Consumers consider health and wellness an ‘essential’ spending category, Accenture survey finds
Research highlights consumer-facing businesses need to respond to redefined consumer priorities
NEW YORK; September 7, 2022 – Despite financial uncertainty, consumers are unwilling to cut back on the amount they spend on health and wellness, according to the latest in a series of consumer surveys that Accenture ( NYSE:ACN) has conducted to test the momentum of consumer outlook and sentiment since the start of the pandemic.
The investigation – from more than 11,000 consumers in 16 countries – found that even in the face of widespread uncertainty and personal financial constraints, consumers view health and fitness as an “essential”, alongside groceries and household cleaning products. Although two-thirds (66%) of survey respondents said they felt financially strapped, 80% also said they intended to maintain or increase their spending on health-related areas and fitness – such as exercise classes or vitamins and supplements – in the next year.
“Despite the tough times, it’s clear that people have redefined health and wellness as an essential good and plan to maintain or increase their spending in this area this year, regardless of income level,” said Oliver Wright, Senior Managing Director. at Accenture, which runs its Consumer goods and services industry practice globally. “With the health and wellness market expected to reach more than $1 trillion in global spend by 2025, consumer-facing companies need to leverage cross-industry expertise and breakthroughs in science and technology while taking into account changing consumer priorities when designing new offerings.”
Rich Birhanzel, senior managing director at Accenture and head of its Health industry practice globally, said: “People’s desire to take more charge of their health and well-being is only growing. It is vital for the healthcare industry to continue to explore and partner with consumer-facing companies to improve access, experience and outcomes for people and their healthcare journeys.
The survey also found that respondents seem to take a more holistic view of wellbeing, reframing it as a basic consumer good. In addition to more than four in 10 respondents (42%) saying they were increasing the amount of physical activity, a third (33%) of respondents said they were focusing more on self-care, such as taking a bath . or beauty treatments — than a year ago.
Even with rising travel costs, the survey found that half (51%) of consumers also plan to maintain or increase their leisure travel spending over the next year, which is not perhaps unsurprising given the widely recognized wellness benefits associated with vacations. Additionally, among high-income consumers who have booked travel in the next 12 months, two in five (39%) have booked a luxury trip or wellness retreat. Among millennials, one in five (21%) have booked to go on a wellness retreat this year. Additionally, a third (33%) of all survey respondents said they were willing to sacrifice spending on household goods or non-essential electronics to be able to afford travel.
Emily Weiss, senior managing director at Accenture who leads her Travel industry practice globally, said: “While the emphasis on personal well-being is not necessarily new, it is now less of an indulgence and more of a non-essential essential. negotiable for today’s consumers, even at a time when many are feeling financial pressures. There is a huge opportunity here for travel companies and consumer-facing businesses to leverage ecosystem partnerships and local communities to deliver differentiated experiences, because wellness tourism today is much more than a destination or activities – it is an extension of the traveler’s values and way of life.”
While the survey identified where and how consumers prioritize their spending, it’s important for businesses to understand the context in which these purchasing decisions are made. According to a recent Accenture Report, “The Human Paradox: From Customer Centricity to Life Centricity”, it is becoming increasingly difficult for consumers to balance purpose and practicality in their purchases, with nearly two-thirds (64%) wanting businesses respond faster with new offerings to meet their changing needs. Only by understanding the context will companies have the right strategy to offer the most relevant brands, products or services.
“Retailers and brands can manage the impact of changing consumer trade-offs by staying close to consumer trends and moving quickly to respond to them,” said Jill Standish, senior managing director at Accenture who leads her Detail industry practice globally. “While there is an undeniable headwind, retailers have always known how to innovate to solve problems, and innovation will become increasingly important to create new levels of value, reduce costs and do what it takes. it takes for society and the planet. It requires extraordinary levels of collaboration, engagement and consumer engagement, not to mention technology and business innovation that is based on insights from trusted data sources.
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Accenture’s 2022 Consumer Pulse Survey offers insights into consumer outlooks, sentiments and behaviors. This year’s survey covers all consumer industries, but focuses on consumer goods, retail, travel and healthcare. Accenture surveyed a representative sample of 11,311 consumers from 16 countries: Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam. The survey was conducted online and targeted consumers who made household purchases in the past six months. Respondents were evenly split between genders and age groups. The survey was conducted between February 7 and 15. It was supplemented by another consumer survey, conducted between April 7 and 25, which included 10,085 respondents from eight countries in the original survey: Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy. , the United Kingdom and the United States
The results of the survey are presented in a report by Accenture for the detail industry.
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