While health has always been a fascination in human history, many developments and trends have formed around it. From prayers to medicine and from food regulations to exercise recommendations, the external influences to stay healthy have always been apparent. The current trend revolving around health, however, goes further than food and exercise. More and more people are shifting their complete lifestyle to make healthier decisions for themselves.
This trend is not only focused on the physical wellbeing of an individual, but also on the mental wellbeing. This is often achieved through meditation, mindfulness or relaxing exercises such as yoga. With the usage of social media, people share their goals, equipment and progress to inspire others, making the trend a quick one to spread. Currently, mostly Millennials are interested in following this trend, but trend analysts have predicted the trend to continue to spread for the future.
Catering company Albron can exploit this trend to increase their potential client base and increase consumer satisfaction. The most obvious way for Albron to tag along to the trend is by adjusting their ingredients and meals. However, by establishing partnerships and by launching social media campaigns, Albron can increase the value of this trend.
Company introduction - Albron
Albron Catering is the second largest Catering company in The Netherlands. Their concept revolves around creating, producing and managing meals and products with a story. Their main clientele exists of universities/schools, healthcare facilities (e.g. hospitals), business cafeterias, events and the recreation industry (Albron, 2016).
In 2012, Albron experienced a reorganization after which the KPI's and standards have been restructured into the following:
“Hospitable – A warm welcome for everyone
Involved – Lasting with attention, people orientation and motivation
Courage – A healthy combination of courage and realism
Trust – Mutual trust in the collaboration between our clients, customers, employees and partners”
Albron as a catering distinguishes itself by allowing their clients to represent their identity through the food concepts developed. This unique business concept (paired with passionate employees) creates an atmosphere that brings enthusiasm to all parties involved, from supplier to consumer (ibid).
With an increasingly technology-driven world, consumers demand all services and goods to be readily available.
This trend can be considered a countertrend to the fact that companies (e.g. Facebook and Google) have access to our personal details and track our online behavior. Trend Watching (2017) sees opportunities for brands and services that allow individuals to be incognito.
In today's Western society, younger generations such as Millennials and Generation Y are more accepting towards individuals with different lifestyles. This is especially evident in social movements such as the #BlackLivesMatter and the LGBTQI community.
Advancements in the world of technology and digitalization have made it possible for people to experience an environment without physically having to be there. This can be implied in many industries such as entertainment, hospitality and construction.
Consumers have an increasing need to be treated as an individual rather than “another person in the crowd”. This includes wanting the option to personalize products and services to uniquely fit their needs.
Internet of Things
With products and services such as Google Home, Samsung VIV and AI Pet Robots, products around us are continuously connected while learning and sharing our behavior (Trend Watching, 2017).
1 Health is Wealth - Definition
In today's society there is an increasing social pressure and consumer need for health and physical awareness. This is apparent in many facets of the consumer lives, from the food they eat to the accessories they wear and the social media accounts they follow (PWC, 2017). This trend does not only focus on a specific aspect of a person's life, but on the lifestyle and mindset said person adapts to. People are making conscious decisions and are informing themselves to make healthier decisions. Also, people are not focused on health for aesthetic reasons, but for the sole purpose of simply being healthy.
For example, a person could participate in this trend by:
- Visiting the gym regularly, often with a personal trainer
- Following “fit” accounts on social media for inspiration
- Wearing a Fitbit to track their movement and exercise
- Use a health app on their phone to keep track of their sugar, carbohydrate, water and calorie intake
- Visiting health blogs to keep up to date with the latest news on healthy eating and the so-called superfoods (e.g. Avocado, Kombucha, Green tea, Chia seeds, Acai bowls & Matcha)
- Avoiding fast food and pre-packaged foods
- Preparing meals to keep tight control of their intake
- Informing themselves on E-numbers and hidden ingredients
- Solely buying fresh, organic, non-GMO and “raw” ingredients
- Keeping a tight sleeping schedule
- Drink copious amounts of water
- Regulating the stress levels
(Naughton, 2017; Tucker, 2017; Clarke, 2013)
“A healthy lifestyle leaves you fit, energetic and at reduced risk for disease, based on the choices you make about your daily habits” (Clarke, 2013)
Humans have put an emphasis on health for a long period of time, which is evident in the many breakthroughs in the field of medicine over the years of human existence. However, the shift towards a strong importance and social pressure of leading a healthy lifestyle is a phenomenon that is developing and affecting a continuously growing number of people, making it a trend. Also, the impact is of great importance, as it is influencing every decision and every aspect of a person's life, as mentioned earlier. It is also expected to continue growing even more, as 53% of Millennials expects their eating habits to become healthier in the upcoming year, as shown in figure 1 (PWC, 2017).
The reason for the increase of importance and popularity of healthier living could be traced back to several causes. Firstly, it can on its own be considered a countertrend for fast food restaurants and the abundance of pre-fabricated, unhealthy food. Also, the increased convenience of technology caused people to exercise less, adding insult to injury. Because of this, nearly half of the deaths related to cardiovascular disease and diabetes in the US were caused by poor diet and lack of exercise (Seaman, 2017). Secondly, the trend has gained momentum due to the so-called Internet of Things¬, which has increased the connectedness of people all over the globe. With this, consumers have been able to educate themselves on the importance of a healthy lifestyle and the insights of nutritional facts and values. Also, it has helped people to share personal goals and results, leading to motivation for themselves and for others.
(Figure 1; PWC, 2017)
3 Relevance for client
As mentioned before, the healthy lifestyle trend is tied to many aspects of a person's life. It affects the decisions with regards to stress regulation, sleeping schedules, usage of technology, usage of social media platforms and exercise. However, the most important part of this trend is potentially the nutritional aspect. Consumers are becoming increasingly capable of recognizing E-numbers and pseudonyms for unhealthy ingredients such as artificial coloring, artificial flavoring, fats and refined sugars.
Seeing as Albron is a catering company that specializes in providing meals for a large range of companies and events, it is of utmost importance to be on top of all food trends. Especially with regards to employee meals there is a gap to be filled. According to Compass Group (2017) one in three employees in The Netherlands says their employer should invest more in providing healthier food options. Moreover, employers are increasingly seeing the value of good nutrition, namely as a way to “fuel” their employees and allow them to keep a sharp focus throughout the day. Employee meals with high nutritional value allow employees to stay healthier (less sick days), be more productive, more focused and have a better state of mind (Holwegner, 2016). Should Albron be able to promise this to their clients, chances are it will attract a higher potential customer base and higher customer satisfaction. Also, seeing as consumers are willing to pay more for healthy and nutritious meals, Albron could implement healthy meals in their catering of events to attract more consumers and increase their price per product (Gagliardi, 2015).
4 Time horizon
As mentioned earlier, the human race has found health important since the dawn of time. However, around the beginning of the 20th century there was a shift in health taking place, as the cause of deaths shifted from infections to cardiovascular diseases and chronic diseases (Harvard, 2017). This was mainly due to the improvements in healthcare and the increase in mass production, also for food. Around 1950, health organization felt it necessary to inform people on the importance of healthy eating to prevent diseases, which lead to the first widely spread “food pyramid” to be introduced (ibid). However, people were having a hard time to find a balance between taking their health into their own hands and trusting medicine and doctors (The Health Culture, 2012). In the late 1970s, this balance started to become normalized and regular exercise was added to the food pyramid, as shown in figure 2 (Harvard, 2017). However, regardless of the attempts to put a greater emphasis on the importance of a healthy regime, obesity began to increase. As technology sprung in the 1990s, regular exercise decreased and especially children found themselves playing with games inside rather than outside. This, in combination with unhealthy and fast meals due to busy lifestyles, has lead to record-breaking child obesity rates that continue to grow (CDC, 2017).
Currently, a shift is taking place in which the emphasis on a healthy lifestyle as a whole (instead of only healthy eating and exercising) is making a presence. This includes the aversion of E-numbers and artificial ingredients, tracking health and progress with technology, following popular food trends (e.g. Gluten free, vegan, raw, paleo, organic) and making an effort to uphold mental health (Naughton, 2017; Tucker, 2017; Clarke, 2013). The trend has currently reached a phase in which younger generations would rather opt for a healthy and wholesome meal rather than a convenient and quick fast-food meal. What really sets this trend apart from healthy approaches in the past is that consumers are increasingly taking a holistic approach to mental wellbeing and physical health (Consumer Lifestyle Trends, 2017). As Ewa Hudson (2017) put it during the Food Innovation Summit: “Clean eating, mindful eating is disrupting the old world of health and wellness, with consumers demanding food and drinks that are fresh, natural, and unprocessed or minimally processed.”
The future of this trend is promising, as companies are increasingly adapting an appearance of local, organic and healthy food (Loughlin, 2017). The healthy lifestyle is making a pathway for innovation in industries of all sorts, setting a boost in motion. Brian Kennell (2016) stated that adapting is not optional, but mandatory. For companies in any industry to survive in the future of our society they will have to turn towards innovation revolving around healthy lifestyles (ibid).
5 Sub-trends and Countertrends
A very visible trend that has peaked with the Health is Wealth trend is the rise of the #Fitgirls. This term refers to women that actively share their healthy lifestyles on social media. This often includes pictures of their diet, their fitness progress and their equipment and accessories. With this, they try to inspire others to adapt this same healthy lifestyle (van der Horst, 2017).
As mentioned before, many consumers take a holistic approach to mental and physical wellbeing. This entails seeing a superbly healthy diet as a way of preventing diseases. Nowadays, many do this by cleansing or detoxing their body with strict juice diets. In the future, this sub-trend is expected to evolve by technologically adding vitamins and minerals into meals (Consumer Lifestyle Trends, 2017).
As fresh, organic ingredients become increasingly popular and lifestyles become busier, a new niche market has emerged: Meal kits. These kits are boxes consisting of fresh and local ingredients for healthy recipes. However, even though the Meal Kit Service Industry has been valued at $1.5 billion, some trend analysts predict the trend to be dying, as nearly 90% of the customers of Meal Kit Services unsubscribe within the first six months (Cole, 2017; Fantozzi, 2016).
As mentioned earlier, the Health is Wealth trend does not only focus on physical wellness, but also on mental wellness. One trend that goes hand in hand with this is mindfulness, which focuses on reflecting on ones day and taking some time to clear ones mind. People do this by, for example, practicing yoga or meditating. Mindfulness is not only practices by individuals in their spare time, but has actually been proven to be effective in the workplace as well. Many claim it has helped them to reach personal achievements and follow through on goals (Hendricks, 2016).
As the health trend is a way of living and takes up quite a large portion of a person's life, some impressionable people have experienced Orthorexia Nervosa. This is a disease in which the sufferers experience an unhealthy obsession with trying to lead a healthy lifestyle, much like sufferers of Anorexia Nervosa suffer an unhealthy obsession with their body image. This can be seen as an awful backlash and countertrend to Health is Wealth (Desaulniers, 2017; Brauser, 2017).
6 Consumer base
Currently, Millennials are generally more health-conscious than the generations before them. They are most willing to make healthier decisions and are prepared to pay more for their health (Gustafson, 2017). Also, as shown in figure 1 in chapter 2, Millennials are keen on continuing to improve their healthy lifestyle in the future. However, 47% of Millennials has not indicated to make those plans, which shows that nearly half of the Millennials does not yet view Health is Wealth as a new normal (PWC, 2017). This shows that those whose decisions in their daily lives are influenced by their healthy lifestyle are still among the Visionaries in the Early Adoption stage of the trend (Tang, 2013). As Trend Analysts expect the trend to continue growing, the consumer base for this trend will most likely gain momentum from which companies can profit.
7 Trend Pyramid
8 Implications & Recommendations for Albron
Albron could use this trend to their favor in multiple ways. Of course, the most evident method is to switch to healthy and local meals. The ingredients used for their catering should be exceptionally focused on the nutritional values and balanced dietary requirements. By specifically implementing this in the cafeterias in companies, Albron can promote their catering to improve productivity and employee satisfaction.
8.2 Social media - Marketing
Yet, to fully exploit the trend of Health is Wealth, Albron will have to tag along to the other aspects as well. By ensuring that their consumers share their healthy and wholesome meals on social media (and tagging Albron), Albron can reach a great deal of potential consumers and clients. In this way, they can also show that they acknowledge the importance of a healthy lifestyle. With regards to social media, Albron could implement giveaways and campaigns to increase their engagement. For example: A person could win a Fitbit or a year free gym subscription when they share a meal of Albron on Facebook or Instagram. This is especially important, as Social Media has proven to be a direct driver for the motivation of health-conscious consumers.
To fully move to a Health is Wealth experience, Albron could opt to offer Mindfulness courses, discounts on gym memberships or courses on healthy lifestyles to the employees of their clients. They could do this by establishing partnerships with health-conscious companies.
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