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D2C in Health/Wellness: Strategic, Social, and Policy Considerations

infographic of D2C health/wellness trends

Policy2050 infographic of D2C health/wellness trends, page 1

infographic of D2C health/wellness trends

Policy2050 infographic of D2C health/wellness trends, page 3

infographic of D2C health/wellness trends

Policy2050 infographic of D2C health/wellness trends, page 7

The pandemic acted as a driver of growth in health/wellness categories.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, November 22, 2021 / -- The “D2C in Health/Wellness CPGs, 2021: Strategic, Social, and Policy Considerations” report has been published on

The pandemic highly incentivized D2C business models and digital adaptations, leading to a surge of consumer interest in health/wellness categories, in particular, though this business opportunity can be more complex than it initially seems.

Therefore, CPG brands with products that could be categorized under health/wellness must explore this channel with nuance in order to be as competitive and profitable as possible.

This new report establishes a market overview of health/wellness-related consumer packaged goods (CPGs), analyzing the trends, drivers, and trajectory. It goes further than other market research reports by deep diving into the parallels and precedents, considering technological implementations, utilizing an actionable, strategic framework, anticipating practical and brand-related challenges, and leveraging a wide variety of case studies from health/wellness categories.

This unique analysis peels back the layers of digital commerce to reveal the social, political, and even geographical drivers of health/wellness categories and industry practices.

​​Modern D2C involves the use of sophisticated technologies. It invites new trends and opportunities for category growth, alongside new forms of category scrutiny and accountability.

Rapidly disseminated consumer trends and self-care resolutions will act as drivers of growth for categories and brands with health/wellness claims or associations. Unfortunately, threats to emotional health and sustainable personal rhythms will also act as drivers by compounding problems and influencing searches for health/wellness improvements.

To the extent that some of these health/wellness products actually advance the cause of health/wellness, or at least contain safer, higher-quality ingredients, D2C could be a new technological means of expanding distribution to communities traditionally underserved by brick-and-mortar retail. In the future, unmanned stores could also potentially address these types of inventory disparities. Both technological approaches will reduce “friction” from the retail process.

Health/wellness D2C brands, in particular, tend to pursue various types of product certification, sometimes to turn a higher ethical valuation into a higher economic valuation, but the market may soon require a more substantive degree of traceability, empowered by technology.


Established brands and retailers, as well as emerging D2C startups, are covered in this report, such as:

• Whole Foods
• Ulta Beauty
• Lululemon Athletica
• Birchbox
• Athena Club
• Health-Ade
• To’ak Chocolate


• How have new technologies transformed the business practices of direct response, mail order, and even direct selling? Which aspects or techniques are still relevant to D2C?

• How do broader digital ecosystems widen opportunities, augment strategic capabilities, more closely link revenue with quality, increase consumer scrutiny, and exacerbate or expose the fundamental, psychological tensions of health/wellness categories?

• How has the pandemic acted as a driver of consumption in health/wellness categories, as well as investments in those categories?

• How are beauty and health/wellness categories blurring even further during the pandemic?

• How might D2C enable the healthier reformulation of products as well as greater supply chain transparency?

• As popular notions regarding “self-care” and “wellness” are both commodified and re-conceptualized, within an inherently unwell environment (the global pandemic), how should brands and retailers try to connect with people?

• How do real or perceived “vice-virtue” product categorizations, or recategorizations, factor into pricing strategies?

• How should D2C health/wellness brands with resource constraints, or insufficient market share, leverage digital testing, analytics, effective market segmentation, and agile methodologies in order to achieve growth?

• How are these same brands adapting to overcome the disruptions in their supply chains and brick-and-mortar retail?

For more information about this report, visit:

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David Pring-Mill
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