December 14, 2018

Consumer Trends: How to Entice Health-Conscious People to your Brand

Health trends are growing at the speed of kale these days, with hardly a month going by without a new healthy snack brand, previously unheard of food, or failsafe workout technique appearing in our supermarkets and on our newsfeeds.

Milk no longer necessarily signifies the creamy dairy product it once did, but instead an army of oat, soya, and all the nut milks you could imagine crowd the fridges of Sainsbury’s. Coca-cola are promoting Coke Zero and Diet Coke as equals, rather than offshoots of their full-fat version, and the sugar tax seems like old news these days.

We’ve gotten used to the traffic-light system adorning our packaging, showing us exactly how much of salt and saturated fats are in everything we eat, and it’s much more usual now to see nuts and seeds being pushed at the tills of Tesco as impulse-buys, rather than the Haribo of old.

Even health hacks that would seem to defy logic are taking off. Alcohol-free beer consumption has grown by 20.5% in the last year alone, proving that a healthy alternative is likely to win out with current consumers!

As more trends and options emerge, more people are taking to the change.A PwC reportnoted in 2016 that 47% of people aged 18-34 claimed they had actively changed their eating habits to be healthier over the last year. 53% of this same group anticipated they would continue to change their diets for the better in the coming 12 months: millennials in particular, then, are open to the new when it comes to health.

A Marketplace evaluationvalued the Wellness industry at $3.7 trillion. Ranging from beauty products and alternative medicine, to health foods and fitness, there’s huge scope for finding a niche, and health-minded consumers to endorse it.

To tap into these various groups, it’s important to understand how they behave in relation to health brands, but also more generally. We surveyed 1000 health-conscious consumers to dive into their similarities as a group, and to understand the differences within demographic subsets.

Read on to learn how to successfully market to this unique segment, by better understanding their wider interests and behaviours, as well as their buying habits and brand awareness in the market.

Interests and Behaviours

Media habits

What personality traits and behaviours set this health-conscious consumer group apart from the wider population, and how can brands tailor their messaging for this unique opportunity?

Health-conscious consumers are most preoccupied with Sports news stories – perhaps catching up on the footie scores on the bus to their Sunday morning kick-about, or checking in with the latest from the US Open in between matches at their own tennis club. Whether or not their own healthy lifestyle involves sport or physical activity, 25.2% of health-conscious consumers read Sports news stories more than any other genre.

This changes drastically when we break down this question by the gender of the respondent. 40.9% of males voted Sport as their favourite type of news, followed by Tech & Science with 18.7% of votes. For females, the most popular news stories are Showbiz & Lifestyle with 28.9% and Family & Education with 21.7%.

It might be possible to conclude here that men relate their health with their physical strength, whereas more women identify their health with popular trends.


Facebook remains the most popular social media platform, with 42.6% of consumers using the site most frequently.

Instagram also received a healthy vote, with 24.4% of consumers saying they use this platform the most. Trends for rainbow diets, and before/after photos lend themselves well to Instagram, with countless healthy eating and exercise accounts springing up on the video and photo sharing website.

Snapchat and Twitter are also well-used by health-conscious consumers, with 10.4% and 8.2% of the vote respectively. There are countless accounts across all these social platforms, promoting healthy eating, exercise routines, mental wellness and beauty regimes. Accounts spreading inspiration for your next meal or gym session are commonplace, so healthy living has never been more accessible to all that use social media sites.


Health-Specific Habits and Interests 

What is it that steers health-conscious consumers to choose certain brands and trust them with their health and wellness? Do they choose the brands that their favourite fit Instagram influencer is promoting? Or is it the flashy trainers they see people wearing in the gym?

What can brands do to capture the attention of these demanding consumers, who won’t use or consume anything that has a negative impact on their body (or only does so once a week, on ‘cheat day’)?


Bucking the trend we’ve seen amongst all other consumer groups so far indexed, health-conscious consumers voted social media as the number one location where they pay most attention to adverts.

30.5% of consumers voted that social media is the place they most like to see adverts for health products, followed by TV with 25.9% of the vote.

They’re least interested in billboard adverts, only 3.3% of consumers want to see adverts for health products in this location.

Women are driving the preference for social media adverts, with 36.6% of women saying this is their preferred location for adverts. Men much prefer TV adverts, with 30% of men voting this way.


When they’re in the market for a health product, the health-conscious head to Google as their first port of call (26.8%). Social media drops to third position in this case (14.5%), behind review and comparison sites (15.2%), proving that the internet has been influential in the growth of the healthy eating and living trends.

The health-conscious consumer would be least likely to turn to specialist magazines for advice on new products to buy, with just 3% of consumers voting this way. Not a great statistic for all those dedicated health and wellness glossy magazines.


Word-of-mouth endorsements are voted highly, as the second-most likely factor to drive health-conscious people to try new brands (16.8%). Lower prices (16.4%) and innovation (16.1%) are also influential factors in the decision to move brand.

Quality is the number one driving factor that would encourage a change in brand, though, with a vote of 24.8%. Health-conscious buyers like to have the highest quality products to eat, help them exercise and apply to their bodies. These consumers might be swept along by the latest health-craze, but as long as the products and services are of high quality, they’re on board with changing brand as frequently as is necessary.

What precisely are health-conscious consumers looking for in health brands?


Similarly, quality is voted as the most important factor when choosing a health product (25.8%). This is followed by recommendations (24.8%) indicating that the popularity of health products is most likely to spread by word of mouth, likely amplified when referencing the quality of the products and services.

Variety of choice (5.5%) and convenience (7.6%) were voted as the least important factors dictating the decision to buy a health product.

Health-Specific Brand Awareness

The health market encapsulates all manor of activities, services and products, from gym-going to clean-eating, moisturising regularly to taking vitamin tablets.

So which health brands are making a considerable dent in this varied market, and ensuring both quality and recommendations to spread their popularity?

We asked health-conscious consumers to name their favourite health brand, the winners were as follows:

Holland & Barrett 7.20%

Fitbit 4.50%

Nike 3.80%

Boots 3.70%

Myprotein 1.90%

Vitabiotics 1.60%

Nivea 1.60%

Bupa 1.50%

Adidas 1.50%

NHS 1.40%

An astounding 192 brands were named in total, indicating that the market is indeed varied in nature, with ‘health’ meaning various things to different consumers.

Even amongst this top 10 we see supplements, activewear, pharmacies and technology represented, all under the umbrella of ‘health brands’.

In this broad market, we asked consumers to name the health brand that had impressed them most within the last year, by way of their marketing, and these were the winning brands:

Holland & Barrett 5.90%

Fitbit 4.30%

Nike 3.50%

Boots 2.80%

L’Oréal 2.10%

Nivea 2.00%

Myprotein 1.90%

Vitabiotics 1.60%

NHS 1.50%

SlimFast 1.00%

Dove 1.00%

L’Oréal, SlimFast and Dove appear as brands that aren’t necessarily consumers favourites, but are still producing memorable advertising campaigns that are at least securing share of mind within this important consumer segment.

L’Oréal have produced memorable adverts in 2018 by featuring key beauty influencers including Camila Cabello and Cheryl Cole. With an alternative tactic, Dove have achieved recognition in recent months and years for publishing some of the most diverse adverts in the health and beauty sector, especially promoting women’s varying body shapes and sizes.

We also asked health-conscious consumers to name the well-known person they’d most like to see endorse their favourite health brand:

Overall winnersMenWomenUnder 40s40 and over
1David Beckham4.20%David BeckhamHolly WilloughbyDavid BeckhamDavid Beckham
2Holly Willoughby1.90%Dwayne JohnsonDavid BeckhamHolly WilloughbyHolly Willoughby
3Dwayne Johnson1.20%Ryan ReynoldsKim KardashianTom HardyDwayne Johnson
4Tom Hardy1.10%Mo FarahTom HardyVictoria BeckhamSelena Gomez
5Kim Kardashian1.10%Cristiano RonaldoKylie JennerUsain BoltKim Kardashian
6Kylie Jenner1.00%Rita OraSelena GomezJennifer AnistonRihanna
7Selena Gomez0.90%RihannaCheryl ColeZoellaKylie Jenner
8Rihanna0.90%Rafael NadalBeyoncéRita OraJennifer Lawrence
9Beyoncé0.80%Lionel MessiAriana GrandeMo FarahMichelle Keegan
10Jessica Ennis0.70%Kevin De BruyneVictoria BeckhamKylie JennerCheryl Cole

Sports stars including David Beckham, Mo Farah, Usain Bolt and Jessica Ennis-Hill feature prominently. 6 sports persons feature in the men’s preferred celebrity influencer, reinforcing that ‘health’ conjures up the concept of physical strength and prowess for men. Meanwhile only one sports personality appears in the women’s list, instead there are more singers and show business celebrities.

Key Takeaways

The health market is both varied and variable. Health trends sweep the market, coming and going in the blink of an eye; just look at the vilification and acceptance of carbohydrates, will we ever know for certain whether they’re good or bad for us?

‘Health’ clearly means different things to different people, some identify health with sports, the gym and staying physically fit, while some identify it with having the glossiest hair and the dewiest skin.

Much of what ‘health’ means to someone might be found in the characteristics of the celebrities and social media influencers they look up to as being the picture of health. Social media outranks TV for the location in which adverts are most noticeable for the health-conscious consumers, with branded adverts and influencer marketing now commonplace across all social platforms.

The health market seems to be widely assisted by the internet, with health-conscious consumers visiting Google as their first port of call when looking to buy a health product or service.

They’re also a consumer group that’s open to being influenced by both celebrities and those close to them, ranking recommendations as the second most important thing, after quality and durability of products, they consider when looking to make a purchase in this sector.

High Street retailer Holland & Barrett seem to be dominating the health market, perhaps by catering for a number of appetites; those looking for supplements, remedies, free-from foods and beauty products.

But the share of mind in this market is spread between a wide variety of products and services, including health technologies, sports apparel, healthcare providers and more.

The Next Steps…

There are as many health products and services as there are ways to stay healthy. But there are also traits that unite the consumers who identify as specifically health-conscious.

Reliance on social media for guidance and inspiration, and a preference for only giving their bodies and minds the highest quality health products are just two of these behavioural indicators.

Within such a varied market, though, it is worth drilling down more granularly into the traits that are shared by your key demographics – whether that be gym-goers, the gluten-averse or those that wear their active-wear like a second skin.

Attest can help you reach any consumer segment, or identify your key consumer segments if you’re yet to take that first step. Identify the channels in which your own key consumers are paying attention to adverts, their main purchase drivers and the priorities when shopping for your product category.

Get in contact with Attest todayto take the next step to scale up your understanding of your market and consumers.