Thursday, September 13, 2007

International Perspectives: LOHAS Japan


The LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) market is booming in Asia, far exceeding the level of penetration in the U.S. Nowhere is this more evident then in Japan where nearly 30% (approx. 42mi adults of the 127+ mi total population, compared to US w/300mi +) of all adults are living the LOHAS lifestyle.

In a recent survey by E-Square Incorporated, 21 percent of these people have a family income nearing 9 million yen, and Nikkei Research Institute of Industry and Markets suggests that that these consumers are willing to shell out up to three times as much on products and services that are in line with LOHAS then any other type of product. The study also pointed out that these consumers are very educated, and are making conscientious purchasing and investment decisions depending on how much entities are environmentally and socially responsible.

Products and services in this market include alternative transportation (e.g. bicycles and hybrid cars), energy-efficient electronics and appliances, renewable energy, green building and industrial goods, eco-friendly household products, natural and organic foods and beverages (e.g. macrobiotics), natural personal care products, alternative healthcare (e.g. aromatherapy), vitamins, minerals, dietary supplements, eco-tourism and travel, and socially responsible investing.

It is safe to say, that with such booming demand overseas, industries will increasingly need to adjust to the needs of the changing market. It will be exciting to see what new companies emerge on the scene in Asia (in increasing numbers) and how they will impact and help define business on our shores. Additionally, one wonders to what extent American business is currently taking advantage of the ripe LOHAS market overseas.

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