Over 75% of Thai consumers seek credible health claims amid rising cost of living

August 30, 2023

Global market intelligence firm Mintel has shared key findings from its latest research on Thai consumers’ Healthy Lifestyles, highlighting how brands across sectors can align with consumers’ desire for holistic wellbeing.

Mintel research reveals the gap between Thai consumers’ aspirations for health and their actual behaviours. Despite understanding the importance of a healthy lifestyle, more than a third (35%) face difficulties adhering to their workout schedules, with an equivalent proportion (32%) citing time constraints as a hindrance. “With over two-thirds (67%) of Thais agreeing that it is easier to maintain healthy habits with other people, brands have an opportunity to present practical, healthy alternatives that seamlessly integrate into everyday contexts and motivate consumers to establish good habits,” according to Wilasinee Siriboonpipattana, PhD (Kaimook), Senior Lifestyle Analyst, Mintel Reports Thailand.

As global economic concerns continue, brands need to recognise how budget constraints impact consumers looking for support with health and wellbeing. Over 75% of Thai consumers worry about escalating living expenses, resulting in a noticeable trend toward more cautious spending behaviours. Even within wellness purchases, consumers are inclined to favour brands that can substantiate their offerings with credible information: more than three-quarters of Thais (78%) agree that ‘healthy’ products that are backed up with evidence are more reliable than those without.

Elevated, pandemic-induced stress has propelled self-care into the spotlight as a prevalent coping mechanism, merging indulgence with personal well-being.

“Our research reveals that 70% of Thai consumers say healthy eating is about enjoying the food and not counting calories. Consequently, brands that provide healthier product alternatives — such as low-sodium, sugar-free or organic options — and aid consumers in harmonising consumption with moments of respite are poised to resonate strongly,” Siriboonpipattana said.

Beyond diet and exercise, Mintel research reveals a holistic well-being perspective where consumers are acknowledging the intricate interplay between mental and physical states rather than fixating on singular aspects. Stress is an ongoing health concern in Thailand, and while 76% say they consume sweets to boost their mood, personal care and cosmetic products are also used to create a routine that enables self-care and relaxation.

“Thai consumers know how to stay healthy, but starting and sticking with it can be tough. Brands can increase preference and loyalty by guiding consumers in making small, impactful changes to their daily lives. For example, our research indicates that 86% of Thai consumers seek fun in all aspects of life, so brands could look to gamify and incentivise healthy living by offering rewards in the form of points, vouchers or discounts. Given that 65% of Thais enjoy being early adopters of new technologies and 77% actively seek ways to simplify their lives, leveraging technology is a strategy that could help encourage consumers to form healthy routines.

“Thai consumers aren’t looking for a quick fix — slow, steady and sustainable wins the race, and the younger the consumer, the less likely they are to be strict with their healthcare routines. By making the process enjoyable, brands can create a win-win situation by keeping consumers engaged and committed to their health goals,” Siriboonpipattana concluded.

For more information or to schedule an interview with the Mintel Thailand analyst team, please contact the Mintel Press Office.

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