Millennials: The Rising Generation of Health Hackers
by Fred Pennic 07/09/2015
We are in the midst of a healthcare revolution; however, one age group known as Millennials has developed a distrust of the U.S. healthcare system and it is driving them to spend more money now to remain healthy in the future. According to new research from Deep Focus‘s latest report, Spring/Summer 2015 Cassandra Report: Body, Mind, Soul, Millennials (ages 18-34) are finding alternative ways to support healthy and balanced lifestyles, using technology to “health hack” and track their health, wellness and fitness. These consumers spend nearly 25% of their disposable income on health and wellness, and splurge on healthier food and clothing products, especially from brands that promote wellness as part of their core mission.
Distrust Breeds A Generation of Health Hackers
Findings conclude that 72% of individuals 18-34 years of age worry the current healthcare system will not be able to support them as they age. As a result, Millennials are investing heavily in digital health solutions that allows them to curate and “hack” their own self-directed health regime. 74% of Gen Ys actively track their fitness as part of their efforts to create a customized health plan. Out of those that track, 20% do so via wearables and 29% use mobile apps, such as Apple Health, Google Fit and WebMD.
Through their unprecedented access to these types of services and applications, 79% of Millennials think the digital world has made it easier to track, learn about and manage their health. Technology has also provided greater access to doctors and medical knowledge with the use of digital apps like Doctor on Demand, Heal and Hula that connect patients directly to doctors.
Healthcare Spending Shift
Due to the lack of distrust in the healthcare system, Millennials are seeking alternative ways to support a healthy lifestyle, with more than 80% of Gen Ys investing nearly one-fourth of their disposable income in health products/services. In fact, this concern impacts all spending habits/behaviors – 35% are cutting back on spending in other areas to be able to afford health-related purchases. This spending shift impacts multiple categories. 36% of Gen Ys stating they spend more on healthy foods and drinks; 41% splurge on classes that improve their body, mind and soul; and 23% splurge on fitness apparel and shoes.
Wellness Drives Branding Preferences
Wellness focus has a significant impact on consumers’ brand preferences; 69% of Gen Ys make it a point to buy from brands whose values align with their own. In addition, 74% say it’s important for brands to embrace wellness as part of their core mission, and 62% believe all brands in the future will need to have a wellness component in order to survive.
“This massive generation is influencing changes to both healthcare and marketing that will ultimately impact everyone, regardless of age,” said Deep Focus CMO Jamie Gutfreund.. “To succeed, brands will need to actively demonstrate that they really care about consumers’ health and well-being.”
For the study, Deep Focus interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adults ages 19 to 35, as well as 303 U.S. teens ages 14 to 18. Additionally, the agency surveyed 400 19- to 35-year-old Trendsetter respondents across the U.S., who were selected based on their responses to a series of questions that allowed us to gauge their degree of progressive and experimental thinking and behaviors surrounding the latest trends and culture.
Image by HIT Consultant