Monday, January 29, 2007

Healthy is wise and wealthy

Health consciousness is indeed a cause of concern for us Indians. A closer look at the figures below will explain why:
  • 60% of the world’s cardiac patients will be Indian by 2010
  • Every fourth diabetic in the world is an Indian
  • 120 million urban Indians are seriously obese and Indian ranks among the top 10 obese nations of the world – 70% of diabetes in India is obesity - related
  • 800000 Indians are diagnosed with cancer each year
  • Strokes kill 2,000 people in India each day
  • 5.1 million number of reported HIV/AIDS cases in India, highest in South Asia
  • One in three teenagers has a bad eyesight, 30% have decaying teeth and 17% of the country’s 250 million adolescents are overweight

Take a look at the market figures according to a recent CII & McKinsey Study conducted in India:

  • Health forms 12% of household expenditure. The third on the consumer’s spend list – higher than apparel and entertainment.
  • What’s worrisome is that 76 per cent of the Indian population pays their medical expenses themselves, often wiping out family savings in one stroke.
  • Only 20% is covered by health insurance. And the market for potential insurable lives in the country is 315 million.
  • The boom in healthcare is slated to rise up to Rs. 208800 crore by 2012.
  • The pharma retailing for nutraceuticals - everything from multi-vitamins, diet supplements, sugar substitutes to low fat etc. thepie has crossed Rs. 30000 crore.
  • The medical tourism industry in India is currently worth Rs 1,500 crore and the country could well earn Rs 5,000-10,000 crore by the year 2012 and growing at an annualized rate of 30 percent.
  • The beauty, fitness and wellness market is estimated to be Rs. 80000 crore in India.
  • The fitness equipment industry is clocking an annual growth of 50 per cent.
No wonder modern India is growing conscious and aware about a ‘healthy lifestyle’. Call it wellness or healthy, a sudden upliftment of the old adage “Health is wealth” is hitting us hard. Companies are repositioning themselves to the health platform, new health products are being offered. Dabur, Himalaya, Marico, Nestle, HLL, Britannia, Kellogg’s, Pepsi, Amul, ICICI have joined the band-wagon. Basically, all hustle and bustle around the word ‘well-being.’
  • Nestle now stands for Slim Milk.
  • Kit Kat went Lite.
  • Amul launched probiotic ice creams.
  • Mother don’t scold anymore when snack on Kellogg’s.
  • Atta Maggi is health bhi, taste bhi.
  • Saffola Gold is champion of healthy hearty cooking oils.
  • Knorr soup is nourishing souls.
  • Sugar Free Natura is on media spend spree.
  • Pepsi’s core focus is on Tropicana juices
  • Dabur is doing a similar stunt with Real Fruit Juices
  • Britannia says ‘eat healthy, think better.’
  • ICICI Bank launched the ‘Diabetes Care,’ the first critical illness insurance policy in the world.

And the list goes on and on and on.

Why is ‘health’ a healthy brand platform?

The desire to reduce health-care costs is one force behind the rise of the wellness industry; the other is the growing demand from consumers for things that make them feel healthier. Lifestyle disease and disorder is really on the rise. So it makes tremendous sense for marketers to deal with consumer’s health concern to be relevant in-case they start losing their market shares. Hence the need for companies to go beyond physical fitness and enter into mental, emotional and physical wellness in their lives.

These changes were restricted to the F&B category initially, but there is a discernible shift from fairness to healthy skin, from beauty salons to spas that offer holistic health, and more male interest in all these categories. True, much of this is still niche, but waiting eagerly to come into full bloom.

Marketers are only happy to embrace anything that’s happy and healthy. Therefore every brand and category is trying to draw upon the benefits of a healthy living. And over a period of time more companies will try to bank on the health platform with an array of new products to lure the Indian consumers.

Now that you have understood the importance of a healthy lifestyle and how marketers will target you with their next less sugar, low fat, high fiber offering, I’ll go and get my apple before my doctor turn against me.


gururanganathan said...

hi roop,

this article was very informative!!! but how far the product which says that it's healthy(lo fat etc..etc) is genuine!!???, is the consumer understanding converted in to marketing gimmick??? the way u left one more product lay's stack which is positioned as healthy snack!!! (Stax contains zero trans-fat, no added MSG and is cholesterol free)lol

pooR_Planner said...

The product claims are genuine but the concern here is what happens when all products/brands start claiming the same thing? Won't that become a communication convention? Think over.

gururanganathan said...

yes i agree.....

Arvind said...

Nice, interesting and informative roop....

A small observation from my side..

Everyone knows companies are launching health products.. yyy????

That is because Indian consumers are becoming more and more rational. Few years back marketers thought that mothers only were concerned with health. But, now each and everyone is concered on their own health.That y it is happening now.

yes, i do agree abt problems in poistioning factor to the coporates. If indian corporates can do a good job in that.It will be a great success for them.