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Women not only make most purchases of and use most wellness products, but they also drive the purchase and use of such products by the people around them, Michelle Barry of the Hartman Group writes in this week’s HartBeat, the first of a three-part series looking at how women influence -- and are influenced by -- the wellness sector.

“It is clear that women aim to satisfy certain individual needs and desires for their own health and well being. These needs and desires are often based on lifestage (a time of a woman's life) such as pregnancy, menopause or post-menopause. Shifts in behavior as a result of a health trigger, whether deep or superficial, also influence what a woman will do at the store. Some key drivers that produce a change in wellness behavior include:

• Treating an illness by changing lifestyle (eating habits, exercise)
• Eating differently to lose weight
• Starting to read about their bodies and/or health
• Taking a class about women's health
• Experiencing illness of a friend or family member
• Joining a yoga class, gym, dance class
• Changing habits/awareness during lifestage (pregnancy, menopause).”

In other words, if a retailer and/or manufacturer is going to understand how to market to women, especially in the wellness sector, it is important to know what these women are thinking, feeling, and doing.
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