LOHAS is an acronym for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, and it describes a $200+ billion U.S. marketplace for goods and services focused on health, the environment, social justice, personal development and sustainable living.
Consumers who are attracted to this market have been collectively referred to as Cultural Creatives or Conscious Consumers, and they represent a sizeable group in this country. The development of this group of people was first researched by sociologist Paul Ray, and he found that one in four American adults fits into this category—nearly 50 million people. Through a refinement of the study, that number is now approximated at 18% of the adults in the United States, or 30 million people, who are considered LOHAS consumers, but it remains that this market is still largely untapped.
According to Ray, as many as 30% of company managers are LOHAS-oriented, but often feel isolated and without allies. Increasing product options and opportunities for these people shows the possibility of a burgeoning market just waiting to burst wide open for bold companies and businesspeople that are looking to get in on the next big thing.
The LOHAS market itself was originally founded in 2000, and it centers on six market sectors—personal health, natural lifestyles, green building, alternative transportation, eco tourism and alternative energy.
The personal health market features natural and organic products, nutritional products, integrative health care, dietary supplements and mind-body-spirit products. Natural lifestyles focuses on indoor and outdoor furnishings, organic cleaning supplies, compact florescent lights, apparel and social change philanthropy. Green building sees an importance in home certification, Energy Star appliances, sustainable flooring, renewable energy systems and wood alternatives. Hybrid vehicles, biodiesel fuel and car-sharing programs are at the heart of the alternative transportation market, and eco travel and adventure make up the eco tourism leg. Lastly, the renewable energy market centers on renewable energy credits and green pricing.
Clearly, these markets have interconnections, combining to give significant power to the LOHAS market. LOHAS consumers recognize the importance of the merging of global economies, cultures, environments and political systems, knowing these create a holistic worldview, but they also value the interconnections of the mind, body and spirit within individuals and are looking to achieve their full human potential as well as aid others in doing so.
To learn more about the fascinating—and growing—LOHAS market, see articles in the February and March 2008 issues of Skin Inc. magazine, and attend Ted Ning’s session LOHAS: A Market That You Have Never Heard of Driving the Next Innovation Wave at America’s Expo for Skin Care & Spa 2008 in March at McCormick Place in Chicago. In the session, Ning, the director of the LOHAS Forum and LOHAS Journal, will explain the history of the market, and its segmentation, consumer behaviors and case study examples from LOHAS companies to learn more about practical ways for your business to do well while doing good.
—Information provided courtesy of www.lohas.com