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Women's Health in Asia Pacific: Adapting Solutions to Local Consumer Needs and Lifestyles

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Embracing women’s wellness through dedicated solutions that cater to unique needs requires a holistic outlook factoring in an integrated physical, nutritional, emotional, and lifestyle spectrum.

In Asia Pacific, emerging trends in women's health are also increasingly tailored to the region's unique consumer behaviours and demographic dynamics.

Opportunities from herbal/traditional ingredients with convenient formats

In almost all Asian countries, herbal/traditional ingredients are indispensable for women’s health remedies. Euromonitor’s Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition Survey (fielded January to February 2024) shows that natural or traditional solutions are more widely used for women’s health concerns by consumers in Asia Pacific. Asian consumers have a high trust in the local traditional ingredients while looking for solutions that can be easily used. Combining traditional remedies with new formats can revitalise existing products to appeal to more consumers.Chart showing Natural or traditional solutions as treatment approach for women's health concerns, 2024Taking menstrual pain as an example, in different cultures, there are traditional regimes to relieve discomfort. In the traditional Chinese medicine system, menstrual pain is believed to be caused by liver Qi stagnation and cold accumulation. Herbal ingredients like ginger, safflower, and motherwort will help to return energy relieve the pain. Likewise, in India’s Ayurvedic system, supplements like turmeric and fenugreek are used to ease muscles and reduce abdominal pain. Businesses specialising in women’s health management, menstrual care products, and OTC analgesics can broaden and diversify the offerings in Asia Pacific. This can be achieved by integrating local traditional regimes with a strong consumer education foundation and adopting easy-to-use formats.

Images of brandsSedentary lifestyles and mental stress will heighten gynaecologic health concerns

High levels of stress and less exercise, attributed to prolonged working time and sedentary lifestyles, can worsen gynaecological health, including issues like vaginitis, pelvic inflammation, irregular periods, and urinary health issues. According to the same survey, among females experiencing gynaecological concerns in Asia Pacific, 18% of those with moderate to high stress levels report a severe impact on their daily lives due to gynaecological issues, while a lower 12% of non/low-stressed respondents report severe impact.

When unhealthy lifestyles cannot be improved quickly, consumers are turning to dietary supplements to prevent diseases and alleviate symptoms. This trend has spotlighted areas like vaginal microbiome, migraine headaches, and irregular menstrual cycles. Especially within the probiotics sector, there's a growing emphasis on combining intestinal/vaginal microbiota balance with urinary tract health, immunity, cellular antioxidants, and bone health to enrich women’s health-positioned portfolios.Images of brandsBeyond menopause, integrated quest for healthy lifestyles of older women

With an increasingly ageing population, healthy ageing and elderly care in Asia Pacific are becoming prominent, particularly for women. By 2040, in Asia Pacific, there will be an excess of 73.5 million women aged over 60 compared to men of that age. Gender differences in life expectancy underscore the predominance of the women’s sector in the healthy ageing market. High dependency ratio and inflation will lead to more financial stress for older women, forcing them to start planning their elderly care even earlier.

Survey results indicate disproportionate rates of health concerns between older women and men. Across nearly all common health issues affecting the elderly, women exhibit more concerns than men. Women's health should not be addressed in isolation but rather in consideration of other prevalent concerns for a more integrated and lifestyle-compatible perspective for a longer healthy life and a healthier mental state.Chart showing Current Health Concerns, age 60+, female vs male, 2024In Asia Pacific, the average life expectancy for females is 77 years, with a healthy life expectancy of 66 years. On average, females will experience an unhealthy period for over 11 years, compared to eight years for males

Source: Euromonitor International, Socioeconomic indicators, 2023

Based on the same survey results in Japan, among women who have menopausal concerns, the most common treatment approach is seeing a doctor/healthcare provider, with 45% of respondents selecting this. However, over 30% of them also reported that they still seek a new treatment approach as the current one disrupts their lifestyles. Women-only gym brand Curves operates over 2,000 locations in Japan. Designed specifically for post-menopausal women, the company’s exercise programmes address health issues such as loss of bone density, obesity, joint pain and high blood pressure due to the decline in oestrogen. The overall comfortable community atmosphere also encourages older women consumers to exercise with greater comfort levels and confidence.Image of Curves gym advertIn Asia Pacific, services catering to older women's wellness are poised for greater innovations. Spaces such as travel options, menopause retreats, and female-centric retirement communities are fostering novel opportunities for incorporating diverse wellness elements, crafting unique product and service combinations, refining brand messaging, and fostering cross-industry synergies.

For further insights into business implications and action-driven recommendations on go-to-market and innovation strategy, view our report, Transforming Women’s Health: Empowering Women Through the Life Cycle. For consumer perceptions and behaviours of health-conscious young consumers in Asia, read our report, Health-Conscious Young in Asia: Focus on Consumer Health.

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