Conscious Consumers are taking a deep breath

Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. We do this automatically. So it’s a little alarming to hear that many of us do it incorrectly, typically by recruiting our shoulders to do the heavy lifting. Outsourcing the diaphragm’s work tends to be a subconscious behavior with many causes, such as slouching while seated, constantly contracting the stomach muscles or even ‘screen apnea’ (i.e., seeing a new email or scrolling through a social media feed can foster anticipation, a feeling that commonly triggers an inhale and a delayed exhale). And, not only can an incorrect technique lead to muscle tension, it can compromise efficiency and the benefits of calming the nervous system (as slow, deep breaths do).

Just a few months ago, Vogue proclaimed that “breathing is the new yoga” and the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine published a study that determined that people who … Read More »



KIND. A brand that’s putting it’s money where it’s mouth is.

 

Some time ago I posted a story about being prepared to support your claims quickly. Healthy claims, sustainability claims, organic claims, you get the picture.

The post was tied to KIND, who was being accused of misusing the term “healthy” on their packaging… at least according to specific labeling restrictions at the time. The outdated policies were related to the amount of fats included in their products. Healthy fats were included in the total amount of fats (per the criteria) and tipped the scales in the wrong direction for KIND. To their credit, they quickly defended their position of meeting the criteria for usage of the term because the fats in their products were “healthy fats” like those contained in almonds and other nuts.

Well, KIND is back at it again and standing up for what they believe in. Only this time … Read More »



Motivating Conscious Consumers to take vacations

Did you know that every year Americans are taking less and less vacation? In fact, since 2000, there’s been a steady decline from an average of just over 20 days per year to less than 16. That means millions of Americans are leaving almost a full week of vacation on the table each year. It’s estimated that more than 55% of Americans left a total of 658 million (yes, million) vacation days unused. More than 222 million days could not be rolled over, paid out or banked for any other benefit. They’re just gone.

I discovered these findings through Project Time Off – a movement to transform American attitudes and change behavior. Their research tells an interesting story about the financial impact of unused vacation. For brands in the tourism and destination space, these lost vacation days represent billions (yes billions) in … Read More »



Boutique gyms strengthen bodies and small businesses alike

The room is dimly lit with flashing green accent lights. Loud music pulses from the speakers overhead. People are sweating to the beat in stylish, form-fitting attire. No, this is not a scene from Saturday night at the hottest nightclub in town. It’s the 5:30 a.m. Tread & Shred class at Fly Feet Running, which is just one of many boutique fitness studios to have recently opened in Minneapolis.

For many, going to the gym used to entail battling the crowds for elliptical time at one of the “big box” chains. But thanks to cool kid indie brands like SoulCycle and Barry’s Bootcamp, the one-size-fits-all gym model is being replaced by highly specialized workouts hand-crafted by local entrepreneurs at boutique studios.

From 2012 to 2015, membership at traditional fitness clubs grew by five percent, while membership at smaller studios saw growth of … Read More »



Getting people back into the aisles

An obstacle for the CPG industry in recent years has been the trend toward “shopping the perimeter.” As a focus on health and wellness driven by Conscious Consumers has grown, shoppers have been told to stick to the outer edges of the grocery store where fresh foods live and to avoid the aisles where processed foods abound. While the “trend” may be more of a permanent change in shopping behavior, business decisions and marketing activities need to work together for CPG brands to draw shoppers to the aisles or reach consumers on the perimeter.

One category that draws Conscious Consumers to the aisle is functional foods. Defined by Mayo Clinic as foods that have a positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition, functional foods may include superfoods like avocados, berries and salmon that are found on the store perimeter. But they … Read More »