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Monitor: New consumer research shows younger consumers have signed on to natural products goals

A New Hope Network survey deployed this week reveals that millennials and Gen Z consumers are more likely than older generations to prioritize holistic practices that align with natural product value propositions.

Natural Products Industry Health Monitor, Jan. 27, 2022
As the world emerges, haltingly from COVID-19, new challenges emerge. In this feature, New Hope Network provides an ongoing update on those challenges and the opportunities they hold. Look for the Industry Health Monitor every other Friday to learn the major news that is affecting the natural products market immediately and the less obvious insights that could dictate where the market may struggle or thrive in the months to come.

New consumer research from New Hope Network could provide the natural products industry with some of the best news in recent memory that doesn’t come with an asterisk; namely, findings on consumer intentions for 2022 suggest benefits for the industry that will long outlast COVID-19.

Since the pandemic washed ashore in 2020, much of the ensuing good news for the natural products industry has come as a silver lining to a very dark cloud. Sales growth for supplements soared to a historic high with consumers concerned about immunity. People became more mindful of what they were eating for the same reason. They cooked more meals at home, and e-commerce exploded to the benefit of countless brands, primarily because people were trapped in their houses.

But research completed this week shows us that the younger generations, AKA millennials and Gen Z, express intentions that line up closely with the natural products industry’s foundational value proposition. Across a number of holistic intentions, the two younger cohorts are more likely than Gen X and baby boomers to list health-focused practices as primary goals.

That’s the good news that will outlast the pandemic.


Asked about their goals for 2022, millennial and Gen Z consumers are more likely to include exercising more and managing stress than both Gen X and boomers. However, Gen X is roughly even with Gen Z with regard to the intention to eat healthier.

It is both interesting and perhaps encouraging that the younger generations rank “losing weight” lower on their list of priorities. This may be a goal that’s shared by a significant number of Gen X and millennial consumers, but the fact that it comes in behind the more holistic practices suggests older generations might also be looking at their health in ways that could be considered, simply, healthier.

Such findings should be good news to natural products brands that have built their product promises on wellness rather than a quick fix. Certain sectors in the industry, particularly supplements, might have worried about getting the attention and loyalty of millennials and Gen Z, but it’s hard to find bad news in these findings. More millennials than any of the other generations said they intend to buy more supplements.

That’s not silver-lining good news. That’s plain-old good news.

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