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from LOHAS Journal, Conscious Media Inc.

LOHAS is an acronym that stands for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability and describes a $226.8 billion U.S. marketplace for goods and services that appeal to consumers who value health, the environment, social justice, personal development and sustainable living. These consumers are variously referred to as Cultural Creatives or LOHAS Consumers and represent a sizable group in this country: approximately 30 percent of adults, or 63 million consumers (see the Understanding the LOHAS Market: Identifying the LOHAS Consumer and Business and Branding Opportunities report by clicking on Research on the navigation bar to the left).

Environmental concerns, human health and human rights do not completely configure the LOHAS Consumer, however. There is more. The holistic worldview of the LOHAS Consumer believes in the interconnectedness of global economies, cultures, environments and political systems but also in the interconnectedness of mind, body and spirit within individuals in order to achieve full human potential. Personal Development is of utmost concern to LOHAS Consumers. Spirituality is no longer relegated to the New Age periphery but has immigrated to the center.

The LOHAS marketplace was originally identified by research conducted by Natural Business Communications, publisher of the Natural Business LOHAS Journal, in 2000 and is made up of five sectors: Within these five market divisions are products and services that improve health, safeguard eco-systems, develop human potential in a sustainable manner, reduce the use of natural resources, allow mankind and the natural world to live more harmoniously, and are created or conducted in a socially just manner.

“If the machine inspired the industrial age, the image of the living system may inspire a genuine postindustrial age,” say Peter Senge et al., in Sloan Management Review.

The five LOHAS categories include:

  • Sustainable Economy
  • Green building and industrial goods
    Renewable Energy
    Resource-efficient products
    Socially responsible investing
    Alternative transportation
    Environmental management
  • Healthy Living
  • Natural, organic and nutritional products
    Food and beverage
    Dietary supplements
    Natural personal care products
  • Alternative Healthcare
  • Health and wellness solutions
    Acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy, etc.
    Holistic disease prevention
    Complementary medicine
  • Personal Development
  • Mind, body and spirit products: CDs, books, tapes, seminars
    Yoga, fitness, weight loss
    Spiritual products and services
  • Ecological Lifestyles
  • Ecological home and office products
    Organic/recycled fiber products
    Environmentally friendly appliance
    Eco-tourism and travel

    Understanding the LOHAS marketplace helps companies grasp the interconnection of consumer values across product categories--the common values that serve a greater idea of a holistic lifestyle as a global and a local citizen. The opportunities for business are immense, from the development of new types of channels that can better service LOHAS consumers to the invention of cleaner products and technologies. Opportunities exist for businesses to discover like-minded industries with which to evolve new partnerships such as the new green hotels have done with the eco-travel industry. Forging these types of links will ultimately produce new systems of distribution, new outlets for sales, and new technologies for cleaner production.


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