The global health industry will top $1trillion in 2016*. Impressive. And surprising. Because most of the recent growth isn’t from drugs and beauty products, but from food brands. In particular, the brands which are outgrowing their competitors are the organics and “nutraceuticals”.

Some of these might already be familiar to you – as will their price. Daylesford Organic is taking advantage of this market movement to command a substantial price differential above its competitors. In simple terms, its salads cost an average of 500% more than even its premium rival Marks & Spencer. Its broth price is more than seven times the cost of a Heinz tinned equivalent.

These supra-premium prices are chargeable because consumers want something more than healthiness (i.e. an absence of illness). They want ‘wellness’: a super-abundance of goodness. So they don’t just want organic eggs, they want organic eggs with omega 3. And they don’t just want a smoothie, they want a Plenish Build Organic Cold Pressed Cashew Milk.

Language is always the most malleable tool for a brand owner, and it’s language which is being used to communicate these brands’ super-status. Principally, by signalling that they are a luxury, and luxury is about experience.

Plenish talks about “When you’re focused on what’s ahead, it’s important to make sure that your body can keep up with you. You need energy to fuel your drive, keep you healthy and push you forward.”

Rude Health’s Organic Sprouted Porridge Oats promises that you’ll know:
You’re in rude health when…
you’re man enough to wash up the porridge pan.
You know what a spurtle is.
You’re a Mamil (middle-aged man in lycra) and proud


Where next?

In our work in various sectors, we’ve noticed that this is a trend that has grown beyond food. Brand owners in many sectors are leaving behind the old cues of luxury (Scarcity, Provenance, Craftsmanship) and instead adopting the new cues, which we call the 3A’s: Abundance (of benefit), Attribution (to a specific ingredient), Acceleration (impatience with conventional rates of product improvement).

And outside of our own experience, we can see more examples of the 3A’s. Tesla’s new Model X offers aircon which can be turned all the way up to Bioattack Defense mode. Fitness brand Lululemon says it wants to take the world from mediocrity to greatness.

The best brands live their positioning throughout their language. And even Lululemon’s cookies announcement promises more. When you click on the website, it says it won’t just use cookies to track what you do, but to “make our experience the most awesome.”

Chris West is Founder of Verbal Identity, brand strategy consultants working with the leaders of some of the world’s most ambitious brands, helping them clarify their vision and values

*source: US economist Paul Zane Pilzer