Ideas about health, environment, business, energy or community development that were once considered “fringe” or “radical” are now part of the mainstream of American life. The medical profession and government agencies now understand that prevention of disease is just as important as advancing new treatments and providing an equitable distribution of medical services.
Many major corporations are slowly realizing that promoting health and safety on the job and using sustainable business practices help the long-term bottom line and improve the global competitiveness of the company. Local utility companies are promoting energy conservation and encouraging the deployment of renewable energy sources. Local and state political leaders are seeing the holistic “big picture” of economy, environment and social equity when it comes to making development decisions for their communities.
SIZE OF LOHAS AUDIENCE 68 Million Adults in the U.S.
Why are LOHAS values important?
Because of the sheer magnitude of the number of people who are organizing their lives, their families and their communities around LOHAS values. Today, over 68 million adults in the U.S., or 32.3%, are part of the LOHAS market (Natural Marketing Institute). That is 1 of every 4 adults! If we include the an additional 30 million people who are just becoming aware of the meaning and benefits of LOHAS lifestyles, that brings the ratio up to an astounding 1 in 3 American adults.
Although these huge numbers are impressive, it is very difficult to identify LOHAS consumers through conventional demographic measures. LOHAS consumers are a representative sample of the U.S. population as a whole. Their ages, income and race match national sample profiles. They are not only Baby Boomers, but range in age from 18 to 70 years. Only two demographic characteristics really stand out: they are more highly educated and over 60% are women.
What unites LOHAS consumers is their shared values. They share a whole way of life and a whole set of beliefs about how the world works. They are skeptical and discerning. They have a different set of priorities than other Americans about what is important in life. They are continually redefining what success means. LOHAS consumers often choose careers that pay less, but offer other social compensations.
They are very creative. They start new businesses, new social movements, new ways of life, and new ways of seeing the world. They are personally and socially constructive. They are engaged in life. They are grounded optimists. Experience is often more important to them than the accumulation of products. That’s one of the reasons why spas and eco-tourism are booming industries.