7 min read
Jared Silitonga - Mar 5, 2021

3 Health and Wellness Trends Shaping Consumer Decisions in 2021

2020 has seen people migrating into uncharted territory for the first time in their lives. No, it’s not playing Pokemon Go at the nearest park – but it’s closer than you think. It’s moving; visiting the great outdoors, taking a brisk walk, or even doing HIIT exercises! Yes, not to break your bubble but I’m talking about people actually labeling their lifestyles as “active” for the very first time.

Evolution of Online Discussions On Healthy Living Increasing

Online mentions based on the topic of healthy living increased by 57% in 2020 compared to 2019.


If you met someone largely before Covid-19 struck and asked them what they felt about healthy living, chances are you might not get a compelling reason on why they should stay active. On top of stay-at-home measures factored in, people had more reasons to replace their sedentary lifestyle with more blood-pumping activities. This surge to get fitness levels up and running culminated as a result of more people having digital access and exposure to exercise videos on social media channels, like Youtube, Facebook, and even Instagram stories.


While other consumer sectors were struggling to find their footing amid a Covid-19 pandemic, the health and wellness industry had unexpectedly punched above its weight following a worldwide valuation of $4.2 trillion. By the end of 2020, there was a 57% increase in people talking about healthy living on social channels over the previous year.

This health and wellness boom will undoubtedly spill over into 2021 as the growing health-conscious audience transit from fitness beginners to fully-fledged fitness junkies. Just as well, brands are leaping on board the bandwagon with more content based on health and wellness themes to get people talking and more importantly, engaging with their brand.


Health and wellness have become key topics for conversation about future technologies impacting the way we see health in general. Brands and organizations are changing the way they approach consumers by tapping on online technology to offer convenient and accessible services. 


BONUS: Download this healthy living social report to glean key trends and marketing tactics top brands use for their content strategy.


Brands can do well to take heed of these three key trends and pave the way for the future of health engagement. 


1. Virtual Wellness Means Zero Lag Time ⚡

With more people choosing to stay home rather than go out, there will certainly be a rise in demand for brands to reinvent their offerings and services by going digital. However, it is not enough for brands to just list their products online, as there is an expectation for brands to include wellness as a vital part of their business strategy.


Successful health and wellness brands, in particular, have taken advantage of this adversity to pivot and increase their brand’s market share with the influx of consumers exploring new means to wrestle control of their health.   


By creating access to wellness programs and services virtually, it can help accommodate consumers who place their personal safety at the top of their buying decisions. Furthermore, with most gyms, studios, and massage parlors closed intermittently, if not operating at a reduced capacity, regular wellness-seekers are considering virtual options as their main gateway towards a healthier state of mind.


With in-person experiences out of the question, consumers are turning to virtual wellness to keep up with their daily rituals. In terms of benefits, aside from the ease and flexibility of having to not commute, the price points are lower for virtual options. This opens up opportunities for brands to connect with consumers who previously feared going to in-person venues, as it invited undue pressure from those incessant wide-eyed glares.



2. Consuming Health and Wellness One Bite a Time 🍎

With work, home, and personal space becoming a somewhat confusing blend during this pandemic, consumers will appreciate the fact that health and wellness options are becoming snackable portions.


Apps are a critical component in the separation of work from rest as they help the user make meaningful use of their time or retreat from work-related burnout. Apps that can help deliver shorter, 10-15 minute sessions in between work are gaining customer traction as they fit easily into hectic schedules.


Brands like Nike and Apple are increasingly marketed in the fitness arena with Nike’s Training Club and Apple’s Fitness+ providing quick and easy facilitation to workout sessions. Meditation apps like Calm and Headspace are on the rise to help people keep in touch with their emotions and stress points through meditation, mindful practices, and quality sleep. In a similar fashion, Covid-19 has propelled Yoga brand Alo in recent years as the brand sees more user subscriptions with Alo Moves, a sign that the app space will be the face for most health and wellness brands to deliver high-quality customer engagement.


When it comes to tidbits, nothing feels better than scoring points and staying in shape while you’re at it. Brands are now leveraging the concept of “gamifying fitness” to increase customer engagement and loyalty by getting consumers to navigate through their app to complete small goals – often with the promise of exchanging rewards. For brands to create a seamless customer experience, they need users to be on their brand’s ecosystem as much as possible.

By navigating through this digital route, health and wellness brands have come to the fore to offer personalized experiences in neatly-packed offerings. Brands can glean social insights using social listening to unpack the factors behind consumer behavior and find relevancy when guiding future product enhancements.



3. Putting Self-Care Back On Top 💆

The increase in the number of people talking about healthy living is no coincidence as people are struggling to find work-life balance amid a work-from-home reality. On top of that, the economic uncertainty and poor job employment climate aggravates issues further, which may cause anxiety over work performance.

Mental health discussions gaining momentum over physical health


Last year, established brands like JanSport and Instagram were examples of key brands that drove mental health messages in their campaigns, conscientiously highlighting the collective mental health challenges faced at different levels of society. Social media channels are the platform of choice in discussing mental health issues, giving those afflicted who follow such brands a community to resonate with and make their voices heard.


Example of top brands’ postings during world mental health day:

Netflix Mental HealthNational Geographic Mental Health


Nestle Welfare and Team Unity


Marketers and brand managers inspired to incorporate a similar vision in their branding may want to follow what top brands do in their messaging:

  • Netflix featured a film associated with navigating mental health and reminded audiences to reflect on the people who matter.
  • National Geographic spotlights the effects of social distancing as a key factor to mental health affliction.
  • Nestle partnered with Glassdoor to promote themselves as a company that envisions strong welfare and team unity within the workplace.


Keep Pace With Social Listening 🏃

Acquire a social intelligence tool like Digimind Social to keep track of notable trends and underlying conversations around your brand, market, and competitors. It’s more critical that you seize opportunities even before they surface; having the needed agility to identify hotspots and potential risks in future strategy building.

Glean what consumers are talking about health and wellness and build upon proven marketing tactics and social media content around top brands in our social report on Asia Pacific’s Healthy Living Industry!

Healthy Living Industry Social Report - Digimind - Blog CTA

Written by Jared Silitonga

Jared is a member of the APAC marketing team at Digimind. Besides hashing insights into content, he loves a good ol' sit-down of board gaming and film rhetoric. Catch him diving in other shenanigans on Instagram @jarrds