Turn on the TV, open a magazine, browse your social media, and chances are you’ll come across fad diets, ab rollers, slimming teas, diet pills, and of course on a serious note, information on how to eat clean and be fit. Consumers around the world are attempting to take charge of their health.
Here are some of my observations that strengthen my belief that this industry will see exponential growth in the future.
#1: Global Change
Consumers are willing to spend more on items with healthy attributes. Across the globe in developed countries, there has been an uptick in sales of health-based categories and a correlated decline in the more indulgent categories.
There is a lot of information available that has helped educate people on different ways to change their lifestyle. Consumers are making more informed food choices and learning about the best workout regimes. From purchasing wholesome food items to understanding how nutrition labels work, people have become more aware and conscious of their health and well-being. Globalization has brought this awareness to India.
#2: Rise of consciousness related to health in India
The health and fitness industry is undergoing a boom in India. People are increasingly opting for wellness and fitness choices around the country. According to a Live Mint article, The Indian wellness industry was estimated at close to INR 85,000 crore in the year 2014-15 and is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 12% for the next 5 years.
People earlier viewed fitness as a luxury category but now it has slowly become a way of life. This is spreading around the country: in urban cities, tier 2, tier 3 cities, and even smaller towns and areas.
India has a young demographic where 47% of the people are comprised of people below the age of 25. This is the age group that has exposure and access to information, and wellness becomes a major factor in their lives. Also, due to rising consumer awareness and disposable incomes, we’re seeing a growth in not only healthy food and beverages but also the number of gyms and studios, and wellness start-ups. This is a segment that will stretch to every section of society, every corner of India, every demographic segment. It will go beyond the globally exposed Indian elite to many millions in the middle class.
#3:Yet There’s So Much to Learn
Although it is a sunrise sector, the health and fitness segment is still in its infancy in India. As a developing nation, we still have much to learn and adapt from the west. As practices in other countries have shown, a healthy lifestyle requires both a balanced diet and the right guidelines to an effective workout regime. In India, we lack widespread access to nutritious food options and information on both dietary and fitness practices. These issues are further exacerbated by misconceptions that are propagated by modern practitioners and traditional habits in India today.
#4: Changing Age-old Habits
We, as Indians, have generated age-old habits of bad eating that have lead to a lack of certain nutrients in our meals, and in turn, have lead to deficiencies in our bodies. These practices have been passed on for so many years that people have not changed or adapted them. India has the highest rate of diabetes, with 50 million Indians suffering from type-2 diabetes. Our meals consist of vegetables, rice/roti, daal—although several people hold the belief that these are well-balanced meals, in reality they lack the main macro nutrients that make up a necessary, nutritious diet. There is a need for a change across the country from smaller towns to big metropolitan cities.
#5: Helping People Achieve their Best
This is an industry that’s mission is to enable people to live healthy, happy, longer lives. Pursuing an active lifestyle leads to personal growth and happiness that people strive for. Companies are trying hard to push further and spread awareness of how to live a fit and fulfilling life. The road to a healthy and fit life requires motivation, determination, and persistence. Kica, my activewear brand was born with the same vision of inspiring women to take on a journey that will help them feel confident, empowered, and beautiful in their own skin.