LOHAS Consumers Redefine The Role of 'Value'

Research shows consumers increasingly seek alignment of personal values with brands and products

Harleysville, Pa. ( December 16, 2003) – The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), the leading provider of market research services within the health and wellness industry, today expanded on one of the trends it has identified as having a significant effect on the health and wellness marketplace. This trend is the second in the series of “NMI’s Top 10 Trends of 2004.”

Trend #2: A Shift From Consumer Value To Consumer Values

Manufacturers take note: consumers are becoming more discriminating every day, and increasingly they choose products whose attributes reflect their own personal values. The trend is especially evident with LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) consumers, a group which grew from 30% of the general population in 2002 to 32% of the general population in 2003. Ninety percent of these consumers agree that they “will usually buy products from companies whose values are most like my own,” while 62 percent of the general population agreed with the same statement.

“It isn’t that LOHAS consumers are giving up on traditional purchase drivers such as value, durability, nutrition, convenience, among others,” said Steve French, Managing Partner for NMI. “Rather, they are actively seeking those products endowed with additional characteristics that are associated with personal belief systems related to concepts such as sustainability, environmentalism, social responsibility, and other LOHAS-related platforms. It is also important to note that these values are applied to the entire supply chain – from the source of the materials used in the particular product, to the packaging itself, to what happens to the product after consumption. As so, the values alignment is relevant throughout the entire product life cycle.”

These findings have major implications for manufacturers, and how they communicate their business practices to consumers. “LOHAS consumers are information junkies,” said French. “They will examine packaging, read brochures, and make their way to a company’s Web site to learn more about it.” French says that LOHAS consumers can be extremely loyal to a brand or product, but only after they have done their due diligence. In addition, LOHAS consumers act as opinion leaders, having a large influence on others. As so, the LOHAS consumer is an important group to identify, target, and communicate with.

NMI's Top Trends of 2004 are the result of the company’s fifth annual Health and Wellness Trends Database™ and 2nd annual LOHAS Consumer Trends Database™, both based on research studies from 2,000+ U.S. consumer households. The databases are nationally projectable to the general population and statistically valid to +/- 2%.


NMI is a strategic consulting, market research, and business development company specializing in the health, wellness, and sustainable marketplace. This release is the third in a series of eleven articulating NMI’s Top 10 Trends of 2004. For more information, or to read the other releases in the series, visit the press section of NMI’s Web site at www.NMIsolutions.com/news.html.

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