Earlier this year associates from Hamacher Resource Group, Inc. (HRG) returned from the Natural Products Expo West with armfuls of literature, samples, and ideas. In fact, the sheer volume of items they saw with the probiotic, ready-to-drink, immunity, or wellness-boosting attributes could easily fill a warehouse. The challenge, as I see it, is how in the world does a consumer know which products to consider, how to manage their consumption, and how to avoid hypervitaminosis or other supplement over-saturation?
That’s when one of those ideas I hadn’t thought of yet emerged.
According to a recent Harris Poll, a fourth of adults purchased a meal kit in 2016 and 70% of those have continued to buy them. Nielsen recently reported that the size of that market for the year ended March 4, 2017, was up 6.7%, to an estimated sales total of a whopping $80.6 million.
Stemming from this meal kit phenomenon, imagine a carefully — and personalized — wellness kit that combines specific products based on an individual’s goals. The kit may include dietary supplements and other complementary health products and self-care tools.
Granted the logistics of assembling this individualized “kit” could be a nightmare if managed in a warehouse…but why not build it in the store? (To prove that this idea is not crazy, it’s worth noting that nearly 1 in 5 meal kits purchased was picked up in-store.) And certainly when it comes to something as personal as one’s health, I think the best practice would be for consumers to first speak to an in-store adviser (pharmacist, nutritionist, or health coach) and then a custom kit would be prepared while they wait.
So, for health-conscious consumers actively making choices to prevent health conditions like obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol, or to simply live a healthier lifestyle, positioning yourself as a partner and helping guide their choices may be a mutually beneficial solution. It’s an opportunity to build a strong connection with a valuable customer, and create a kit to fill a market void.
Dave Wendland is vice president and co-owner of Hamacher Resource Group, a retail healthcare consultancy located near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He directs business development, product innovation and marketing communications activities for the company and has been instrumental in positioning HRG among the industry’s foremost thought leaders. You may contact him at (414) 431-5301 or learn more at Hamacher.com.