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UK Managing a Healthy Lifestyle Consumer Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Healthy Lifestyles market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

What you need to know

A third of adults believe that they are healthier now than they were a year ago, reflecting booming interest in healthy living initiatives. However, despite positive consumer sentiment, the UK’s health profile leaves much to be desired. The population is ageing and obesity rates remain stubbornly high.

Mental health has become an increasing area of focus in recent years, with many consumers now placing equal emphasis on their mental and physical wellbeing. This poses opportunities for tech brands to further develop their health tracking capabilities, as well as for brands to tap into the mindfulness trend, using marketing campaigns centred around helping consumers to relax and destress.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Jack Duckett, a leading analyst in the Lifestyles sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

A third of adults believe that they are healthier now than they were a year ago, reflecting the UK’s booming interest in healthy living. However, healthy habits are hard to adopt, and even harder to sustain. The perceived higher cost of healthy food is also a significant barrier. Brands and retailers must now do more to make it easier for people to make healthy decisions, such as using loyalty schemes to reward people for buying healthier foods and being more active. Jack Duckett
Lifestyles Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Executive Summary

        • The market
          • Government looking to tackle obesity problem
            • Figure 1: Trends in body mass index (BMI), England, 1995-2015
          • Evidence of moderation in drinking alcohol
            • Campaigns raising awareness of issue of mental health
              • ‘This Girl Can’ campaign helps to get females more active
                • Ageing population increases pressure on NHS budgets
                  • Income squeeze could impact on healthy lifestyles
                    • The consumer
                      • Half of people think they are healthy for their age
                        • Figure 2: State of people’s health, 2014-17
                      • One in 12 take a strict approach to being healthy
                        • Only a fifth getting 5-a-day every day
                          • Figure 3: Frequency of health-related behaviours, August 2017
                        • Only a third of people relax every day
                          • Abstention and moderation in drinking alcohol
                            • Young people the most anxious or stressed
                              • Figure 4: How people deal with feeling anxious or stressed, August 2017
                            • Sleep, diet and exercise most important for staying healthy
                              • Figure 5: Habits seen as important for staying healthy, August 2017
                            • Strong interest in apps with healthy eating ideas
                              • Fifth of people track their number of steps
                                • Figure 6: Measuring/tracking electronically and interest in measuring/tracking electronically aspects of health and lifestyles, August 2017
                              • What we think
                              • Issues and Insights

                                • Room for more help from brands to encourage healthy eating habits
                                  • The facts
                                    • The implications
                                      • Role for technology and benchmarking in increasing daily exercise
                                        • The facts
                                          • The implications
                                            • Untapped space for brands to help people with anxiety and stress
                                              • The facts
                                                • The implications
                                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Obesity levels still increasing
                                                    • Government looking to tackle obesity problem
                                                      • Evidence of moderation in drinking alcohol
                                                        • Campaigns raising awareness of mental health
                                                          • ‘This Girl Can’ campaign helps to get females more active
                                                            • Ageing population increases pressure on NHS budgets
                                                              • Income squeeze could impact on healthy lifestyles
                                                                • Social media having a big influence
                                                                  • Wearable technology helping with health and fitness
                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                    • Health and weight management drive healthy food habits
                                                                      • Figure 7: Reasons for eating healthily, November 2016
                                                                    • Obesity levels still increasing
                                                                      • Figure 8: Trends in body mass index (BMI), England, 1995-2015
                                                                    • Government looks to tackle obesity problem
                                                                      • Soft Drinks Industry Levy details announced
                                                                        • Government outlines its plan to tackle childhood obesity
                                                                          • New Change4Life app targets parents’ health concerns
                                                                            • PHE’s ‘One You’ campaign
                                                                              • Evidence of moderation in drinking alcohol
                                                                                • Figure 9: Limiting or reducing the amount of alcohol drunk in the last 12 months, November 2016
                                                                              • Campaigns raising awareness of mental health issues
                                                                                • Theresa May pledges to champion mental health
                                                                                  • Celebrities go public about mental health
                                                                                    • Businesses look to offer solutions
                                                                                      • ‘This Girl Can’ campaign helps to get females more active
                                                                                        • Ageing population increases pressure on NHS budgets
                                                                                          • Figure 10: Trends in age structure of the UK population, 2012-22
                                                                                        • Income squeeze could impact on healthy lifestyles
                                                                                          • Social media and technology having big influence
                                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                            • Half of people think they are healthy for their age
                                                                                              • One in 12 take a strict approach to being healthy
                                                                                                • Only a fifth getting 5-a-day every day
                                                                                                  • Only a third of people relax every day
                                                                                                    • Abstention and moderation in drinking alcohol
                                                                                                      • Young people the most anxious or stressed
                                                                                                        • Sleep, diet and exercise deemed most important for staying healthy
                                                                                                          • Strong demand for food catering for healthy diets
                                                                                                            • Strong interest in apps with healthy eating ideas
                                                                                                              • Fifth of people track their number of steps
                                                                                                              • State of Nation’s Health

                                                                                                                • Half of people think they are healthy for their age
                                                                                                                    • Figure 11: State of people’s health, 2014-17
                                                                                                                  • Age-specific benchmarking gives people something to work on
                                                                                                                    • “Biological age” harnessed by BBC and Fitness First
                                                                                                                      • Higher-income households see themselves in best health
                                                                                                                        • Figure 12: State of people’s health, by age and gender, August 2017
                                                                                                                    • Amount of Effort People Put into Staying Healthy

                                                                                                                      • One in 12 take a strict approach to staying healthy
                                                                                                                        • Figure 13: Amount of effort people put into staying healthy, 2015-17
                                                                                                                      • For most people staying healthy takes effort
                                                                                                                        • Over-65s put the most effort into leading a healthy lifestyle
                                                                                                                          • Figure 14: Amount of effort people put into staying healthy, by gender and age, August 2017
                                                                                                                        • Emphasis on health but also enjoyment
                                                                                                                        • Frequency of Health-Related Behaviours

                                                                                                                          • Only a fifth of people getting 5-a-day every day
                                                                                                                            • Industry steps up efforts to boost veg intake
                                                                                                                              • Figure 15: Frequency of health-related behaviours, August 2017
                                                                                                                            • Majority of people never keep track of calories
                                                                                                                              • Apps offer convenient calorie counting
                                                                                                                                • Only a third of people relax every day
                                                                                                                                  • Relaxation embraced as a selling point from tea to tech
                                                                                                                                    • Evidence of abstention and moderation in drinking alcohol
                                                                                                                                      • Mental stimulation in short supply for many
                                                                                                                                        • Opportunities for employers and brain games to embrace mental stimulation
                                                                                                                                        • Dealing with Anxiety or Stress

                                                                                                                                          • Young people the most anxious or stressed
                                                                                                                                            • Listening to music most common means to deal with stress
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 16: How people deal with feeling anxious or stressed, August 2017
                                                                                                                                            • Going for a walk another popular way of dealing with stress
                                                                                                                                              • A third of people eat comfort food when stressed
                                                                                                                                                • Exercise a boost to physical and mental health
                                                                                                                                                • Habits Seen as Important for Staying Healthy

                                                                                                                                                  • Sleep, diet and exercise seen as most important for staying healthy
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 17: Habits seen as important for staying healthy, August 2017
                                                                                                                                                    • Middle-aged get the least sleep
                                                                                                                                                      • Strong demand for foods catering for healthy diets
                                                                                                                                                        • Keeping well hydrated also seen as important
                                                                                                                                                        • Usage of and Interest in Using Mobile/Tablet Apps

                                                                                                                                                          • Strong interest in apps with healthy eating ideas
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 18: Usage and interest in using mobile/tablet apps for healthy recipes, healthy meal swaps and help with anxiety/stress management and mindfulness/meditation techniques, August 2017
                                                                                                                                                          • Strong interest in apps to help manage and relieve stress
                                                                                                                                                            • Under-35s, mums and affluent households show most interest in anti-stress apps
                                                                                                                                                            • Interest in Electronic Measuring or Tracking Aspects of Health and Lifestyles

                                                                                                                                                              • A fifth of people track their number of steps
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 19: Measuring/tracking electronically and interest in measuring/tracking electronically aspects of health and lifestyles, August 2017
                                                                                                                                                              • Strong interest in tracking key health statistics and sleep
                                                                                                                                                                • Interest in tracking a number of aspects of health and lifestyles
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 20: Number of aspects of health and lifestyles people are interested in measuring or tracking electronically, August 2017
                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer research methodology