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Who’s Influencing Consumer Health and Wellness Behavior? Authority figures and self-discovery are growing sources

Harleysville, Pa. (August 2005) The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), the leading provider of strategic consulting, consumer insights and market research services across various health and wellness industries, today expanded on one of the trends it has identified as having a significant impact on the health and wellness marketplace. This trend is sixth in the series of NMI’s Top Ten Trends of 2005.

Trend #6: Sources of Influence Become Multi-Dimensional
According to NMI’s 2004 Health & Wellness Trends Database™ (HWTD), external sources of influence have a tremendous effect on the purchase of health and wellness products. And over the past six years, two themes have become evident – first, the influence of “authoritative sources” and second, the process of “consumer self-discovery.”

According to NMI President Maryellen Molyneaux, “The desire for authoritative information manifests itself in the sheer size of the influence of physicians and the growth of sources such as dieticians and government agencies, which show 6-year compound annual growth rates of 9% and 17% respectively.” When asked which sources influence their purchase of healthy and natural products, 87% of consumers indicated physicians, while 47% choose dieticians.

Self-discovery is evident across sources such as the Internet. It’s shown a 6-year compound annual growth rate of 22% with almost 40% of consumers indicating it as source of influence. While 67% of the general population use the Internet and 43% use it as a source for gathering information, only 14% use it for purchases of healthy and natural products. Other media such as magazines, newspapers and television have remained relatively stable in their level of influence over the past six years.

“NMI qualitative and quantitative research indicate that consumers are confused by the number of conflicting messages they hear regarding healthy and natural products. Their desire to cut through the clutter is leading them to seek out information both from authoritative figures as well as through their own channels. Combining both authoritative and self-discovery methods is critical for marketers in presenting believable and compelling messages to consumers,” states Molyneaux.

NMI’s 2005 Health & Wellness Trends Report TM (HWTR) contains more information on consumer sources of influence. To review a table of contents or to order the report, please visit:

NMI’s Health & Wellness Trends DatabaseTM (HWTD) and other proprietary data sources can provide a wealth of insight for companies in the health and wellness marketplace. For more information on the HWTD or NMI’s other consumer databases, contact NMI or visit our website at


NMI is a strategic consulting, market research, and business development company specializing in the health, wellness, and sustainable marketplace. For more information on NMI’s research reports, proprietary databases and other services, visit NMI’s web site at

Nancy White
215.513.7300 ext. 225
[email protected]

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