and Business Resources
What is LOHAS from LOHAS8
The LOHAS marketplace is a grass roots phenomenon, based
on consumer-driven demand. Sociologist Paul H. Ray, co-author
of The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People are Changing the
World, first identified the concept.
Creatives are the 'leading edge' thinkers and creators of a new
culture in America, and they are the most influential opinion
leaders for your products. They dominate the market for natural
foods, alternative healthcare, and for products and services related
to personal growth and spirituality.”
Paul H. Ray
Ray found that the issues popular in the 1960s, such as peace, ecology
and human rights, had survived, taken root and evolved to become governing
principles for millions of people.
Variously referred to as Cultural Creatives, conscious consumers or LOHAS
consumers, this growing population in the U.S. — up 7 percent from
2002 to 2003 — has strong concerns about human rights, fair trade,
the environment, sustainable practices and spiritual and personal development.
And as consumers, they want to integrate their values with the products
and services they buy and use.
According to Ray, when price and quality are equal, 76 percent
of consumers would switch brands or retailers if a company were
associated with a good cause.
For marketers of healthy and sustainable goods and services, one of the
most interesting things about this consumer base is that they are likely
to shop across a broad spectrum of products and services. For example,
shoppers of natural and organic foods are highly likely to employ complementary
or alternative medicine as well as utilize personal development concepts
such as massage, yoga or Pilates.
The challenge for business, then, is to:
the consumer for LOHAS products and services.
2) EXPLORE opportunities to
align with other sustainable and healthy industries and to work
together to expand the overall market for sustainable and healthy
goods and services through co-marketing and business-to-business
3) UNDERSTAND the values that
drive the consumer to purchase LOHAS goods and services.
4) MEET the complex demands
for LOHAS products and services.
In a groundbreaking research report published by Conscious
Media Inc. and the Natural
Marketing Institute in 2002, called Understanding the LOHAS Market,
four groups of consumers were identified, led by LOHAS Consumers -- the
core values-based consumer group.
From an updated and expanded research report, released in June 2003 by
the Natural Marketing Institute, the following overriding characteristics
of the four consumer groups were identified:
1) LOHAS CONSUMERS
(68 million U.S. adults; 32.3% of the population, up 7% from 2002)
Significantly affected by their concern for health—the health
of their families, the sustainability of the planet, their personal
development, and the future of society.
(83 million U.S. adults; 39.2% of the population; up
1% from 2002)
Tend to move from place to place with regard to personal ideals,
environmental platforms, and the overall relevance of sustainability.
15% moving toward CENTRISTS
39% moving toward LOHAS.
(52 million U.S. adults; 24.7%; of the population; no
change from 2002 Congregate toward the central ground when it
comes to dealing with health, sustainability, and social issues.
(8 million U.S. adults; 3.9%of the population; down
3% from 2002)
Caught up in the day-to-day challenges, not necessarily looking
out for tomorrow.
||Protecting the environment
||Products from recycled materials
||Willing to pay 20% more for sustainably
||Teach family/friends benefits of
environmentally friendly products
||Purchase decision based on effect
||Renewable energy sources
||Choose sustainable-source products
over conventional ones
||Prefer products manufactured in
a sustainable manner
||Sustainable agriculture products
||Buy products from companies with
values like their own
The LOHAS consumer cannot be identified by demographics
alone, but this group has some commonalities:
||A slightly older group
||75% are 1 or 2 member households
||Highly educated; 16% with post-grad
||Least likely to be married
||Geographical pockets of strength
The following table details the percentage of each consumer segment who
stated that they agree “completely/somewhat” with: “I
will usually buy products from companies whose values are most like my
||PERCENTAGE WHO AGREE
||2003 CHANGE FROM 2002
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