We’ve all heard the term “New Year new me” thrown around by people with no intention of change, but when it comes to the clean living culture, it’s rising in adoption across the UK.
For example, health body UKactive is currently working alongside Tech City to find British businesses introducing wellbeing products with the potential to replicate the success of Fitbit, supporting development through an accelerator programme.
So with the clean living culture on the move, how are leaders and their companies making the most of it – particularly with a spree of consumer detoxes to seize in the New Year?
Health and Fitness Travel provides luxury wellbeing holidays. Given that that the weather at the start of the year is gloomy at best, coupled with time for a clean living kick-start, the firm is in a good place right now.
Targeting consumers with busy lifestyles, company director Paul Joseph said customers “seek a holiday to rejuvenate and get back in shape”.
Joseph noted January as a busy time for the business, which means that extra support is brought in to cover the period, while preparation of New Year promotions begins in August. Typically, there is a sales lull for two weeks in December.
“When I launched Health and Fitness Travel in 2010, the term ‘wellness travel’ didn’t even really exist. We offered healthy holidays to help people restore themselves,” said Joseph.
“It’s really expanded into this area of experiential travel, growing twice as fast as any other sector in the travel industry.”
He’s convinced that the sector will only grow further too, as people look beyond laying in the sun to catch a tan, insisting they want benefits that will stay with them. And with a view to cut down on staff stagnation, a corporate retreats package was introduced.
“Employees spend between one-third to half of their day at the office, so their surroundings at work are just as important as their home environments in helping to create a healthy lifestyle,” Joseph detailed.
Having banked a £65,000 investment on the BBC entertainment show Dragons’ Den from Deborah Meaden, Scott Cupit was able to fund his Swing Patrol and SwingTrain ventures.
“January is a brilliant month for our fitness brand SwingTrain and our dance brand Swing Patrol because the offers match people’s needs,” said Cupit.
“People start the year with a new motivation, often to learn something new, pick up previous hobbies, get fit and healthy, and make new friends. Many people who have been socialising in bars and at home want to meet new people in a different, healthier environment.”
The business is keen to issue clean living marketing messages to those that have made New Year’s resolutions, harnessing email, social media and targeted classes to blow away the cobwebs.
“Timing the marketing activity is important. People are so focused on Christmas in December that getting marketing messages about New Year’s resolutions to cut through the Christmas noise is challenge,” he said.
Business tends to tail off at the back end of December, with work parties, visits to families and friends and general merrymaking pushing clean living on the back-burner. One way around this is through offering its own Swing party options to customers.
He added: “But come Boxing Day, then it’s a great time to start marketing New Year’s related activities, like SwingTrain. We also have to manage our capacity. Some dance classes, events and workouts sell out much quicker in January, so we have to take pre-bookings and manage numbers and room sizes carefully.
“Awareness of wellbeing is absolutely growing. We see it in marketing and the media and just in general conversation.”
With National Sickie Day on 1 February, Cupit said that while employers shouldn’t necessarily be accountable for managing clean living programmes for staff, there are benefits.
“Encouraging a workforce to be fit and healthy reduces sick leave and ensures employees have more energy and drive – not just for work, but for their social life and other pursuits, whether that’s dancing, working out or travelling,” he said.
Another business making the most of the movement is Neat Nutrition, a protein brand launched by ex-international swimmers Lee Forster and Charlie Turner. Within a year, the pair secured a Regent Street premises and partnered with luxury retailers Net-A-Porter and Mr Porter.
Former international swimmers, the duo are equipped with what it takes when it comes to clean living and what New Year means in that regard.
“January is an important time for us, with people across the country making New Year Resolutions to get fit and healthy, particularly after the classic Christmas indulgence,” said Forster.
“This year we received over a 50 per cent increase in orders year-on-year and had to ensure that our forecasting was aligned so we were able to meet this increased demand.
“This January was particularly exciting for Neat as we launched an exclusive range with Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter, and opened our first café in the lululemon European flagship store on Regent Street.”
The new clean living café offers healthy meals, snacks and shakes. But anticipating that growth was on the horizon last year, the pair ensured that products were manufactured ahead of Christmas and ready to hit the market when the New Year came around.
“We are continually producing seasonal content which helps to support all of our customers, especially those looking to make positive lifestyle changes in the New Year,” Forster detailed.
Unlike other companies, Neat Nutrition has found that its customers keep up the clean living lifestyle throughout the festive season. The continued sales are due to consumers purchasing goods as gifts for friends and family members, as well as themselves.
On the topic of business responsibility for clean living, Forster added that replacing biscuits for fruit and nuts, supplying smoothies or encouraging lunchtime runs would go a long way to increasing happiness and productivity of staff.
He closed: “At Neat HQ we promote an environment focused on variety and wellness; with no defined office hours and a mantra that a happy healthy body and mind is a productive one, this naturally promotes all of our staff to pursue their fitness goals. We often take time out as a team to enjoy a group fitness class in one of the various boutique studios that we work with.”