Many of our behaviors and attitudes, especially those linked to health and wellness, have changed after more than a year of the global pandemic. It’s affected our minds and bodies, our daily routines, our families and communities, and our planet in ways we’ll be dealing with for years.
What does this mean for consumers’ health and wellness in the face of social injustices, political conflict, economic hardship, the escalation of severe environmental events, and other powerful forces? How have people’s perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors changed in the last year?
Laurie Demeritt, CEO of the Hartman Group, was invited by USFRA to share important insights from The Hartman Group’s recently released report on U.S. consumer trends, Health & Wellness 2021 – Reimagining Well-Being Amid COVID-19.
For more than two decades, The Hartman Group has studied consumer attitudes, behaviors, goals, and obstacles in the area of health and wellness. In the aftermath of the epidemic, this new analysis updates Hartman’s view on the American health and wellness landscape, providing insights into how consumers see and execute health and wellbeing in our new normal. Some of the highlights are as follows:
Health is more than personal health.
Consumers are thinking about health holistically this year more than in previous years, and they’re worried about community health, environmental health, and social justice. This viewpoint includes both physical and mental resilience.
Community – A growing sense of “we’re all in this together” has had an impact on the health of our communities.
Environment —Consumers have felt more urgency and immediacy surrounding environmental concerns, according to Demeritt, even since the Hartman Group’s 2019 research. Extreme weather occurrences, natural resource problems, and the pandemic, as well as youth-led calls for climate action, have translated into personal health concerns about air and water pollution.
Social justice — Consumers experienced increased anxiety and awareness of personal and collective well-being as a result of more visible violence against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and the response from consumers, communities, and government.
Cooking at home is here to stay.
Despite their lack of motivation, nearly 40% of consumers say they began or increased their cooking during the pandemic, and 68 percent of that group expects to continue cooking more in the future. They claim it is healthier, and they use cooking and meal planning to achieve their health and wellness goals.
More than one-third of consumers said their attitudes toward health and wellness have shifted in the last year.
And many are more concerned than they were a year ago. “Concern for my family’s immediate and long-term health,” germs, “community health dangers,” mental health, eating a healthy diet, and “my ability to pay for health products and services” have all increased.
Health and wellness for all
The pandemic has demonstrated that socioeconomic status is directly related to happiness. Lower income and education levels translate into greater health and wellness needs as well as access barriers. Surprisingly, health and wellness goals are the same across socioeconomic levels, but the ability to achieve these goals varies greatly. This means there is a huge opportunity to create more affordable and accessible health and wellness products.
We love our pets!
Our concern for our pets’ health and well-being has risen. We’d rather spend more money on healthy pet food than on our spouses!