Health & Wellness

RECENT NEWS
TechCrunch  Jan 20  Comment 
 Greatist, a website promising “real facts and doable steps for your happiest life,” has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding. I wrote about the startup way back in 2012, when I said it was focused on “non-sucky health content” — in...
Forbes  Jan 4  Comment 
For the first Future of Work Podcast for 2016, I speak with David Rodriguez the Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer of Marriott International.  The topic of this podcast is all around the business impact of employee health...
Forbes  Dec 18  Comment 
Following the acquisition of Target's in-store pharmacies, CVS is moving to increase traffic by making the chain a top-of-mind destination for the consumers? health and wellness needs across the spectrum.
Benzinga  Nov 24  Comment 
Shares of Boulder Brands Inc (NASDAQ: BDBD) gained more than 8 percent early Tuesday morning after the company has agreed to sell itself to Pinnacle Foods Inc (NYSE: PF) for $11 per share. Pinnacle said in a press release the acquisition will...
Forbes  Nov 19  Comment 
At The Hartman Group’s A.C.T. (Anthropology. Culture. Trends.) Health & Wellness Now—and Next 2015 symposium in Seattle this past September 24, professionals and practitioners from across a broad spectrum of the food and beverage industry...
Forbes  Nov 3  Comment 
In healthcare, consumers are once removed from not just payment, but also decision-making. In spite of this disintermediation, health and wellness is innately individual. In parallel, consumer adoption of health and wellness related technology is...
Yahoo  Oct 6  Comment 
Wal-Mart on Tuesday announced a series of initiatives to beef up its health and wellness offerings.
Forbes  Oct 5  Comment 
Today I sit down with James D. White, the CEO of Jamba Juice. We speak about what the culture is like at Jamba Juice and what the CEO values most at his company. Jamba Juice has spent a lot of time cultivating their corporate culture, specifically...
Forbes  Sep 27  Comment 
Yes, the proliferation of self-checkouts and the attention-diverting use of smartphones are making impulse buys in checkout lines less of a sure thing. And yet, the front-end is still a big source of soda, candy and magazine sales for many...
Forbes  Sep 20  Comment 
Target says it will end its "Take Charge of Education" program next spring and shift to health and wellness initiatives as the focus of its cause marketing efforts.




 
TOP CONTRIBUTORS

The term "health and wellness" has become a powerful tool for marketers in various industries. As people decide to change their habits and pursue healthier lifestyles, many different companies stand to benefit. Health food retailers, manufacturers of exercise equipment, and companies that produce vitamins or nutritional supplements could all see increased demand for their products as a result of the health and wellness trend. On the other hand, companies whose products or services are generally associated with poor health would be negatively impacted by an increased public concern about health and wellness. Examples include tobacco companies and fast food restaurants.

Health and wellness are often used interchangeably, but they have slightly different meanings. Health is more of a medical term and describes the physical and mental state of a person. It usually denotes a lack of disease or abnormality. Wellness, on the other hand, is defined as the overall process of maintaining a general state of good health. Wellness involves conscious decisions on the part of the individual, whereas health simply describes a person's condition. In modern usage, however, the combined phrase "health and wellness" has come to mean the pursuit of overall physical, mental, and emotional health. This term is used frequently in various contexts, all aimed at promoting a better lifestyle.

What's driving the health and wellness trend?

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U.S. obesity trends, 1990-2005

Many factors have contributed to the increased public awareness of health and wellness. Higher rates of heart disease, increases in the incidence of cancer, record numbers of clinically obese people, and various other health scares have all drawn attention to the need for healthy lifestyle choices. Additionally, as modern medicine has progressed, doctors and scientists have greatly expanded their knowledge of the human body, exposing many health risks that were previously unknown. One-hundred years ago, doctors touted excessive sun exposure as beneficial, and heroin/cocaine combo sets, complete with syringes and needles, were sold in department stores. It is now common knowledge that too much sun can cause skin cancer, smoking can bring on any number of painful deaths, and eating a bit too much ice cream can pack on the pounds, increasing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

What does health and wellness entail?

Though the definitions range from the strictly physical to the deeply spiritual, most agree that health and wellness involves making conscious decisions to improve a person's overall state of health. Common components of the pursuit of health and wellness are:

  • Healthier food consumption - This is considered to be a crucial part of achieving good health. The health and wellness trend hinges on the belief that food intake is directly related to physical health. As such, maintaining a sensible diet of healthy foods has become a keystone in the health and wellness philosophy.
  • Physical fitness - Though it is possible to be both healthy and well without running marathons daily, some physical exercise is generally recognized as an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
  • Avoidance of potentially harmful products or behaviors - Cutting down on things that can cause illness or other unhealthy consequences is also key to the health and wellness trend. Avoiding smoking, wearing sunblock, and obeying the speed limit are all examples of steps that people take to keep themselves healthy.

Which companies benefit from increased concern about health and wellness?

Natural food retailers

Diet services

  • NutriSystem (NTRI) and EDiets.com (DIET) both offer meal delivery plans that send meals, which are specially planned to fit customers' dietary needs, directly to their homes. eDiets also runs a website that offers diet advice and related products and services.

Exercise equipment manufacturers

  • Cybex International (CYBI) manufactures exercise machines and equipment, which are intended primarily for commercial purposes. As people start going to the gym more often, Cybex could benefit from increased demand for gym equipment.
  • Nautilus Group (NLS) makes exercise equipment for both home and commercial use.
  • Garmin (GRMN) offers a number of portable GPS products designed for outdoor activities to help users to chart their runs and monitor their heart rate.

Nutritional supplements and health care products

Wellness companies

  • Principal Financial Group (PFG) offers wellness services to both corporate and individual clients, including advising companies on ways to keep their employees fit and helping individuals understand and manage their health.

Which companies benefit from decreased concern about health and wellness?

Tobacco companies

Quick Service Restaurants

Food manufacturers

  • Campbell Soup Company (CPB) dominates the domestic canned soup market. Most of its products are high in sodium, which has been linked to high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attacks.
  • The Coca-Cola Company (KO) is the world's largest producer of carbonated soft drinks, which have seen declining demand as a result of health and wellness concerns. Pepsico (PEP), Coca-Cola's main competitor, is also a major producer of carbonated soft drinks, though it has significantly expanded its non-carbonated options in response to changing consumer tastes.
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