The health and wellness industry is growing rapidly and that is due to us. Massage therapy, healthy eating and self-awareness practices are no longer considered niche but sought after by the mainstream market.

Think about how you decide which products, brands or services to buy. We are having an impact on our environment and the industry every time we choose organic over conventionally grown produce; naturally raised and hormone free; or even the bags we use to carry home our purchases.

Boomers, GenXers and especially Millennials, have been instrumental in getting big food producers to listen and reveal all ingredients and their sources. In fact, stats show that sales of conventional products are declining, while those labelled “clean”, “sustainable” and “free of artificial ingredients” are gaining popularity.

Every industry has growing pains, especially before any formal guidelines are in place. The careless use of taglines by clever marketers, such as “green”, “sustainable”, “eco”, “gluten free”, “vegan” and “organic” has created confusion. While there are efforts being made to accurately define some of these sectors, for now we have to be discerning when deciphering labels. If you are interested in knowing all the new categories check out https://ecocult.com/whats-the-difference.

What’s driving the shift?

First, we know more about food, both as medicine to help manage health issues as well as for prevention. For instance, many with conditions such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes and some gastro-intestinal illnesses are making food choices that help them live more comfortably. Others are just choosing to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. According to a Nielsen Report, “over half of Canadians (54%) are willing to pay more for foods and drinks that don’t contain ‘undesirable ingredients.’”

We have also come to understand the effect that stress has on our body and mind. We now look to healthful ways to manage the negative impact stress has on us. Exercise, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises and massage therapy are some of the most popular methods in use.

Another very important choice many are making is to help preserve nature for now and for generations to come. Choosing products that do not deplete the planet, such as locally sourced produce, encouraging “green” farm practices and enabling these new business’ to flourish are just some examples of how we can make a difference.