Why healthy living means good health for fitness brands
From dairy-free pub grub to high street pilates, it is clear that Britain’s healthy-living trend is the new norm. In fact, the healthy lifestyle is now so everyday that fitness products such as sports apparel and wearable technology are used for far more than fitness alone.
What is athleisure?
Tracksuits were once the sole preserve of the gym or the sofa, but the healthy-living surge has seen fitness apparel gaining in status, with activewear or “athleisure” not only worn to enhance performance, but increasingly seen as a fashion statement. This explains why there has been a 74% increase in the number of people searching for activewear in the past year.
One of the first brands to really seize this activewear market was Sweaty Betty. As Hitwise’s Clean Living report shows, they harnessed digital channels such as social media to successfully evolve from a pure retail brand into a lifestyle brand, with 50 stores from London to Los Angeles.
Tracking the fitness of fitness trackers
Wearable technology is also playing an increasingly significant role in people’s fitness regimes, with a 72% increase in the number of people searching for fitness trackers in the last year. Fitbit’s activity tracker appeals to a diverse set of customers of all ages, from a variety of UK regions, making it the most popular Christmas present for several years running.
And just like the athleisure trend, Fitbits are now worn for far more than exercise, even replacing traditional watches for many people as they use them to guide their breathing and even monitor sleep quality.
Brands such as Sweaty Betty and Fitbit’s successful embrace of the UK’s growing health and fitness trend helps to explain why the UK’s sporting goods sector is set to grow by 6% to reach £7bn in 2016.
How do other brands respond?
As our report shows, established sportswear brands such as Nike and JD Sports have responded to this increasingly sophisticated fitness sector by expanding their activewear ranges, while almost all high street retailers have introduced exclusive lines to tap into this growing segment. Specialist brands, meanwhile, find success by focusing on the fashionably fit consumer.
Our Clean Living report breaks down these consumer habits in more detail and shows how brands have responded to this growing fitness movement to identify and target audiences and ultimately capitalise on this growth sector. Download the Clean Living report here.