According to the Accenture survey, consumers see health and well-being as an “essential” spending category.

NEW YORK–(COMMERCIAL LINE) – Despite financial uncertainty, consumers are unwilling to reduce the amount they spend on health and wellness, according to the latest in a series of consumer surveys that Accenture (NYSE: ACN) conducted to test the pulse of consumers perspectives and feelings since the start of the pandemic.

The survey, conducted on more than 11,000 consumers in 16 countries, found that, even in the face of widespread uncertainty and personal financial difficulties, consumers view health and fitness as “essential”, along with food and products for house cleaning. Although two-thirds (66%) of respondents said they felt under financial pressure, 80% also said they wanted to maintain or increase their spending in areas related to health and fitness, such as exercise classes or vitamins and supplements. , in the next year.

“Despite difficult times, it is clear that people have redefined health and well-being as an essential commodity and plan to maintain or increase spending in this area this year, regardless of income levels,” said Oliver Wright. Senior CEO at Accenture, leading his practice in the consumer goods and services industry globally. “With the health and wellness market projected to rise to more than $ 1 trillion in spending globally by 2025, consumer-facing companies need to tap into cross-industry expertise and scientific and technological breakthroughs, while also considering the changing priorities of consumers when designing new offers “.

Rich Birhanzel, Accenture’s senior chief executive officer and responsible for its global health practice, said, “People’s desire to take greater control of their health and well-being is only increasing. It is critical for the healthcare sector to continue to explore and collaborate with consumer-facing companies to improve access, experience and outcomes for people and their healthcare pathways. ”

The survey also found that respondents appear to have a more holistic view of well-being, reframing it as a consumer staple. In addition to more than four in 10 (42%) respondents saying they are increasing the amount of physical activity, one third (33%) of respondents said they are more focused on self-care, such as taking a bath or beauty treatments. – compared to a year ago.

Despite rising travel costs, the survey found that half (51%) of consumers plan to maintain or increase their leisure travel spending over the next year – perhaps unsurprising considering the widely recognized wellness benefits. associated with a vacation. Additionally, of the high-income consumers who booked travel in the next 12 months, two out of five (39%) booked a luxury travel or spa retreat. Among millennials, one in five (21%) have booked to go to a wellness retreat this year. In addition, a third (33%) of all respondents said they were willing to sacrifice the expense of non-essential household or electronic products in order to afford to travel.

Emily Weiss, Accenture’s senior chief executive who leads her practice in the travel industry globally, said, “While the focus on personal well-being isn’t necessarily new, it’s now less of an indulgence and more of a non-negotiable essential. for today’s consumers, even at a time when many are feeling financial pressures. There is a tremendous opportunity here for travel and consumer contact companies to tap into ecosystem partnerships and local communities to deliver differentiated experiences as Wellness tourism today is about much more than the destination or activities: it is an extension of the traveler’s values ​​and lifestyle. ”

While the survey identified where and how consumers are prioritizing spending, it is important for businesses to understand the context in which purchasing decisions are being made. According to a recent Accenture report, “The Human Paradox: From Customer Centricity to Life Centricity,” it is becoming increasingly difficult for consumers to balance purpose and convenience in their purchases, with nearly two-thirds (64%) wanting businesses to respond. faster with new offerings to meet their changing needs. Only by understanding the context will companies have the right strategy to offer the most relevant brands, products or services.

“Retailers and brands can manage the impact of evolving consumer trade-offs by staying close to consumer trends and rotating quickly to respond to them,” said Jill Standish, Accenture senior chief executive who leads its retail practice. retail globally. “Even though there is an undeniable headwind, retailers have always been good at innovating to solve problems and innovation will become increasingly important to create new levels of value, reduce costs and do the right thing for society and the planet. It requires extraordinary levels of collaboration, engagement and consumer engagement, not to mention business technology and innovation that relies on information from trusted data sources. ”

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On research

Accenture’s Consumer Pulse Survey 2022 offers insights into consumer perspectives, sentiment and behaviors. This year’s survey is relevant to all consumer sectors, but focuses on consumer goods, retail, travel and health. Accenture surveyed a representative sample of 11,311 consumers from 16 countries: Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam. The survey was conducted online and targeted consumers who have shopped for their family in the past six months. Respondents were divided equally by gender and age group. The survey was conducted between 7 and 15 February. Added to this was an additional consumer survey, conducted between 7 and 25 April, which included 10,085 respondents from eight countries in the original survey: Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The survey results are presented in an Accenture report for the retail sector.

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