Americans are becoming more proactive about maintaining their health, particularly as healthcare becomes increasingly expensive. In addition to eating well and exercising, many are introducing herbal remedies into their wellness toolkit—45% of consumers say they have used an herbal remedy in the past year. Interestingly, Millennial parents are more open-minded about the use of alternative treatments, with 65% reporting use of herbal remedies for themselves or their children and agree that herbal treatments are more natural and safer than over the counter medications.
Users Believe It Works
Among herbal remedy users, 30% cite treatment philosophy as their top reason for purchase. More than a quarter of consumers say they prefer to use medicines made with natural ingredients, though almost a third of those consumers also use conventional medicines to treat illness. This suggests that herbal remedies aren’t perceived as a solution, but more often used as a preventive measure. Researchers found that consumers turn to herbal remedies most often to address common colds and cough and to manage stress. The opportunity for herbal brands emerges when products are positioned as immune support or as all-natural ways to prevent full-blown illness in both adults and as a safer alternative for children.
Many Still Want Proof
Consumers perceive herbal treatments as natural, believe they are safe for long term use, and have few side effects. Yet, there is still uncertainty among many about their efficacy. Thirty-five percent of consumers say they would like more clinical studies to prove their effectiveness and 31% say they want more studies to ensure safety. Consumers are doing their homework and product recalls and lack of oversight and regulation in the industry have made them suspicious about ingredients and product claims. Leveraging consumer experiences and user recommendations in marketing strategies without overstepping structure/function claims could play a key role in helping consumers to feel more confident in the effectiveness of products and alleviate skepticism.
They Want to Be Educated
Although the use of herbal remedies dates to ancient times, many Americans still perceive them as “alternative” treatments and aren’t educated on the health benefits of these products or ingredients. As consumers embrace a more natural approach to wellness, they are seeking information about herbal remedies and they’re starting online—41% begin on Google, 37% turn to health-related websites, and 19% visit brand websites to learn about products. For these reasons, optimizing for search is a wise move for wellness brands and offering content that supports research for ingredients and products can help to educate your customers.
More than a quarter of adults say they prefer to use medicines made with natural ingredients. This places natural supplement brands in an enviable position! As interest and confidence in natural products increases, these brands have an opportunity to build relationships with a new base of consumers who are eager to learn and try their products. Women’s Marketing offers clients access to a full suite of marketing services that enable brands to reach consumers at the moment of interest. Contact us today to learn how we can help your brand grow and thrive.
Sources: Mintel Homeopathic and Herbal Remedies, US November 2016