Trends in the Health niche in 2021

24 August 2021

10 min read

This has been an important year for the health and wellness industry. Due to the sudden onset of the pandemic, the industry began to rapidly develop due to changing demand.

In 2021, we will explore current trends and predicted developments in this niche so that publishers can maximize their ROI on nutra.

Wellbeing Concept

In the past, the concept of well-being was primarily associated with fitness and nutrition. However, today’s consumers have a much wider range of goods and services. According to the McKinsey Wellbeing Survey, today’s consumers associate wellbeing on six different dimensions. Namely: health, fitness, nutrition, appearance, sleep and mindfulness.

Although consumers in different countries interviewed by McKinsey gave different answers, health is consistently important in all countries. However, different sizes are preferred depending on the country. Consumers in Germany prioritize fitness, respondents in Brazil lean toward mindfulness, and respondents in the United Kingdom prioritize nutrition.

Key niches:


Consumers are increasingly taking active control of their health into their own hands. Technology has become a major driver in healthcare with the advent of digital data-driven apps and devices that enable consumers to expand their experience. The advent of home monitoring tools to track or measure almost everything is just one innovation that fuels desire and demand.

Demand for portability and convenience has created a new product segment. Home test kits that can detect or diagnose food sensitivities, blood glucose levels, or thyroid conditions are becoming a must in the modern consumer’s bag.


Fitness trends have also touched the average consumer, especially during the pandemic. The restrictions caused significant changes in physical activity levels. Many are struggling to maintain pre-COVID-19 levels of physical activity, with about 40% of people becoming less active. However, the number of creative digital offerings has grown to meet the needs of consumers. Brands offering home workouts through on-demand streaming classes or gyms offering equipment rentals have actually changed the approach to fitness.


Consumers now pay attention not only to taste, but also to how well food can help achieve personal goals. In the UK, searches for “vegan meals” and “vegan recipes” are up 58% and 40% year-on-year, respectively, according to Google. This need for functional nutrition has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Being aware of what you’re eating has led to healthier food options, especially bread. Brands offer gluten-free options, reduced portion sizes, low-carb, and even keto alternatives.

The pandemic has caused many consumers to question their immune health and vulnerability to disease. This has led to an increase in consumption of immune-boosting foods, including vitamins and supplements.


In the eternal quest to look young, consumers are choosing sports and skin care products. The pandemic also did not become a serious challenge for this niche. In Germany, 86% of consumers reportedly spent as much time on their beauty and grooming as they did before COVID.

As the beauty industry develops, more and more attention is paid to the improvement of these procedures. Satisfying emotional and functional needs, beauty products are now becoming more personalized.


Worries about the pandemic and wellbeing have definitely become stressful for consumers. The push for more products and services to meet the need for better quality sleep has created alternative markets.

In addition to the old British panacea for insomnia, chamomile tea, there is now a demand for alternatives. Relaxing scents, diffusers and pillows are popular options. Consumer interest in reducing stress with adaptogens has also grown by 55% in 2020 thanks to the use of mushrooms and herbs such as ginseng.


As the stigma around mental illness is gradually reduced, there has been a rise in the number of reports of mental disorders worldwide. In the United States alone, from mid-February to mid-March 2020, prescriptions for anxiety medication increased by 34%. Relaxation and meditation apps are in high demand right now, with more than half of consumers surveyed by McKinsey indicating a strong preference for more of these drugs. products should be easily accessible.

Leading etrends:

1) Digitization

One of the key drivers of today’s economy, whether affected by the pandemic or not, is digitalisation. As many companies shift to a digital perspective, the same can be said for the average shopper.

Consumer behavior is changing due to the advent of online shopping. Physical stores are being replaced by virtual ones as consumers draw inspiration not only from organic search but also from social media content. About 70% of consumers made a purchase simply by watching a YouTube video.

home fitness

The YPulse report provides insight into the growing importance of homes for Generation Z and millennials. Home stay trends were observed in these age groups even before the pandemic, with 67% of people aged 19-37 staying at home on weekends. The shifts caused by the pandemic have shifted in favor of the stay-at-home trend, with 83% finding solace in their homes during the pandemic. 71% indicated that they enjoy spending their free time at home.

While the home continues to bring comfort and solace, the demand for home renovations is on the rise. 64% of consumers are now more interested in home improvement than before COVID. They want to furnish not only home offices and kitchens, but also fitness centers and hobby nooks.

A global consumer insights survey by PwC agrees with an increase in online shopping to 23% on June 21 from 19% in March. Consumers are more health conscious: those who work from home report being healthier (55%) than those who work outside the home (45%).

Health-conscious consumers are expected to spend more on related categories such as food; health and beauty and sports/fitness equipment.

Ethical consumerism

This trend continues with respect to sensitivity to the environment. Those who work from home (average 61%) are more likely to shop greener than those who work outside the home (average 50.8%). Of those less interested in sustainable shopping, 44% are put off by higher prices. Members of the less environmentally friendly group have been found to work away from home and are mostly driven by convenience.

A brand’s environmental practices affect consumer loyalty, but surprisingly, sustainability is not among the main drivers. Out of 12, reliability ranked first, while ethical and sustainable practices came in fifth and seventh. Millennials in particular are leaning towards environmentally friendly behavior, favoring transparent brands.

Similarly, in the European Union, millennials are an integral part of the consumer economy trend. At 24% of the population, they have comparatively higher incomes in Germany, the UK and France. In particular, male shoppers emulate traditional female behavior in the beauty and cosmetics industry. This demand for men-centric products has created exclusive men’s collections in the face of beauty-conscious men.

In the United Kingdom, interest in green development varies by city. According to Google data, residents of smaller cities such as Bristol, Manchester, Brighton, Cambridge, Oxford and Exeter are more aware than, for example, residents of London.

Compared to the global average, the Dutch are less concerned about sustainability. As for the average consumer, the high price (27%) is still a deterrent. When studying the factors that influence brand loyalty, the Dutch estimate that brand integrity violates terms of the deal at 25%, while ethical behavior is only 10%. Similarly, when comparing data security, the Dutch are less concerned (31%) compared to the global average (46%). In particular, only 31% of respondents in the Netherlands care about data compared to 59% of respondents in Eastern Europe.

In addition, consumers are increasingly buying from brands that align with their personal values. This is evident from Google’s search interest for “ethical brands” and “ethical online shopping”, which is up 300% and 600% year-on-year in 2020, respectively.


As brands continue to focus on the ever-changing needs of consumers, the global wellness market continues to grow. We hope that as the pandemic comes to an end, consumer behavior may change, opening up new opportunities for alternative markets.

The growth of the personalized food market follows. This market is forecast to reach US$183.7 billion by 2026 and there is a lot of potential for this market, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

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