How Consumers Are Turning To Brands To Inspire Healthier Lifestyle Choices

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In this regular column, creative agency Household explores how modern wellness businesses can leverage consumer behaviour to create brand stories and experiential points of discovery for customers. 

This month Household explores how brands are using different activations to inspire consumers to make healthier lifestyle choices.

The desire for living better, ‘betterment’, has grown during the pandemic as people across all ages re-evaluate their relationship with healthy living. A joint report by Kantar and YouGov recently found that 81% of respondents want to eat more healthily over the coming year.

Read More: Desire For ‘Betterment’ Continues To Redefine Wellness In 2021

Food choices have always played an important role in good health, but consumers are now seeing it as the gateway to achieving a more holistically healthy, happier lifestyle. In doing so, they’re reassessing their relationship with food. But they realise they can’t achieve this alone. They’re now actively seeking help from brands to help them live, eat and behave better, daily.

Inspiring healthy eating choices in-store
Consumers are being driven to eat better, but a key barrier to healthy eating is having access to clean, quality food solutions. Recent findings from EIT Food found that 37% of Gen Z consumers state that there needs to be better access to healthy food. In response, brands are finding new ways to help make healthier eating even more fun, playful and accessible.

When H&M planned to launch it’s:pleat in London, knowing what young foodies look for when deciding where and what to eat was an essential insight needed. We partnered with H&M to find this out first hand, using our proprietary online research tool emotiveye™. One of the key insights that we found was that people want to eat healthier options easily during the week but have the chance to indulge with delicious meals and snacks at the weekends.

We created an experience for it’s:pleat to make healthy eating feel more fun, not a chore. Through playful comms and ‘Instagrammable’, feel-good design, we helped make health feel more like a lifestyle, making it even easier and desirable to choose ‘healthyish’ meals, while boosting the mood in the store.

 

 

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A post shared by Whole Foods Market (@wholefoods)

Boosting mood with food
Food is as much an emotional experience as it is a functional need. This is only elevated when it comes to living healthier, as customers seek food that enhances their mood as well as their health.

According to Mintel, 78% of US consumers say that healthy eating is important for their emotional wellbeing. And health food brands are taking notice by expanding their services and partnering with wellness brands to create daily dining experiences that encourage more mindful eating.

Earlier this year, Whole Foods and meditation app Headspace partnered to improve people’s relationship with food. The brands launched a video series on Whole Foods’ Instagram called ‘Food for Mood’, which features chefs and nutritionists sharing mood-boosting recipes. Customers could also access three new meditation programmes focused on mindful shopping, cooking and eating, alongside a one-month free trial of Headspace Plus.

Partnerships like this encourage consumers to use the time to cook as a moment to stop, reflect and relax, transforming the relationship they have with meal occasions — from a functional activity to a complete wellness experience that enhances their mood and improves their relationship with food.

How Consumers Are Turning To Brands To Inspire Healthier Lifestyle Choices

Image: IKEA ScrapsBook

Saving the planet and your body
As consumers seek to eat more healthily, they are looking beyond the nutritional value of products, reassessing the role their diets and lifestyle choices have on their communities and the planet. Sustainability is now a conscious choice, in the UK, 58% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable grocery products.

In response, brands are finding new ways to create healthier habits around meal occasions, so their customers can eat well, whilst feeling good about contributing to a better world.

Take IKEA. The global homeware giant is rethinking how its customers see food waste, from something undesirable to an opportunity to create something new. IKEA Canada launched ‘ScrapsBook’, a downloadable free cookbook with 50 recipes from top chefs in North America. Readers can learn how to rethink unused ingredients into new meals for different times of the day.

Brands can educate and inspire their customers on how to be more sustainable by rethinking and repurposing what they already have. And can inspire habitual action by embedding circular processes in daily routines, showing that eating healthily not only makes you feel good but can create positive change individually and for the community.

What’s next?
Consumers understand that their relationship with food is no longer functional, but it influences the way that they feel. They will continue to re-evaluate their eating behaviours, adopting new diets that not only enhance their mental and physical wellbeing but also protect the planet.

Education, inspiration, choice and access all play an important role in future brand experiences, to help individuals live healthier, happier lifestyles.

We’re working together with our clients to solve the following challenges:

  1. How can we help inspire consumers to take a holistic approach to health beyond eating?
  2. How can we launch new products and services that educate consumers to adopt healthier eating habits and enhance their understanding of ‘good mood food’?
  3. How can we leverage physical and digital touchpoints to encourage and inspire healthier decisions when choosing and shopping?

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