For many consumers, the concept of “healthy aging” means maintaining optimal mental and physical faculties over the lifespan. This definition aligns well with nutraceutical solutions, which appeal to Boomers looking for natural products that can help maintain health, wellness, vitality and mobility in their senior years.
According to research from Nielsen and the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), the healthy aging market isn’t exclusive to older consumers. In the U.S., Millennials (between 18 and 36 years old) are taking personal interest in their health and are increasingly driving sales in healthcare categories such as supplements, vitamins and preventive care products.
For example, younger Millennials are 40% more likely than the general population to be open to “alternative medicine,” while older Millennials are 32% more likely than average. Neilsen and NMI also acknowledged the ethnic diversity of this younger generation: 14% of Millennials are first-generation American citizens and 12% are second-generation. Given their racial and ethnic diversity, and the cultural traditions associated with alternative medicine, they may not be as tied to Western medicine as older generations.
As healthy aging demands continue to expand, among Boomers and Millennials, companies have a profound opportunity to attract and retain a sizeable segment of supplement and natural product users.
However, in order to grow its base of loyal customers, the industry at large needs to deliver a strong commitment to quality and counter the firestorm sparked by the New York Attorney General’s investigation of dietary supplements.
While inherently flawed and based on a misapplication of science, the testing controversy has raised real concerns the nutraceuticals industry must address in order to ensure—and in some cases restore—confidence. For example, adulteration is still a problem that demands a multi-faceted answer. DNA testing alone is not the solution. What more can we do to root out the weeds that continue to plague the industry? Feel free to send me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.