PODCAST: Holland & Barrett on transforming for evolving consumer demands

By Olivia Brown

- Last updated on GMT

PODCAST: Holland & Barrett on transforming for evolving consumer demands

Related tags active nutrition Sports nutrition women's health Menopause Supplements

Following significant growth of the active nutrition and women’s health categories, the leading health and wellness retailer Holland & Barrett have transformed their product portfolio to align with evolving consumer demands whilst prioritising scientific efficacy.

Speaking at the Active Nutrition Summit earlier this month in Amsterdam, Lisa Tookey, group growth and food director, and Guy Farmer, commercial director at Holland and Barrett, described the company’s recent transformation.

Tookey said that overall the company have removed 900 products over the last year, whilst adding 620 new products with 320 being own-label, including a new range of food products such as ‘glow’ and ‘tummy love’ nut butters and kombuchas.

She added that top performing ingredients and products include ashwagandha, probiotics, CBD, mushrooms, and collagen.

Regarding the growing active nutrition category, Tookey emphasised: “We’ve seen incredible growth over the last few years. And when we look at the total market, we see that it is predicted to grow by 70% by 2026.

“We’re realising that there’s a much bigger opportunity in sports and active nutrition for our business, and I think that comes down to the unique position we have in the market… we’re not a grocer or a pharmacy but we sit right in that sweet spot in the middle,” she added.

Farmer discussed Holland & Barrett’s additional focus on the women’s health category, highlighting that it was one of their fastest growing missions over recent months.

“We’ve nearly doubled our range of products for this in the past 18 months. But this is actually not one mission, it’s multiple missions which relate to the life-stages of a women. We have a role to play from menstruation, right through to menopause and urge incontinence,” he explained.

He added that menopause has been a particular focus for the retailer, providing products to help with the individual and variable symptoms that are suffered, such as with their own-brand day and night support menopause supplements.

“This is particularly backed up by a campaign we’ve been running for the last 12 months, which is focused around ‘all menopause matters’. This offers women the opportunity to come into stores and have a one-to-one consultation with our trained advisors,” he said.

Customer focus

Farmer explained: “Health and wellness is really important to our customers, but it’s also important that they have the confidence in the fact that our products will deliver. That’s something we’re spending a lot of time on at the moment… firstly, by making our supply chain more transparent, but secondly, that every product we sell has a science backing so we can fully stand behind our claims. This is what our customers are wanting and deserving from this market.”

In addition to a target consumer that is known to mostly be female and over 40, he said that recent analysis work has revealed the two priority consumer groups at Holland and Barrett to be ‘energy seekers’ and ‘physical movers’.

“We’re much more focussed on missions than categories. We don’t get a customer coming in and asking to shop the vitamins or minerals categories. They come in and say they have an issue with my joints and muscles, or my menopause symptoms… what can help with that?” Tookey added.

She said this has importantly led to the key missions and health areas that Holland and Barrett will focus on over the coming months due to consumer demand, which include immunity, aches and pains, gut health, women’s health, and men’s health.

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