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The Global LOHAS Movement

By: Ted Ning
Posted: February 24, 2010, from the March 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Drifters. Drifters are attitudinally aligned with some dimensions of the LOHAS market, although their behaviors lag behind that of the average U.S. adult. They are younger, have more financial barriers and have not yet fully formed their optimal values structure and ethical consumption standards.

Unconcerned. The people in this group don’t care about the environment due to personal values or economic circumstances.

Many of the changes driven by the LOHAS consumer can be seen in the United States today. Hybrid cars have moved from being an odd car to being accepted as just another car or even a car of choice; organic food can be found in many conventional grocery stores; green buildings and design are considered the gold standards of construction; yoga and meditation classes are offered at many fitness clubs; and the awareness of synthetic ingredients, and the desire for more natural and organic options in spas and skin care companies is common. If you look for the patterns in various markets, you can connect the dots to see there is a large current pulling these things into society, and that current is LOHAS.

An international movement

This movement is not limited to the United States; in fact, it is much larger globally. KarmaKonsum is a German marketing and branding company that organizes a German LOHAS conference and brings together 400 German-speaking businesses to learn and expand the German LOHAS market. Australian-based Mobium Group, a team of marketing researchers and consultants, conducts studies about LOHAS consumers in Australia and estimated the segment to be worth $15 billion in 2008, with potential growth to $21 billion by 2010. But nowhere else in the world is LOHAS more prominent than in Asian markets.

The Japanese were introduced to the term “LOHAS” five years ago and, according to a report by Japan-based firm E-Square, the term is understood by 60% of the Japanese population. Japan has LOHAS-branded restaurants, bottled water, apparel and sale specials. LOHAS-branded items have also entered into Hong Kong where LOHAS Park, a mass residential area, is being developed by MTR Corporation, a public transit company. There are LOHAS-titled department stores in Taiwan and China. Do a Google search for LOHAS hotels, and you will find them in the Philippines and China.