Discover the top 6 typologies driving the clean living trend

The clean living movement is not just a fad or zeitgeist, it’s a new way of life. It’s an attitude to consumption which is perceived as better for the world, our society and the individual. In the past clean living has been cyclical, so it’s not just about clean eating it’s about a deeper level of significant changes. This has been driven by a number of factors, which has catapulted the movement into the mainstream.


What’s driving this change?

In developed markets, we are reaching the pinnacle for consumption and over stimulation, leading to people feeling the pressure of “too much stuff”. There is also a distrust in the big four – Businesses, Media, the Government and Non-Government Organisations, 71%* in fact, exemplified by suspicions of both Trump and Brexit. So, there has been an inversion of traditional symbols of authority, where the established has been replaced by those closest, such as friends and family. Above all, people are looking inward, for their own priorities and solutions.

There is much more awareness of the environment and the impact that we’re having on the planet. People are also more aware of what they eat, the implications their consumption has on their bodies, and the consequences for general health. This has been accelerated by a number of factors – technological advances have enabled people to monitor their health through wearables and applications. Government bodies have raised people’s awareness, for example sugar. The media and internet have enabled video streaming sites like Netflix to popularise documentaries, so that people can become more regularly educated. Driven by social media, where platforms such as Instagram have made it easier for people to seek out health heroes, in the intimacy of their smart phones. From hot new ‘superfood’ ingredients to Veganism ­– where Google searches increased 90% in 2016**.


What’s the result?

The pressure, distrust and greater awareness has led to people seeking an overall sense of wellbeing. Considering their mind, body and the environment they are in, to create an antidote to this over stimulated world. Overall there is a need to be more considered, with brands and services becoming more closely scrutinised for their product, processes and ingredients.

What’s important to understand from a brand building perspective is the underlying motivations driving this mega-trend. Our research, based across a number of consumer categories from alcohol to snacks, has given rise to 6 key consumer typologies which we have mapped on our proprietal NeedMap™ tool, these seek to understand consumer motivations at a deep more emotive level. Against each segment we look at the consumer motivation, characteristics and lifestyle aspirations.

The output of this research has been the development of an interactive workshop session to help marketers understand the board experience sought, positioning start-points, innovation and activation platforms. Below is an overview of the 6 core typologies and their drivers.


The six typologies of clean living

1.Healthy Hedonist (Creator)

They desire experiences and adventures. An antidote to the 21st century living, is a need to feel alive. Food is seen as nourishment rejecting the ‘faddy diet’ culture.

Shifting from traditional static wellbeing to something more active and energetic, not wanting to sacrifice to be clean. Clean living is about finding new experiences in food and life and about nourishing the body and mind. They are looking for sensory stimulation, motivated by enriched experiences over possessions

2.The Everyday Trend Hopper (Everyman)

For this consumer, there are contradictions and pressures, as they find it difficult to control their cravings. They try their best to keep abreast of what they should be doing, but they need a bit of help.

They are very aware of what other people think and like recognition for their healthy choices. Constantly seizing the latest trend solution, if they can afford it. They would love to have a good conscience but are also driven by budget considerations.

Clean living is much more about managing weight and trying to keep their family healthy, by trying to incorporate some new healthy ideas as a sense of belonging to this world.

3.The Modern Naturalist (Innocent/ Caregiver)

Natural goodness and harmony is at the heart of what they believe in. They like to achieve a balance in life between work, family, health and spirituality. Finding balance for the world is also important. The closer they can get to the raw ingredients the better.

They are interested in craft, global wisdoms, veganism and realness. Clean living, for them is all about low impact consumption, being greener, and more authentic.

4.The Ultimate Purist (Sage /Wizard)

This consumer is very health aware, their lives are under control, informed on the latest nutrition, diet and tech trends. Maintaining their looks and ensuring they are clear headed and perform at their best is important to them. They will spend more on quality vs quantity and are willing to embrace innovation as long as there is a strong rationale. Clean living is about ‘glowing’, becoming their optimum self and being in control of their positivity.

5.The Fabulous Me! (Hero/Ruler)

They are always in the know of the latest health trends, and constantly look for the new ‘superfood’ of the moment. They associate clean living with status.

Everything is shared on social media to gain social currency. They want constant recognition from their peers and want to be known as the early adopter for health trends.

Clean living is about being part of the cool set and ultimately looking their best.

6.The Urban Warrior (Explorer/ Outlaw)

Every day is about being active and keeping fit, they fuel their bodies with what it needs so they can always be on the move. Up for trying new fitness experiences, and love to challenge their body, doing things a lot wouldn’t dare to do. They look for protein and high energy ingredients to give their body and mind power. Clean living is about exploring ways to remain fit and active.


Find out more

To better understand how your brands can capitalise against this mega-trend and provide more detail on their lifestyle aspirations, social identity drivers and identified experiences sought, contact the team for an interactive presentation with brand building teams, where we use creative exercises to help you understand some of the implications in your world for your brands.

Click here for our download which outlines our creative exercise.

*Edelman study 2017
** Google Trends 2016