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The latest research from McKinsey & Company estimates that the global value of the health and wellness market is over $1.5 trillion, with an annual five to 10 percent growth rate.
For executives and entrepreneurs who are in other industries — and who are considering a career move — here are four reasons why entering the health and wellness industry might be a smart move.
Related: 5 Lessons I Learned From Launching a Startup During The Pandemic
1. Size and growth of the market
With natural products retail sales having capped $189 billion by the end of 2020, Nutrition Business Journal predicts that by 2024, the value of the U.S. market will reach $66.24 billion — an increase of $10 billion compared to 2020.
Since the overall health and wellness industry is becoming increasingly crowded with brands — from home-grown companies to multinational corporate giants dipping their feet in — the industry’s need for highly skilled executives has perhaps never been greater.
While the talent pool in the health and wellness marketplace is strong, movers and shakers who have honed their entrepreneurial craft in the trenches of other markets can often bring fresh perspectives — and potentially a rigor and discipline that comes from these other fields.
Related: How Success Happened For Jennifer Maanavi, Co-Founder and CEO of Physique 57
2. Consumer demand
The 21st-century consumer continues to evolve — both shaping and being shaped by changes, forces and attitudes that are not always easy to predict.
While consumer behavior has continuously evolved, the one thing that defines them has always remained constant: values.
For decades, natural products consumers have demanded that manufacturers and brand marketers produce products and services that align with their values, which include but are not limited to sustainability, diversity. transparency and responsibility.
Related: Profit’s Not the Only Thing. Businesses Driven By Values Succeed in the Long Run
A new business owner needs to understand that wellness can be defined from several perspectives. My advice is to focus on one of these five areas and find a way to disrupt the marketplace.
This includes medical devices, nutritional supplementation, remote healthcare services and personal health trackers. That is where data analysis and tracking have taken a significant leap forward in the industry. People are interested in easy ways to self-monitor and evaluate their progress.
This area has unquestionably been redefined during the Covid era. The ability for people to be fit at home while receiving personalized supplementation delivered right to their door has created a niche. It allows a brand to connect with the consumer in the privacy of their own home.
Again, eating healthy has always been a priority for consumers concerned about wellness, but the marketplace is slowly adopting the concept of supplementation within traditional food and beverage. Additionally, offerings such as meal delivery services, detox cleanses and diet programs are all on the upward swing.
Better sleep and increased mindfulness
The pandemic has renewed the importance of sleep and a positive mindset. Products that enhance both are in extreme demand.
This area includes consumers who regularly purchase skincare products and programs that promote holistic wellness. Additionally, this is where your athleisure apparel category lives.
3. The ability to powerfully engage with a committed community
Who wouldn’t want to be among those executives leading the charge in empowering and being empowered by committed, value-focused consumers? One of the advantages of social media is that it gives consumers and brands the ability to tell personal stories that lead to market disruption.
People are shopping in record numbers online, and this will only continue, but the desire for interaction — and connection — remains at the core of human existence.
The entrepreneurs who embrace the ability to create a community will be the ones who will win, now and into the future.
Health and wellness is a perfect industry to leverage social media and applications that allow for a more intimate connection to the consumer.
4. Peak time to leverage emerging trends
I’ve touched on a few of these trends, but it’s crucial for emerging and future wellness industry leaders to recognize the following:
- Natural and clean label products are “king” in a variety of areas, such as supplements, food services, sleep enhancers and most recently, cosmetics and skincare. Reevaluate your development roadmap to consider whether you have more opportunities to introduce natural or wellness-oriented products or acquire natural/clean product lines.
- Personalization — This preference is gaining traction now more than at any time in history. Consumers are more willing to give up some privacy for more personalization and customization. Find ways to tap into this ethically while ensuring that guardrails are in place to benefit the business and that customer data remains secure. This preference is gaining traction now more than at any time in history. Consumers are more willing to give up some privacy for more personalization and customization. Find ways to tap into this ethically, making sure that the right guardrails are in place to benefit the business while protecting customer data.
- Digital is here to stay — Create seamless omnichannel and digital offerings to ensure that you meet your customers where they are, not where you think they should be. Beyond building channel partner relationships, consider developing a supply chain, package sizes, marketing or the like specifically for ecommerce. For service offerings such as gyms, use a holistic online strategy to build app-enabled features that keep consumers engaged throughout the ecosystem.
- Influencers — Use influencers to win consumers over or push them across the finish line to purchase. I recommend partnering with an agency to identify people who will be a natural fit with your brand and that will resonate authentically with your target consumer base.
To win in the crowded and increasingly competitive wellness industry, you must be digitally savvy and closely pay attention to analytics. Doing so will allow you to make informed, data-driven decisions about your business.
You need to build an ecosystem, a community of loyal followers and you need to have an agile operating model that will allow you to outperform larger but slower companies. Innovation and speed to market are two of the keys to success in today’s wellness market.
Wellness is here to stay as consumers across the globe plan to increase their spending on personal health, appearance, fitness and more. If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that physical and mental health will remain a priority for millions of people across the globe for a long time to come.