New survey finds women enjoy 'me-covery'

NEW YORK — It seems that most women are focusing on themselves by emphasizing their health and well-being as the economy is entering a post-recessionary phase, according to a new survey.

Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness and Health magazine, a Time Inc. publication, found that among 1,000 female consumers, 92% still felt negatively impacted by the economy; however, 64% were committed to making a positive change and taking better care of themselves by eating right, staying physically fit, looking good to feel good and having fun. This result, which Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness and Health called the "me-covery," marks a shift in consumer behavior from a time when most women were more focused on "surviving the day" (in 2009).

"The 'me-covery' indicates a new consumer era has begun, and at its core is how people treat themselves," said Ned Russell, managing director of Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness. "Unlike one year ago, when in the grip of the Great Recession consumers defined their own wellness mostly in terms related to economic security, today they're defining wellness through lifestyle choices that have them feeling and looking better. We're seeing a pronounced lifestyle shift that we believe will have longevity."

Other indicators of the "me-covery" included:

  • 54% of respondents are buying more healthy food, with 47% choosing to buy organic foods more often, despite the extra expense and continued economic uncertainty;

  • Nearly half of those surveyed are buying more hair care (47%), skin care (45%) and oral care products (51%) to enable them to look good despite life's pressures. Those respondents also regard "value for money" and "product quality" as the key brand characteristics that influence their purchases;

  • 48% of respondents are committed to working out more on their own and are getting inspiration and motivation online with music, workout videos and interactive gaming systems;

  • 86% of respondents are doing more online health research on their own (up 47 points from 2009), and 79% now see their doctor regularly (up 21 points); and

  • 64% of respondents are buying prescription medication (up 16 points from 2009), and 48% are buying more vitamins (up 27 points).

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