Retailing in the Age of Fresh, Fit, and Well

Wellness. The term is so ubiquitous nowadays that we rarely stop to think about it outside of the context of juicing, yoga, and expensive sweatpants. What does it actually mean to be well, and what does it mean to live a healthy lifestyle?

How are consumers adopting a healthy lifestyle? What are they buying to make themselves feel and look better? Read on for shopping trends in food, home, fitness, tech, fashion, beauty, and other industries. Discover what the wellness craze means for you as a manufacturer or retailer.

Why you should care

A look at the top-growing retail categories of 2015, shown by our Retail Tracking Service, reveals a pretty striking pattern. Notice anything special about the categories in the chart below?

You got it. Most of them are health-related, like wearable technology, basketball gear, sweats and active bottoms (aka exercise pants), running products, outdoor sports and toys, running gear, portable beverageware, and more. These are the types of things people buy in pursuit of a healthier life. And clearly they’re buying a lot of them!

People Got a Jump on Their Brick-and-Mortar Shopping

In the U.S., the majority of people rate themselves as generally healthy, for the most part. In an online poll of U.S. adults conducted through our partner CivicScience, we asked respondents how they’d rate their current overall health. In the 12 months ending in March 2016, 58 percent reported that aside from one or two issues, they found themselves to be pretty healthy. Only 21 percent of respondents said they were “very healthy,” 15 percent said they had a few issues and were somewhat unhealthy, and 6 percent said they were not very healthy at all.

Considering the 80 percent of Americans who don’t report perfect health, retail companies have a pretty big opportunity to offer products or services that help them lead healthier lives.

Generational shifts

So which Americans are most receptive to health-related offers, and which are most likely to act on health-related goals?

Joe Derochowski, our home industry analyst, says that although the health and wellness kick is nothing new, it’s not going away any time soon. And there’s never been a better time to talk about it than now. That’s because two of the largest population groups—Millennials and Boomers—are both growing in size and entering new life stages.

Boomers in their 50s, 60s, and 70s are more likely than other Americans to have a medical condition. And the gap between their healthy attitudes and behaviors is closer than that of younger generations that may consider themselves invincible.

Millennials are demonstrating a much stronger focus on health and awareness and attention to their personal well-being (and a likelihood to act on these attitudes) than 18- to 34-year-olds of prior generations. This younger group helps define America’s tone, so their behaviors help to increase awareness and consciousness of health across the nation.

These two generations are having more dialogue about health-related topics than ever before, which catalyzes consumer curiosity and interest in health even more.

Fruits, vegetables, and sweat

If you ask consumers to name a few simple actions they can do to be healthy, you’ll typically get a response about eating more fruits and vegetables and exercising, Joe Derochowski explains. Our teams at NPD have conducted a great deal of research that demonstrates how consumers at large care about--and are acting on--both of these healthy goals.

Out with fad diets, in with healthier habits

The South Beach Diet and Atkins are nearly as forgotten as scrunchies and other dead fashions from the 90s. People are dieting less these days ; only 22 percent of U.S. consumers claim to be on a diet. That stat has been declining over the last decade, tracked by our Eating Patterns in America Report . And although most adults say they would like to lose weight (62 percent of U.S. adults report having someone in their household who is struggling to lose weight, reported a CivicScience poll conducted during the 12 months ending in March 2016), they’re taking a more holistic approach that incorporates a balance of exercise and mindful eating.

Our Vice President and Food Industry Analyst David Portalatin outlines the evolutionary shifts in popular nutrition that we’ve tracked over the past 25 years. In the 80s, American consumers were all about avoiding cholesterol. Then the focus shifted to avoiding carbohydrates, and later, to cutting calories. Gluten abstention took off over the last few years, but is finally starting to soften. Like other fashions, dietary concerns have waxed and waned.

Today, people just want to eat real food.

Americans are now less focused on avoiding cholesterol (concern has declined since 2006, and egg consumption is growing fast), David explains. Though consumers still care about calories and fats, gone are the days when dieters ate a tiny, 120-calorie bag of chips and a “low fat” frozen meal to stay under their caloric ceiling for the day. The percent of adults looking for calories on food nutrition labels has steadily declined over the past five years. And consumers are considering other nutritional measures when assessing the health of food items.

Consistent with the new U.S. dietary guidelines, U.S. consumers have said sugar is the number-one item they try to avoid in their diets. And Americans are practicing what they preach by eating fewer sugary foods and beverages like carbonated soft drinks, fruit drinks and juice, ice cream, and other sweets, confirmed by our food consumption research.

Is this food real?

Ideas about health revolve more around the authenticity of foods people eat. They seek simple, pure foods, while actively avoiding highly processed foods, and they steer clear of “unnatural” elements like artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, additives, and genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). David Portalatin points out that Americans are also eating more fresh foods that can be found on the perimeter of grocery stores, allowing themselves to eat more butter and other natural fats while staying wary of food descriptors like “reduced fat” and “nonfat” that typically translate to more processing.

Although most consumers don’t follow a specific diet, many claim to be “clean” eaters, representing about 5 percent of primary grocery shoppers (for more, see our How Consumers Define Clean Eating Report). While this segment skews female and younger, the group is expected to grow since clean eating is viewed as a lifestyle, instead of a typical diet.

Take food journalist Mark Bittman’s “VB6” (vegan before 6 p.m.) philosophy. Rather than a strict diet of gimmicks, scales, calorie-counting, or point systems, people eat fruits, vegetables, and grains throughout the day. Then after 6 p.m., they can eat whatever animal-based product they want, in moderation. It’s a lifestyle change as opposed to a rigid regimen.

Fresh is hot

The focus on freshness and transparency is all over the media. In his new Netflix documentary series, Cooked, food journalist and activist Michael Pollan explores a human need to forge a deeper, more meaningful connection to the food we eat. Growing consumer adoption of the meal kit trend is proof of the consumer demand for transparency and authenticity in food. With servings starting at around $10 per person, these kits aren’t much cheaper than food delivery dishes ordered from Seamless. People (specifically Millennials) are willing to pay more for companies to do the dirty work of gathering and measuring ingredients for them. They can then save time in the meal-prep process, while still taking part in their meal preparation – which results in feeling closer to their food, fully understanding what they’re eating, and learning cooking skills and new recipes along the way.

Between 2003 and 2013, consumption of fresh foods increased by 20 percent, with the younger generations driving this trend. Millennials place a higher value on fresh food in their overall quality of life than do older segments.

In addition, Gen Y is also increasing consumption of fresh foods compared to prior generations at the same age. Since 2008, the percentage of Millennial households using recipes in their meal preparation once a week or more often has increased from 42 percent to 57 percent, a fact revealed by our Kitchen Audit.

Our food and beverage consumption analysts forecast consumers’ interest in natural, fresh, and preservative-free foods will continue to increase over the next several years. They project that by 2018, the total U.S. population will increase fresh food consumption by 6 percent. (Forecast based on our National Eating Trends® and The Future of Eating report.) Specifically, Gen Z is estimated to increase its fresh food consumption by 10 percent and Millennials by 8 percent.

Our food and beverage consumption analysts forecast consumers’ interest in natural, fresh, and preservative-free foods will continue to increase over the next several years. They project that by 2018, the total U.S. population will increase fresh food consumption by 6 percent. (Forecast based on our National Eating Trends® and The Future of Eating report.) Specifically, Gen Z is estimated to increase its fresh food consumption by 10 percent and Millennials by 8 percent.

Health in the home

A look at home appliance category sales for 2015 also reflects consumers’ healthier bent. Joe Derochowski of our Home practice points out that the categories that drove the most growth in 2015 are all connected by personal health and wellness themes. Among the high-growth products were scales, water filtration devices, rice cookers, food processors, and other fresh food preparation devices. The list also includes tools that help Americans lead cleaner lives, like dental hygiene and air quality products.

At a more granular product level, our Retail Tracking Service reports dollar sales of portable beverageware rose 30 percent, kitchen scales were up 18 percent, and non-electric juicers grew 11 percent in the 12 months ending in December 2015. Forget about crystal and china sets as wedding gifts – now couples are adding spiralizers to their registries (essentially pasta makers, but for vegetables), which increased 59 percent in sales from 2014 levels. And many retailers like Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma are offering experiential classes to help customers brush up on cooking (while indirectly encouraging enthusiasm for their kitchen products).

Restaurants get healthier, too

It’s hard to miss all the vegan eateries, gluten-free bakeries, and juice shops popping up across the map these days, hoping to grab a piece of the health pie (or rather, gluten-free, vegan rhubarb pie). Take younger, local chains like Sweetgreen, Chopt, Dig Inn, and The Little Beet that offer a healthy spin on fast casual. Or consider the popular LA juice shop Moon Juice that offers a “cosmic beacon for those seeking out beauty, wellness, and longevity” in the form of juice shots, milks, and cleanse programs. If the lines at these joints during lunchtime are any indication, there’s clearly a consumer segment willing to pay more for fresh.

But healthy isn’t just for the mom-n’-pop shops or people who can afford to pay a pretty penny. Major foodservice players like Chipotle, Panera, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s have responded to customer expectations of clean and transparent food by removing artificial additives, preservatives, flavors, colors, sweeteners, GMOs, sodium content, MSG, and protein antibiotics in certain menu items. And many are making efforts to source ingredients from farms that are local, sustainable, and treat animals humanely.

Getting physical

So much of wellness is about feeling great, and much of that stems from the physical element of movement and fitness.

In an online poll of U.S. adults conducted through CivicScience, we asked respondents from December 16, 2015 through March 31, 2016 how important health and fitness activities were in their lives. We found 73 percent of respondents reported interest in these activities (34 percent liked them, 34 percent felt they were very important to them, and 5 percent considered them passions). When we asked how often respondents exercised, 51 percent reported exercising (33 percent several times per week, 18 percent several times a month).

Although some people may not follow through with their intentions to exercise, the majority have positive associations with fitness. Of respondents who exercise, 34 percent reported regularly doing aerobic/cardio activities, 20 percent strength training and/or lifting weights, 7 percent cross-training, 7 percent reported regularly practicing yoga/Pilates, and 5 percent said they regularly participate in competitive sports. And these figures are higher among Millennials.

The social self

The athletic scene has really changed over the past decade. Gone are the days of jogging and basic gym workouts. If you haven’t participated in a Tough Mudder run, Crossfit, yoga retreat, or barre class, then you’re behind the times.

Our Sports Industry Analyst Matt Powell attributes industry success to the social and quantified self. “Social fitness is a key driver. We see more and more people participating in a class, be it Crossfit, Pilates, or yoga or some permutation of these.” When people attend a class and see the same people week over week, they dress for that social interaction, and that translates to increased sales in activewear and athletic shoes (more on that later).

The quantified self

Steps. Distance traveled. Calories burned. The number of times you’ve worked out this week.

These are all things humans love to count. Thanks to activity trackers and smartwatches, we can easily measure our performance in an effort to continually improve. The next time you’re with a large group, take a look at the wrists around you. You’re bound to find a sleek Apple watch and a spectrum of Fitbits in the crowd, hinting at the strength of connected intelligence right now.

Activity trackers experienced a 110 percent and 85 percent increase in dollar and unit sales respectively from 2014 to 2015, thanks to increased consumer demand for devices of greater sophistication, color/design assortment, and distribution (despite the average selling price actually increasing). Ben Arnold, our executive director, industry analyst for consumer electronics, predicts the fitness tracker market will continue to thrive as the products evolve to cover a wider range of users’ fitness needs.

While not nearly as popular as fitness tracker devices (which reached ownership of nearly 33 million in the U.S. in 2015), smartwatches have also grown in popularity. Our NPD Connected Intelligence Consumers and Wearables survey found smartwatches reached 13 million in ownership last year. Despite this gap, smartwatch device awareness is higher than that of fitness trackers, leading our Connected Intelligence team to predict smartwatch ownership will increase in the latter half of 2016 and should reach 30 million devices by the end of 2017.

Connectivity: the way of the future

What can we expect activity tracking devices to look like in the future? Eddie Hold, President of our Connected Intelligence practice, recently wrote about the discrepancy of walking vs. running steps, as calculated by activity trackers (steps run count more than steps walked). While some tools like Nike’s Fuel and Mio’s Personal Activity Intelligence prioritize heart rate measurement over steps, Eddie stresses that as the market evolves towards a more sports-oriented consumer, measurement tools need to develop the ability to count all activity throughout the day, whether it’s walking to the subway, taking a Zumba class, or doing 30 minutes on the elliptical. It’s not only about steps, but also distance and exertion.

To that end, a number of smartclothing technologies emerging in the marketplace take fitness measurement one step further by allowing users to evaluate their form and improve technique. Wearable tech company Athos advertises its products as “smart training apparel” that uses EMG sensor-filled shirts and shorts to analyze your muscle effort in real time and show you what muscles are firing, and how hard. Lumo Run shorts contain sensors that assess running biomechanics like cadence, stride length, and bounce, and then suggest adjustments to your form mid-run.

Other tech companies are innovating to make social and quantifiable exercise more accessible. Peloton, for example, a new workout system, is redefining home fitness by allowing consumers to stream live or on-demand spin classes from home to ride “live, flexible, and connected”. You can choose the length, style, instructor, and type of music for your workout, while virtually spinning alongside other connected riders to challenge and motivate you.

Even video game developers are getting into the wellness game. OYK Games developed the mobile app Fit Freeway to allow people to turn a boring stationary bike workout into a high-speed car race. Just place an iPad or iPhone with the app onto a stationary bike, and the technology translates your physical exercise machine vibrations into car speed in the game (the faster you pedal, the faster you drive), with steering achieved by moving your head left or right in front of the screen.

Oxygen and the great outdoors

Physical wellness is not just about being physical. It’s also about a connection to nature and getting outdoors. After hours of hunching over desks in suboptimal thermal office conditions, we humans need to get outside to remember what fresh air and wind across our faces feel like.

Whether going to a park, walking instead of taking modern transportation to an errand, or simply opting for an outdoor table at a restaurant, something about spending time outside feels really healthy (even if sitting stagnant or stuffing our faces).

Enter the era of “the new outdoors.” You don’t have to climb Machu Picchu or live off the grid to be outdoorsy. Millennials and consumers at large are embracing an outdoor lifestyle simply by being outside, while also appreciating the comforts of home. This has spurred sales in products like high-tech coolers and portable, easy-to-use hammocks – categories which experienced strong, triple- and double-digit growth in 2015. “Mocking”—setting up a hammock literally anywhere, from an everglade tree to the patio of your urban apartment—is trending. Matt Powell says the camping industry is strong, with young consumers responding positively to versatile, multi-use products that will take them “from the Prius to the craft bar.”

Looking great: function is fashion

In the fashion space, it’s all about athleisure. The need for comfort has become the number-one recent influencer on fashion purchases, catalyzing a casualization of apparel to meet consumers’ active lifestyle needs. Our Chief Industry Analyst Marshal Cohen says when it comes to healthy living, people care almost as much about what they put on their bodies as what they consume. “The fashion world is finally addressing the desire for consumers to wear clothes that promote a healthier lifestyle, from the way the garments are made to the comfort they provide.” And this is something we’re seeing across all age groups.

One outfit can now carry us from the gym to brunch (and even the board room in some cases). Matt Powell explains that people are dressing in workout clothing for an increasing number of formal and social occasions. This concept of “wear to work, wear to work out” has allowed people to be even more casual in the way they dress. Athleisure has had a strong performance for the last few years, with activewear sales increasing 16 percent YOY in 2015 and 9 percent in 2014, and we expect continued growth in this category.

We’ve even reached an era where yoga pants and other active “bottoms” are driving the market at the expense of jeans and casual pants. Our Consumer Tracking Service reports sales of active bottoms have steadily grown over the past few years, increasing 18 percent YOY in 2015 and 11 percent in 2014. In contrast, jeans have experienced a decline in sales, by 6 percent in 2014, but a lesser 3 percent in 2015.

And here’s something crazy--many people want to dress like they’re working out even if they aren’t. Over half of adults wear athletic clothing in public when they aren’t exercising at least several times per month, CivicScience tells us. Americans are using activewear as a way to dress comfortably and stylishly, independent of a workout routine.

Comfort from head to toe

Todd Mick, a director in our Apparel practice, reports having noticed the heavy influence of healthy and active lifestyles on the women’s intimate apparel space.

In a recent survey, Millennial women named sports bras among the bra styles they wore in a week-long period. And older shoppers also reported having worn sports bras in addition to wire-free bras, reflecting a lean toward activity and comfort. Considering sports bras and panties with cooling and wicking attributes are driving the category’s growth, it’s not just about an undergarment’s style, but also the threads it’s spun from.

“We think of the active consumer on a continuum of activity, from the ‘remotely active’ consumer watching TV, shopping, and hanging out with friends in her active apparel and sports bras, to the ‘truly active’ consumer who participates in spin, Crossfit, and high-intensity group fitness,” Todd explains. This remotely active consumer makes up approximately 40 percent of intimate apparel consumers, and manufacturers are now catering to this segment. Hanes added XTemp (their cooling wicking ingredient brand) to seamless and sport bras, and their Bali brand just introduced an “Active Collection” that includes the “benefits of a sports bra with cool comfort technology” for a woman’s active everyday life.

“When it comes right down to it,” Todd shares, “the consumer is responding to all this innovation because it ultimately delivers comfort, and that is the Holy Grail for a lot of women, particularly when shopping for a bra.” With comfort fueling fashion in the intimates category, it’s no wonder that granny panties are growing among the younger consumer segment. People don’t just want to look sexy in the traditional sense of the word; what’s sexy to today’s consumer is being natural and comfortable.

Athletic: the new everyday shoe

Chances are you’ve probably seen more sneakers around in the office as people express their style with the latest kicks. Consumer Tracking Service data shows casualization is affecting the footwear category as well, which reached $66 billion in revenue in 2015, an increase of 4 percent from 2014. Athletic footwear, on the other hand, grew by 8 percent (twice the rate of the total footwear industry) in 2015, one of its best years in the last decade, says Matt Powell, who expects this trend to continue in 2016.

Matt points out that 2015 was marked by a rise in the more casual and retro styles. Hiking, walking, cross training, running, and basketball categories all grew in 2015, but the classics category took the cake with 30 percent growth driven by retro basketball and running shoes.

Eco-friendly matters

People care more about the content of what they consume and put on their skin than they do about the clothing they wear on their bodies. At large, consumers are less concerned about the environmental friendliness of apparel as compared to other products. Less than 1 percent of survey respondents listed organic/environmental factors as the most important factor when shopping for apparel, footwear, or accessories, revealed by The NPD Group/ATKearney Loyalty Study fielded in December 2015. However, there is a market developing for consumers who do care whether the things they wear are made of organic materials or manufactured in a socially responsible way.

We found 69 percent of Americans (and 78 percent of U.S. Millennials) consider a company’s social consciousness and overall kindness important when choosing where to shop and what to buy. And this may explain the developing online fashion market of eco-friendly, fair-trade, organic goods. Consider the customers who (virtually) lined up buy all-natural wool leisure sneakers from the shoe startup Allbirds . Or Amour Vert and Alternative Apparel, online clothing manufacturers that produce ethical, sustainable, and affordable products made from specially engineered textiles and low-impact dyes to create less waste. Online retailer Ethica offers a curated selection of sustainable labels from a range of designers. Though the concept of ethical clothing typically translates to a higher price tag, some affordable retailers like ModCloth and H&M now have sections of their websites dedicated to eco-friendly fashions and sustainable style, an acknowledgment that fast fashion isn’t appealing to all segments.

Beauty is skin deep . . . or is it?

Our internal well-being is often reflected on our skin, like that glow we get after returning from a beach vacation or waking up from a full eight hours of sleep. To that end, beauty is another industry closely tied to Americans’ notions of wellness. Characteristics like “natural” and “fresh” aren’t limited to the food sector; consumers want to ensure the products they put on their faces are natural, too.

In The NPD Group/ATKearney Loyalty Study fielded in December 2015, we asked respondents what was most important to them when deciding on a beauty or personal care product to buy. We found 6.4 percent of survey respondents ranked organic or environmentally friendliness as the number-one factor in their purchase decision. And our 2015 Women’s Facial Skincare Consumer Report shows Millennial women are most likely to seek out products with doctor endorsements and natural/organic ingredients. And this is reflected on the retail floor.

NPD Skincare Industry Analyst Jennifer Famiano says natural and spa skincare brands represent nearly one-fifth of brick-and-mortar skincare sales and one-third of online skincare sales. Fresh, SKII, and other natural skincare brands collectively grew sales by 10 percent from 2014 levels, totaling $1 billion in 2015. And now the big consumer focus is on preparing for as opposed to correcting for skin issues. Working to reduce wrinkles, firm skin, moisturize, or protect from free radicals, face supplements from brands like Caudalie are taking off: supplements in the prestige channel enjoyed fivefold growth over the past two years, becoming a $4.1 million market in 2015.

The cosmetics space has also seen an increased emphasis on natural products, explains NPD Beauty Industry Analyst Kissura Mondesir. Driven by brands like Tarte and bareMinerals, the natural makeup category has grown 15 percent in 2015, two points faster than the rest of the market. New organic and natural cosmetic brands like Kjaer Weis and ILIA are entering the beauty space to respond to consumer interest in better-for-you beauty. Beauty e-tailer Birchbox now features top natural makeup brands on its site. And many entrepreneurs have built up vegan, eco-friendly, or cruelty-free cosmetics brands, like Gregg Renfrew, who launched Beautycounter, a disruptive cosmetics brand that prides itself in creating safer and healthier beauty products that consumers can trust.

It’s hip to be fit.

Need affordable activewear to practice yoga in the woods? Just ask Kate Hudson. How about eco-friendly, macaron-printed diapers? Jessica Alba has your back. Need to up your Sneakerhead game? Kanye West and Rihanna can help. Or, if you’re looking to learn how to move and manipulate energy, just ask Gwyneth Paltrow.

Need affordable activewear to practice yoga in the woods? Just ask Kate Hudson. How about eco-friendly,Countless celebrities have used their fame as launch pads to explore health/wellness ventures. And many brands in the space have looked to celebrities to partner with to strengthen notoriety and brand image. Our BrandLink® solution reports that if you’re a sports/fitness brand trying to target consumers who regularly hit the gym, certain celebrity partnerships that make more sense than others (based on our data on celebrity fans who index high in going to the gym).

Need affordable activewear to practice yoga in the woods? Just ask Kate Hudson. How about eco-friendly,A brand might consider using Wiz Khalifa or J.Cole’s music in its advertising, or doing a campaign with Aziz Ansari, Khloe Kardashian, or Anna Kendrick. These celebrities could even be the next to create their own fitness lines, along with the likes of Beyoncé, who recently announced her new athleisure brand.

Brain food: other roads to wellness

Offerings that get people to expand their minds à la “mind, body, and spirit” count toward health living, too. And a ton of products and services popping up in the marketplace help consumers take a break from reality, reduce stress, and relax.

In a recent collaboration with our friends at the Fashion Institute of Technology, we learned about the developing trend of essentialism, which goes hand-in-hand with wellness. The essentialist philosophy derives meaning from experiences and products that provide inner value, as opposed to ostentatious goods. It’s all about having less, and doing more .

Forget yoga – how about coloring? Adult coloring books are another example of escapist products performing well on the sales floor. People can’t get enough of them, finding the pastime a calming, nostalgic way to reduce stress through a creative outlet. Our Retail Tracking Service data finds U.S. retail sales of coloring and art supplies reached $1.1 billion in 2015 after growing over $125 million in the past two years. Approximately one in ten adults owns an adult coloring book, and one in five are interested in buying one, our partner CivicScience tells us.

Although technically a toy, building sets (think Legos) have been revered for decades for the creativity, innovation, and developmental learning they inspire in children. And decades later, people are still big fans of the brain food these toys deliver: the category grew 9.4 percent from 2014 to 2015.

Products that encourage clean, casual, and simple living are also expanding across all categories, be it space efficient homes in nature or simple home aesthetics. Take Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo’s book, for example, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. This New York Times best seller takes readers step-by-step through a revolutionary method for simplifying, organizing, and storing. With more than 3 million copies sold, people are adopting this philosophy of minimalism and “freeing themselves” from personal possessions that do not spark joy.

Or consider more alternative health-related services like salt rooms. Consumers are paying money for salt therapy ( halotheraphy), described as a holistic, natural therapy that uses micro-particles of pure salt to promote better breathing, healthier skin, sounder sleep, enhanced physical fitness, and overall wellness.

Riding the health wave

The stress and demands of life as we know it in 2016 are making it increasingly difficult to feel great. So long as American health and healthcare aren’t perfect, there will always be an opportunity for companies that make or sell things that improve the way people live. Whether it’s the food we eat, the stuff we put on our bodies, or the possessions that surround us, any product that makes us feel or look better will spark consumer interest. The key will be to listen to consumers and follow their purchase behavior in order to understand where the needle is moving, and where you should be in the fiercely competitive health/wellness retail marketplace. Because, as Joe says—it’s not going away anytime soon!

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