We are a funny people, us Americans. We love to jump on a trend and go with it full-tilt boogie ahead. And then we abruptly stop, sometimes for no apparent reason, sometimes because we’ve moved on to the next hot thing. We go from running with it to running it into the ground.
Right now we are all about health and wellness. We can’t get enough of it. We want products for our homes — everything from air purifiers to softer sheets. We want better lifestyle choices — everything from eating your vegetables to taking our meds. And we just want to live better.
Of course, the pandemic is driving so much of this. With an unprecedented threat to our health, most of us (and how it’s not all of us is beyond me) are trying to be more conscious of doing the right thing and be careful.
But this is not coming out of nowhere, suddenly appearing. There was lots of talk among the new generations in the country, the Millennials and the Gen Z-ers, about trying to lead healthier lives before any of this started. Ironically, those of us who qualify as Baby Boomers remember going through the same thing a long time ago when we created Earth Day, introduced granola to our diets and starting jogging…or at least walking.
Of course, most of my generation moved on and became the greatest conspicuous consumers in history, substituting hedonism for health and leaving it for our kids and grandkids to pick up the momentum.
And they have, with the same verve and enthusiasm we once had. The pandemic has only made it more widespread. The pandemic has also created an atmosphere where people are willing to pay a premium for living healthier.
But at some point in the future — certainly within the year as the pandemic hopefully comes under control — we will reach our fulcrum. Will we continue to focus on health and wellness…or will we move on to the next thing…whatever it is?
I have no idea what will happen. History would suggest this will not be a seminal change in our national consciousness and most will not stick with this program. It will certainly be fascinating to watch from all perspectives…including our industry’s.
In the meantime, stay healthy…and well.
Award-winning Journalist & Consultant for the retailing and home furnishings industries with extensive business media experience in both fields.