Looking into the topic of the lifestyle supplement reveals how public visibility is changing. The term “healthy” changes its meaning depending on fashion, celebrity trends and generation within society. Only a decade ago, healthy was related to the term “skinny” and you were unhealthy if you were overweight or if you had a visible condition. Lifestyles in recent years are becoming more about body positivity, eating clean and feeling healthy in yourself. For women especially, being healthy is no longer about being slim, but being strong and being themselves with both healthy body and mind. These changes in trends mean that the nutritional industry regularly must adapt to these changes.
There is a certain type of dietary supplement rising above the rest; the lifestyle supplement. These differ from the traditional supplement by providing a goal to attain a specific lifestyle, rather than attracting customers from a “sick care” approach such as improved cholesterol or reducing fatigue, for example.
Most beauty and fashion-focused brands may sell a nutricosmetic product that achieves a beauty goal such as better looking skin or anti-ageing. A Sports nutrition brand will sell nutritional supplements aimed at joint health, to improve and support the active lifestyle of its consumers within their own fitness goals.
Libby Rodney, chief strategy officer at market researcher Harris Insights & Analytics (Rochester, NY), says that “lifestyle brands employ some very clever tools for recruiting and retaining their audiences.” First and foremost, she states, “the goal of a lifestyle brand is to build a community aspiring to the same lifestyle goal. Once a community member decides to trust a brand and join the brand family, they become likely customers for whatever products the brand decides to sell because they’ve already bought into the brand’s philosophy.”
Lifestyle supplement brands communicate heavily with their customer base through a multitude of media platforms, regularly providing information for their customers to learn about the brand and its products. Bloggers and celebrities are now creating their own supplement ranges, followed by a whole variety of hints, tricks and personal experience which is invaluable to their audience. By regularly providing information and building trust, their followers believe they will also benefit from the supplement, aiming to have the lifestyle of their idols across social media. This behaviour is also being adopted by high street fashion retailers, recognizing the trends.
Building a lifestyle supplement brand is a longer method and hard work, however, when completed well, the results are impressive. There are still gaps within this market space however, with a typical lifestyle consumer saving money to spend on health and wellness monthly. The millennial generation now spends up to £10 on a smoothie, £5 on a vitamin water or celebrity supplements double the price of the generic supermarket brand.
Looking at previous years, the need to be a part of the higher – more luxurious – social scale is desirable in a large proportion of consumers. Through small splurges such as smoothie bowls, fresh juices and even dietary supplements, consumers feel like they are participating in a high-end lifestyle as they see their role models doing the same fashionable things via social media. Millennials are not afraid of paying more for products that are GMO-free, organic, natural and free from artificial ingredients, thinking differently to predecessors.
Celebrities are continuously posing with hair, skin and nail gummies, protein shakes and beauty capsules and the trust that consumers have towards them influence purchases. The brand value added by celebrities is immediate and palpable. When a celebrity signs an endorsement deal with a product, an element of legitimacy is suddenly present in the company, simply because of the power of the name backing it up.