Chinese language customers face obstacles in adopting wholesome life
A healthy lifestyle has its price: Many in China and around the world want to switch to healthy food, although pricing remains a key issue, among other barriers. A new AlixPartners survey is getting closer.
The global management consultancy AlixPartners surveyed more than 6,000 consumers worldwide – more than a thousand each in the key markets of China, France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain and the USA. The aim was to review consumer attitudes towards health and wellness.
Awareness is no longer an issue at this point: Around half of global consumers recognize the importance of a healthy lifestyle – only 2% deny this. The challenge now is to put that knowledge into practice, as health products – both food and other – make up only a fifth of global consumer spending.
“Consumers have a good understanding of what it takes to be healthy and have a strong desire to adopt healthier lifestyles,” said Jian Li, head of AlixPartners Consumer Products Practice in Greater China – where the trends are global numbers reflect.
The last year has only intensified this trend. The fundamental changes in consumer behavior induced by the 2020 pandemic include significant dietary changes among Chinese consumers. Immediately after the outbreak last year, consultancy Oliver Wyman reported that four out of five Chinese consumers changed their eating habits – with fresh fruits and vegetables a priority.
Despite this dynamic, the health revolution has not yet fully realized its potential. “With many health and wellness products still viewing niche products, it is clear that there is still a long way to go before they take their rightful stake in consumers’ wallets,” said Li. So what keeps healthy living in this ” Niche ”bracket?
AlixPartners researchers asked consumers about barriers to buying health foods and other products, and the biggest deterrent – for over a third of all respondents – was price. The state of global food supply chains is so high that nutritious foods are so much more expensive – they are barely out of reach for a critical mass of consumers.
Those willing to spend a little more want to be sure that what they are buying is healthy – and just over 20% cannot make that call with certainty. A similar proportion cite in-store availability as an obstacle to buying healthy products, while around 15% simply don’t like the taste or experience of healthy products.
According to Li, it is up to manufacturers and retailers to fill these loopholes. “It is time brands went beyond educating consumers about healthy living and instead helping them achieve their goals. The demand for healthier products is now so great that consumer goods companies have to make health and wellness a central part of their customer offering, if this is not already the case. ”
“Brands that are successful will be the ones that invest significant resources in making this shift, with a clear focus on promoting innovation and value, and with a transparent and authentic approach to health and wellness issues. Consumers are increasingly paying attention to “health laundry” and expect to be able to buy products that have it all. “