It’s that time of year again—the time when our email inboxes and web browsers overflow with predictions about the key food trends for the coming year. Will 2017 be the year of sorghum? Will matcha take over the beverage market? Will people start swapping jackfruit for meat?
While these trends represent exciting innovations in the food world, we don’t believe that they are the trends that will drive health & wellness in America next year. Instead, we encourage people to use this year-end period to take a step back and think about the big picture for 2017.
Americans Want to Be Healthier
A significant—and growing—percentage of Americans want to be healthier, lose weight, and feel better about their physical well being in 2017. So much so that in a recent survey, nearly half of Americans said that they are actively trying to lose weight. The number of Americans who use a gym has reached an all-time high—58 million people! This number has risen steadily since 2000, and we can expect this trend to continue.
Consumers Are Confused
We’ve written about the conflicting reports in the media that have created a cluttered space when it comes to health & wellness. Google any health-related topic and you’ll get dozens of conflicting opinions by self-proclaimed “experts.” People are confused about what to believe—and who to trust.
Personal healthcare professionals are the most trusted source of health & wellness information, according to IFIC. As fake news, biased content, and questionably credentialed experts continue to proliferate online, consumers will turn to these trusted sources to cut through the clutter.
Trust and Credibility are Hard Won
Building trust and credibility is perhaps the most important “trend” for 2017. Americans have been skeptical of the media. Then came the presidential election, in which fake news garnered more attention on Facebook than the real news.
While false claims are made by a very small percentage of brands, they have led 77% of consumers to believe that diet products aren’t as healthy as they claim to be. The uncertainty about who or what to trust online will make the role of face-to-face health professionals even more important in 2017.
Wishing you all health and prosperity in 2017!