinical tone of health care product marketing at the time in the housewares business. It underscored the escalating opportunity for retailers and suppliers to spotlight such then-emergent products as body fat scales and blood pressure monitors as household accessories for an aging population confronting increasing health care costs.

The subsequent transformation of home health care development and marketing in housewares to encompass a wider wellness lifestyle follows a social and psychological shift occurring across generations: a zest for active living by older consumers pre- and post-retirement; and zealous personal and family health awareness by younger consumers.

Retail Transformation

Such motivations align with recent research by the Global Market Development Center (GMDC) identifying consumer health and wellness support as a top opportunity for transformation in the retail industry. The research revealed consumers continue to favor physical retailers for health and wellness products; and they crave authentic in-store experiences with expert advice focused on products supporting healthy lifestyles. GMDC suggested stores align their assortments and services with this long-term opportunity.

Wellness benefits, where applicable, can wield more influence across a wider scope of retail categories. A product need not be an explicit home health care accessory to imply added value as a healthy home product.

Consumer Consciousness

Drug chains might seem best positioned to align wellness and general merchandise. However, retailers across most channels searching for new ways to compel shoppers with more relevant and resonant products could improve their own wellbeing by fulfilling growing consumer expectation for health and wellness benefits embedded to some meaningful degree in more of the everyday products they need and want.

Wellness is a cornerstone of consumer consciousness in this gluten-free age.

The housewares industry is already demonstrating how a limited selection of products no longer defines health and wellness. Health and wellness define a lifestyle that encompasses so much more. And that’s a big opportunity for retailers.