Andrea Wroble
Andrea Wroble is a Health & Wellness Analyst at Mintel. Andrea focuses on writing reports and providing consumer-driven insights for health and wellness categories.

At the start of 2020, consumers were optimistic about their personal wellbeing: goal setting was ambitious and adults were motivated to improve their health. Mindsets quickly changed when Americans encountered the unprecedented global health crisis COVID-19. The pandemic forced personal health management goals to evolve, as consumers were faced with unforeseen health concerns, heightened personal safety needs and emotional challenges.

COVID-19 placed US adults on high alert and shifted individual health priorities. According to Mintel research on health management, nearly half of adults have higher personal safety standards because of COVID-19 and three in 10 are more aware of their mental health needs. The need to safeguard one’s health and wellbeing resulted in an uptick in hand sanitizer usage, mask-wearing, hand washing, intake of immune system support supplements and social distancing. Simple routine changes have become tangible solutions to maintain a sense of control over health and wellbeing.

The balancing act of reflection and resolution

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed health vulnerabilities in a way that challenged many consumers to re-evaluate their personal wellbeing needs. In 2021, consumers are taking on a wide range of health-related goals, prioritizing both in-demand health concerns, such as avoiding common illness and building immune system strength, as well as forward-looking ambitions. As noted in Mintel’s upcoming report on health management trends, more than half of adults make healthy choices in order to live longer. Following the health scare of COVID-19, the current desire for longevity may stem from a need to achieve personal fulfillment and gain new experiences. Ultimately, the goal of living a long and healthful life grounds day-to-day health routines in optimism for the future.

2021 consumer health focus: finding wellness in routines

2021 Trend: At-home rituals give new meaning to self-care

What it means: Tackling several health goals at once can be daunting and overwhelming, but brands can lend a hand by helping consumers find comfort in routines. According to Mintel Trend, ‘Health Undefined,’ the home is becoming the center of wellbeing. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in many adults spending more time within their homes, which was a positive environment for managing health and wellness. Nearly half of adults say being at home more than usual helped them feel more in control of their health in the past 12 months. The evolution of home environments has resulted in consumers viewing the home as a place to care for physical and mental wellbeing. In the years ahead, consumers will expect products to seamlessly integrate into their homes, offering safety, comfort and security. Brands have the opportunity to position rituals and home routines as core components of self-care – using the foundation of the home as a place to de-clutter and de-stress. Consumers have formed an emotional connection to their homes that is rooted in maintaining control, which is a concept that can be applied to health and wellness goals. Tools that strategically organize or de-clutter health priorities can help adults feel more connected and in control of their health journey.

Brands to watch: Home goods and self-care brand Brooklinen offers a line of candles to match consumer routines. The “Wake” scent mimics the essence of morning ocean tide, whereas “Nightcap” is a dream-inducing aroma of bourbon and blood orange. In addition to the candle set, Brooklinen features wellness-focused topics on their social channels each week related to building a health-centric at-home routine. The brand covers topics such as incorporating rest into daily practice and tips for creating a daily movement routine.

2021 Trend: Self-prioritization is a priority

What it means: The COVID-19 pandemic provided ample time for adults to focus on aspects of life within their control, as well as prioritize activities and interactions deemed essential. Social gatherings, restaurant dining, travel and holiday plans were put on pause for some, allowing many consumers to re-focus on health goals that were previously deprioritized or put off for other commitments. As noted in Mintel’s upcoming Health Management Trends Report, half of adults achieved greater control over their health because they had more time to focus on personal needs and health ambitions. The newfound desire for self-prioritization will not fade as routines slowly normalize. Adults will seek simple ways to prioritize their health needs in day-to-day life, such as implementing an illness prevention strategy or finding breaks throughout the day.

  • Brands to watch:
    Self-care brand Nécessaire offers a range of personal care and sexual health products. The brand’s social channels encourage consumers to celebrate self-care, offering tips, “me-time” quizzes and ways to care for sexual wellness, skin health and more.
  • Jour is a daily journaling app designed to check-in on consumers’ emotional wellbeing. Consumers are asked to track how they are feeling each day, as well as log reasons for upticks in stress or anxiety. The app provides writing prompts to simplify the journaling process, as well as tailored questions to guide self-improvement efforts.

2021 Trend: Personalized health tools will fast-track consumer health goals

What it means: The goal of living a long and healthful life grounds day-to-day health regimens, and the continual need for improvement means adults are willing to seek outside support to achieve their health goals. Still, many adults take pride in self-motivation and want to maintain a sense of independence and convenience when managing health. Looking ahead, brands must find opportunities to help consumers feel supported, engaged and in charge. Nearly half of adults are seeking ways to improve their health, highlighting the opportunity for personalized health information to inform positive changes. Health services/platforms can help adults feel in control of their wellness aspirations by providing individualized health insights, as well as representing nuances in consumer wellness, such as the stages of women’s health.

Brands to watch:

  • The latest launch from Fitbit, Fitbit Sense, collects and analyzes skin temperature, blood oxygen, heart rate, electrodermal activity and REMs cycles to optimize consumer health. The connected app allows consumers to track their daily health levels to better manage stress, sleep, heart health and exercise.
  • Wearable device and connected app Whoop collects physiological data to provide users with a granular understanding of their body. Daily analytics are provided to inform optimal sleep patterns, recovery times and level of mental and physical bodily strain.