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Healing Arts - LOHAS Consumer

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THE LOHAS CONSUMER - Impactin Spa &Wellness arke. The International Spa Association estimates that there are approximately 14,600 spa locations in the United States and that in 2006, the U.S. spa industry generated $9.4 billion in gross revenues. And, according to research from Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), 41% of consumers express interest in day spa activities. These numbers clearly demonstrate that consumers are embracing spas as part of their overall health and wellness.

The International Spa Association estimates that there are approximately 14,600 spa locations in the United States and that in 2006, the U.S. spa industry generated $9.4 billion in gross revenues. And, according to research from Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), 41% of consumers express interest in day spa activities. These numbers clearly demonstrate that consumers are embracing spas as part of their overall health and wellness.

For those looking to capitalize on this growing trend, a desirable target exists among LOHAS consumers. LOHAS –an acronym for Lifestyles Of Health And Sustainability – refers to an integrated, rapidly growing market for healthy goods and services that appeals to consumers who have a meaningful sense of environmental and social responsibility and incorporate those values into their purchase decisions.

Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) has tracked the LOHAS consumer since 2002. In 2007, NMI’s LOHAS Consumer Trend Database™ identified 19% of the U.S. general population as LOHAS consumers. That’s 40 million adults who are segmented as highly active drivers of ethical consumerism and health services. As NMI tracks this opportunistic consumer group and its influence on the overall population, some key trends begin to emerge within the marketplace both for LOHAS and general population consumers. These trends will have a significant impact on the spa industry.

NMI’s LOHAS Consumer Segmentation Model As shown in Figure, 1, based on the LOHAS Consumer Trends Database™, NMI segments consumers into one of five classifications.

LOHAS consumers represent 19% of the US population. As environmental stewards, they are socially responsible, driven to protect the environment and are avid users of green products. They take action to ensure personal and planetary health and influence others to do the same.
Therefore, LOHAS is a critical target for companies marketing healthy, green or socially-responsible products, particularly spa services as will be seen. As early adopters, LOHAS consumers’ opinions are very influential and help to push healthy environmentally-friendly products into the mainstream market. Buy-in from this segment is fundamental to establishing meaningful brand loyalty among most consumer segments.
NATURALITES (19%) make most purchase decisions based on benefits to their personal health.While they are interested in protecting the environment – an interest mostly driven by personal health reasons – they are not as involved in planetary health. To support their healthy lifestyle, they are avid users of natural and organic consumer packaged products and as such they are opportunistic secondary targets for spas.
DRIFTERS (25%) are the largest segment from 2007. Motivated by the latest trends, these consumers’ commitment to any issue, including sustainability, is constantly shifting. As the youngest segment, DRIFTERS are more likely to view price as a barrier to green living.
CONVENTIONALS make up 19% of the population. Driven to practicality and frugality rather than pure environmental or health benefits, these consumers are not particularly environmentally conscious. However, CONVENTIONALS do engage in some LOHAS-related behaviors such as recycling and energy conservation. The portion of the population that exhibits no sense of environmental responsibility is considered to be the UNCONCERNEDS (17%). Given their naturally influential consciousness, LOHAS consumers are instrumental in the mainstreaming of new ideas, products and services. Their heightened awareness leads to early trial and adoption and then to brand loyalty

and finally influence over others. Examples of LOHAS market niche products that have mainstreamed include energyefficient appliances, organics, air purifiers and hybrid vehicles. Currently eco spa destinations and organic clothing are among the niche LOHAS categories that could be become more conventional by 2012.

LOHAS Consumers Seek Out Experiences – not Possessions NMI’s research indicates that 43% of the general population agree completely that “life is more about experiences than the accumulation of material possessions.” For LOHAS consumers, this resonates even deeper, with two thirds agreeing with that statement. This validates the LOHAS consumers’ desire to experience life through activities, rather than through purchasing material possessions. This includes spa activities as LOHAS consumers are already active spa clients; and, spa-goers are 60% more likely to be classified as LOHAS consumers than the general population.

The Spirituality Connection is Strong The majority of all consumers believe there is a definite connection between mind, body and spirit but for LOHAS consumers that belief is even stronger. More than 90% of LOHAS consumers agreed with that statement in the NMI survey (higher than Gen Y, Gen X, Boomers and Seniors) and 41% indicate an interest in spiritual retreats – significantly higher than any other consumer group. This presents an opportunity for spas that offer activities such as yoga, meditation, relaxation and other mind, body, spirit services to cater to LOHAS consumers who are looking for enhanced spa services.

LOHAS Driven Trends: Eco Spas & Eco Tourism Eco spas are beginning to flourish, providing visitors with a serene “green” and socially conscious spa experience. Environmentally friendly destinations are positioned on the idea that personal health begins with global health, extended through their offering of organic spa products, solar energy, recycling and wastemanagement. Especially as spa goers increasingly seek to “detox” fromtheir hectic lives, look for more offerings of traditional water and hydro-therapies, natural springs and other natural and indigenous product therapies.

Ecotourism refers to responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people. According to the 2007 Eco Tourism Conference and International Ecotourism Society, ecotourism is growing three times faster than the tourism industry as a whole.While not fully leveraged by the spa industry, there are opportunities to provide a destination that combines a spa retreat

experience with an educational and “philantrophic travel” experience. Once again, LOHAS consumers are significantly more likely to express an interest in eco-tourism vacations. Key Spa Opportunities to attract the LOHAS Consumer Listed below are some opportunities that spas can leverage in order to attract the LOHAS consumer.
• Organic creams, cleansers, oils, robes and linens
• Use of indigenous natural plants in treatments
• A destination that combines a spa experience with an educational or philanthropic opportunity
• Use of products, foods and beverages with fair-trade ingredients and sustainability that benefits the surrounding community
• Green and LEED certified building materials
• Opportunities to participate in helping a protected area, wildlife preserve or indigenous community
More than anything however, LOHAS consumers demand an authenticity from their products and services. Spas that are looking to capitalize on this market need to not only “talk the talk” but “walk the walk” when it comes to providing a genuine “green” experience.

Maryellen Molyneaux is President of Natural Marketing Institute, an international strategic consulting, market research, and business development company specializing in health, wellness and sustainability.(www.NMIsolutions.com).
More information on this subject is available in NMI’s Understanding the LOHAS Market™ series of reports or by contacting NMI at Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!.

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