The health and wellness market is in for a healthy dose of growth, with functional foods, specialty stores, and a wave of new technologies at the forefront, according to Johnny Gorman, director of shopper practice, Nielsen Australia.
Gorman told Inside FMCG continued growth is expected in the health and wellness market in Australia, especially in functional foods, whereby foods are used as medicines or as a preventative measure.
“With declining consumer confidence, consumers are ever more conscious of the prices that they’re paying at the supermarket, but we’re still seeing that health is still a very strong concern of them and it’s even a driver of helping them pick their supermarket choices,” Gorman told Inside FMCG.
Specialty health food stores outside of the main the supermarket channels look to increase their footprint among mainstream consumers.
“We’re still seeing some very strong growth in healthy categories, but within health we’re finding that it’s becoming increasingly more refined and means a lot more different things to different consumer. It’s now a broad subject matter and it can mean everything from losing weight to preventative medicines through to real sustainably and ethical sourcing issues as well,” he said.
Despite the sector’s projected growth, some local brands are yet to take up more digital services such as e-commerce and mobile apps, unlike in the US and the UK.
“One of the key things that we’re not seeing in Australia as much as the UK and the US is the use of online, and the use of online to complete purchasing. There’s a far greater take up of that in the US and the UK and in some parts of Asia, so we see that as a great opportunity to get people a lot more interested in some of the healthy considerations brands have. An online presence, apps, and also partnerships with blogs can give them a lot more credibility.”
According to Nielsen findings, there is a growing awareness of health among millennials, however, it is yet to translate into sales for health brands.
“We see a really huge awareness and consciousness of health among millennials and they certainly tell us that it’s of interest to them and that they’re willing to pay for it, but when we look at their behaviours that doesn’t quite come out. There’s still a disconnect. Yes, they’re engaged but they’re not quite translating that into purchases.”
Johnny Gorman will be speaking on The Changing Face of Health and Wellness market at the Naturally Good Expo on May 3-4.