People have always wanted to stay healthy but how we approach our health today is markedly different from a few years ago. Not so long ago, health and wellness meant a lack of disease and illness.
Our desire to be healthy inside and out means food is playing a growing role in personal wellbeing. It’s not only about eating healthily. Food these days is becoming a form of medicine to prevent, rather than treat, illness.
To boost good health, many are opting for ‘authentic’ foods and drinks with natural ingredients that hark back to a simpler time, such as butter, or deliver some intrinsic health benefit.
Yoghurt for example is associated with many health advantages, including improved digestion and gut health. In Japan, yoghurt has become something of a superfood staple, with different types of yoghurts for different needs – from yoghurts that prevent the flu to yoghurts that help children avoid catching norovirus.
In the Western world, as well as in many Asian cities, consumers are increasingly interested in knowing where their food comes from and how it was produced.
For many, a product that has a clear identity by connecting to a certain place signals transparency, reliability, naturalness and great flavour.
The trend for natural foods from trusted sources is creating big opportunities for businesses that want to use health, provenance and authenticity to differentiate themselves in market.
Comvita Honey is a New Zealand manuka honey company that has established itself as a premium honey brand in the Asian market. Using natural health, New Zealand origin and quality differentiators to position itself as a pre-eminent brand, Comvita sells at a significant premium to local Asian brands. Chinese sales alone reached NZ$29 million in 2017 and Comvita also sells in European, North American, Australian and New Zealand markets.
Fonterra uses ‘Trusted Goodness’, ‘Made with NZ Dairy’ and ‘Grass-fed’ icons on Anchor and other brands to signify quality and trust and to give people confidence that they are buying an authentic Fonterra product from New Zealand, using milk from grass-fed cows.
Food-for-health trends are having a big impact on purchasing behaviour and driving sustained growth in the global wellness industry. With a current global worth estimated at over US$3 trillion, the value of the industry is expected to increase by 17% over the next five years. Driven by the changing needs of consumers, there’s no doubt that the industry offers huge opportunities for marketers in this increasingly health-obsessed world.