toast

It’s no secret that health and wellness themes are increasingly a topic of mainstream discussion. Whether it’s the cover of Time magazine or Oprah’s partnership with Deepak Chopra and Weight Watchers, these themes are cropping up in myriad ways.

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Embracing a holistic health mindset is becoming popularized – it’s no longer just for the “alternative” or “hippie” crowd. There is a broader recognition of the importance of mental and emotional health, the impact they have upon physical health/energy, and vice versa. Meditation has moved mainstream and “adult play” such as coloring books are on the rise – evidenced in part by the multiple options available for holiday gifts at my local bookstore. Other related movements include increasing sleep, breaks from digital communication, and a push to embrace life outside of work, as well as wellness in the workplace.

In the food realm, it means a “back to basics” approach: a focus on whole foods and ingredient quality more than calories, and fitness for the sake of feeling good versus the number of pounds you hope to lose. Extreme diets are now faced with skepticism (i.e., juice cleanses are on the way out).

So what does this mean for alcohol brands? This healthy approach isn’t exclusive of beer, wine or spirits. Savvy marketers are already finding a way to promote their offerings – and build consumer loyalty – while embracing these trends.

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  • Balance in choices: Consumers believe that whole foods in moderation are better than over-processed diet foods, and some indulgences (like alcohol) are okay if they are balanced with healthier choices. Like the craft beer and yoga trend, it’s a balance of detox/retox. Living well, eating well and drinking well are part of the celebration of “self.”
  • Desire for minimally processed products: Consumers are seeking clean labels and products that are natural, organic, and free from toxic chemicals. This can be seen in the rise in interest in “craft” beers, spirits and organic or “natural” wines.
  • Food as medicine: Whether minerals, elixirs, super-herbs or probiotics, consumers are turning to food and supplements to improve health. Alcohol has historically had a place in health and wellness remedies. Case in point: The hot toddy, typically made of whiskey, honey, lemon juice and hot water, is purported to soothe a winter cold.

So raise a glass, while embracing the health and wellness movement, to end the year:

“Here’s to your health, and your family’s good health, and may you live long and prosper.”