Natural Health Industry Trends You Cannot Ignore in 2022


Are you ready to take 2022 by storm and take advantage of the massive opportunities in the natural health-care space that are likely here to stay?

With each New Year, most of us take a moment or two to think about what we want to happen in this next chapter. We can all agree that the last couple of years have been a bit off the charts in many ways. This makes it all the more important as a practitioner to take a look at new ways to increase your impact and have solid foundations in your business, but also be clear on where you may be missing out.

This report is a deep dive on the top 3 trends in our industry that should be on your radar and that may potentially affect the plans you have for the trajectory of your practice.

1. Supplements

Scoring first place in the Trends report is supplements. They deserve their own reality series at this point with all their popularity, but the shocking growth of this industry should have you paying close attention.

Huge Growth in 2021

The global dietary supplements market was valued at 96 billion USD in 2021. With growth of over 24% in one year (unheard of in the industry’s history that typically sees 5% to 7% increases).

Growth happened in a variety of different categories, but an interesting one was an uptake in gummies. Who knew? Also both immune supportive supplements (no shock there) and combination products like the good old foundational multivitamin that took stage as a fan favorite.

Another noteworthy contender is the growth of brain and mental health supplement sales, which have an expected growth curve of an additional 8.5%, and not surprisingly, the baby boomer generation is the largest group of consumers.

Online Supplement Sales

In 2020, ecommerce took the spotlight with 16.7% of supplement purchases made online in 2020 rather than in-store. Estimates in the marketplace are expecting nearly a quarter of all supplement sales to be made through online purchases by 2024, according to Grand View Research. Industry forecasters expect the trend to continue upward post pandemic, which is exciting to say the least.

Increased Public Awareness

What happened here, just so we are clear, is a massive boost to awareness among the general population and a shift toward prevention. This is probably the single most exciting thing that has happened for the natural health industry in my 15 years.

In fact, I remember wanting to shout from the rooftops about the benefits of diet, lifestyle, and nutraceuticals when I first learned about the devastating lack of public knowledge in this area, as I’m sure you did, too. No shouting required. The market is ready for you, and it has some new wants and needs.

2. Virtual Care

Whether you love it or hate it… it’s likely here to stay.

With the lockdowns and lack of access to in-person businesses across most of our health-care system, telehealth got its day in the spotlight. Most were cautious with predictions as to whether it was here to stay, but reality is that utilization is still strong across many conventional specialties (making alternative care easier), and virtual health-care has taken a foothold in consumer behavior, including an expectation of better user experience, and also adoption by many practitioners.

A Winning Model

While in-person still tops the numbers chart for popularity, many practitioners have been able to take full advantage of the shift towards this virtual model of care and have developed thriving natural health practices (or hybrid practices) with the use of online technologies and a good laptop - some even from the comfort of their own homes.

3. DIY Health-Care

With a growing number of individuals feeling frustrated at the lack of access to conventional care practitioners, with long waitlists, backlogs of patients needing regular monitoring, and a new awareness of alternative options, many people are taking their wellness and preventive care into their own hands, and some doctors are recommending it.

Apps, Kits, and Tools

Whether it's a recommendation for a blood pressure monitoring device, the use of an app to monitor and manage migraines, sleep or stress, or even an at-home stool sample collection kit for screening, the number of people in need have forced physicians to provide advice using apps, kits, and tools for their patients to utilize at home.

The New Trend in Health Care

Not to mention the industrious patient who finds testing readily available for purchase online and gets their results delivered straight to them. The Wall Street Journal calls it the new trend in health care, and I have to say, I agree.

We’re Witnessing Real Change in the Natural Health Industry

So, if we look at the massive growth in supplement sales, a surge in online sales of health-care products, the successful adoption of telehealth and hybrid health models, and the development of a more educated and resourceful public looking for solutions they can do for themselves… I would have to say that these real changes to the industry and what can be offered to patients are right in front of us.

Take Advantage of New Opportunities

How can you take advantage of these opportunities? Great question!

Take stock of the focus you have on selling foundational supplements in your practice.

Let's be honest, your patients are buying them, with or without you. It’s time to own the narrative and share your wisdom on the difference between big-box supplements and professional grade. We also know that people buy from people they trust, so what’s holding you back from making sure they buy them from you?

Ensure you offer online sales of supplements and look at tools like auto-ship for monthly staples to be sent to your patients. (Amazon has pioneered this option and there is no reason why you can’t benefit, too).

If you offer virtual care, appreciate that there is adoption in the industry and that it’s likely part of the new norm.

Take opportunities to evaluate your client’s journey with your service and make sure you don’t lose sight of the communication outside of their virtual appointments, so they are more likely to comply and stay loyal to your care. Assess where you can add apps and tech tools to support them.

DIY health care is a thing, as are massive emerging trends in technology.

How do you manage this? If you have clients reaching out who are looking for a more cost-effective solution and they fit the bill of a DIY’er, is it time to create an offer for them? When I say offer, I don’t mean a 6-month DIY course that will take you all of 2022 just to create.

Maybe the time is now to have a low-cost offer that provides a more “on your own” journey with a reduced amount of access to you, the expert? This can come in the form of a program utilizing a tool like Designs for Health's Well World app. This is not to discount the value of your expertise and one-on-one care, but rather to give the quick-starters or the folks who are not ready to invest yet another option for care that they can benefit from.

An Exciting Time to Be in the Natural Health Business

The choice is yours to make on what you will do with this information, but I will have to say that I’m excited for you, for your business, and for the opportunities ahead of us with the emerging changes (fast and furious as they are) in the way we manage patients, what we offer them, and how we offer it.