How do you get millennials to buy health and wellness products? Create inexpensive private label versions and sell them online. 

At least that seems to be the takeaway from the new insights released by the Hartman Group, in its “Health + Wellness 2019: From Moderation to Mindfulness” report. 

“Despite retailers’ efforts, many consumers — particularly Millennials — still see health and wellness products as cost-prohibitive. Being perceived as ‘too expensive’ is the primary concern for consumers purchasing health and wellness products,” The Hartman Group explains. “Trusted private label health and wellness products are a growing solution to this barrier, as is online shopping. Amazon has emerged as a contender in meeting health and wellness shopper needs, performing extremely well on value, selection, and discovery.”

Yes, candy companies have long been pigeonholed into the indulgent category, but as with all things, there’s money to be made by evolving. Look no further than this week’s Hershey acquisition of ONE Brands, which makes a line of low-sugar, high-protein nutrition bars, as proof that the focus of the confectionery industry has expanded — the same candy company known for its chocolate Kisses just bought a protein bar company. 

But even if you have the right products, you still have to find the right consumers for them. And they aren’t necessarily going to be the same ones who usually grab a candy bar at the checkout. In fact, they may not even be the same consumers who shop at the grocery store.

“The grocery channel has lost share to a myriad of other channels and is no longer the top go-to channel for health and wellness food shopping,” the Hartman Group says. 

Specifically, Supercenter/ Mass Merch lead the list, with 92 percent of shoppers regularly shopping for health and wellness products there. That is followed by 82 percent for grocery, but after that it's 80 percent for drug stores and 77 percent for online merchants. 

And, among retailers, drugstores, Walmart, and Costco are best at converting their regular shoppers to health and wellness shoppers. However, Amazon often performs better than these and most other retailers for health and wellness shopping, including selection, value, and discovery.

The confectionery company has taken longer to gain a following of online shoppers than many other industries, but perhaps the way to sell more products online is to sell different ones. It turns outs, it may be a matter of selling protein bars instead of candy bars. And if that’s the case, we’ll all look back and see how genius it was for Hershey to acquire ONE Brands.