IRI sees $450 billion self-care opportunity

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CHICAGO — Eating organic food, using natural home remedies, taking vitamins and disinfecting homes are just a few ways in which consumers are taking control of their own health and getting a handle on rising health care costs, according to an IRI report.

With 88% of Americans actively practicing self-care and 34% increasing their self-care activities in the last year, these new purchasing and consumption habits are creating big opportunities for brands and retailers alike.

The latest IRI Point of View, “Taking Charge: Consumers Grabbing Hold of Their Health and Wellness Drives $450 Billion Opportunity,” shows how consumer trends are currently impacting the CPG industry and what retailers and manufacturers need to do to win in this market.

IRI said that to bring clarity to this environment, IRI is also introducing a newly updated Self-Care Segmentation to help marketers develop personalized products and marketing campaigns.

“Self-care is not one large action or behavior, but a series of small, incremental actions and behaviors that accumulate to result in better health and wellness,” said Amruta Gupta, principal and health care leader for the IRI Consumer and Shopper Marketing practice. “To truly maximize the self-care opportunity, brands and retailers must think outside of traditional and narrowly defined categories and redefine their competitive sets to better understand where and how each product fits in their stores and strategy.”

IRI said that self-care is virtually everywhere; however, different shopper cohorts practice self-care differently. Brands and retailers must understand the dynamics of each and tailor product benefits and marketing programs to engage and activate different shopper groups.

To help brands and retailers increase sales and share of wallet, IRI said it had developed an extensive Self-Care Segmention. Marketers can identify and understand the attitudes and behaviors of high-value, high-opportunity shoppers and develop personalized strategies that will influence the path to purchase by addressing such key questions as:

  • How is my brand’s competitive set changing due to self-care behavior, and what’s the best way to protect and grow share?
  • What messaging will best resonate with high-potential consumers of my brand, and how can I make real-time adjustments that will enhance sales lift?
  • Which self-care segments skew toward my retail banner, and do my shoppers have a propensity for proactive or reactive self-care? How does this compare to my competitors?

The Self-Care Segmentation also features eight distinct consumer profiles:

  • Proactive Naturalists: Motivated by keeping fit and preventing illness.
  • Active Health Managers: Focused on limiting health care expenses and avoiding doctor visits.
  • Awakened and Dedicated: Seeking a balanced life and more energy.
  • Unconcerned Realists: No distinctive health and wellness motivation — simply taking life as it comes.
  • Healthy Passives: No motivation to adopt self-care behaviors — healthy and haven’t had to deal with anything too serious.
  • Preventive Moderates: No distinctive self-care motivation; simply want to prevent illness and stay fit and healthy, and are open to vitamins or supplements and prescription medications, as needed.
  • Advice Seekers: Managing a health condition and seeking constant reassurance from health professionals.
  • Doctor, Doctor!: Dealing with health conditions, but trying to stay healthy while aging, through medications and guidance from health professionals.

Identifying and understanding the attitudes and behaviors of high-value, high-opportunity shoppers is the first step in leveraging the self-care trend to drive growth, according to IRI. Without activation, however, the sales needle will not move. IRI has linked the Self-Care Segmentation to actual purchase behavior mined from a dataset of 350 million shopper loyalty cards to help brands and retailers customize marketing programs for their most valuable consumers.

“Personalization is not just an option here — it’s key to survival,” added Gupta. “CPG marketers and retailers must understand existing and evolving trends and remain a partner in self-care by offering solutions that meet the current and future needs of their consumers.”



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