Self-Health: A New Take on Women and Wellness

13 Jan 2015
Self-Health: A New Take on Women and Wellness
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Tori Tasch

I’ve always been anti-diet. Some friends might say it’s because I love food far too much—others might say my self-control is limited. Admittedly, both are true. I’ll be the first to tell you that ordering a salad at a gourmet restaurant goes against everything I believe in. At the root of it though, I think I’m just a fan of the positive over the negative. In my career, my relationships and even the internal conversations I have trying to improve myself, I’d much rather hear “do this better” instead of “don’t do this.”

And I don’t think I’m the only one. Women everywhere are redefining their roles in culture, politics, the workplace, households and society as a whole. They’re transforming age-old limitations into modern opportunities. As it should, this redefinition overlaps with the role of health in their lives.

Health for women has evolved into a much more positive and comprehensive picture that encompasses every aspect of their daily lives. With New Year’s resolutions top of mind and often skewed toward healthier habits, brands have the opportunity to strategically participate in the shifting conversation around wellness for women.

Women are now less focused on strict calorie-counting diet regimes, and more focused on the actual nutritional value of the foods they’re putting into their bodies.

According to Emma Clifford, a senior food analyst at Mintel, “There is a myriad of other routes toward weight loss that consumers prefer over buying ‘light’ or ‘diet’ food.” Health has shifted from immediate-yet-temporary fixes to permanent lifestyle changes that provide maximum nutrition, fit into lifestyles and cater to personal needs.

In addition to purposeful food selection, women are adding their own vitamins and supplements to increase health impact. Simultaneously, female exercise options are shifting to be both gender neutral and gender specific. Typically reserved for males, health and fitness practices such as protein-powder additives and CrossFit workout routines are now catering to women, too. Meanwhile, anti-gravity yoga and strip-tease classes continue to grow—allowing exercise to be an outlet for women to express their femininity and sexuality like never before.

To address these evolving perspectives on health and wellness, brands should consider innovation opportunities that meet women’s specific needs and lifestyles. From incremental package innovation to completely repositioning health rituals, it’s necessary to look beyond low-calorie propositions for fresh inspiration in branding, format and application. Consider these leading-edge examples:

    • Weight Watchers 360° is repositioning itself as more of a health-care company with a revamped program that reflects women’s desires to address their health beyond counting points.
    • Whole Foods has introduced ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index), a scoring system that helps shoppers better understand the foods they’re purchasing. Foods are rated 1 to 1,000 based on nutrient content.
    • Fashion designer Tory Burch created customizable feminine jewelry accessories that accompany Fitbit Flex, a popular fitness self-tracker.
    • Vitamints are flavored vitamins that double as breath mints for an easy, on-the-go form with nutritional benefits.
    • Ice cream manufacturer Yeti playfully includes dividers and cute sayings in its pint packages to indicate exactly where a serving begins and ends.


How will your brand address women’s changing wellness needs this year?

Tori Tasch is an LPK strategist by day and an autism advocate by night. With experience in project management and advertising (plus a huge amount of creative envy), she believes in solving problems through a combination of smart insights, tiny details and big-picture ideas. If you’d like to instantly make a new friend, bring her bourbon and buffalo chicken wings. Follow @toritasch on Twitter for various musings on strategy and life.