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I've seen references to "LOHAS" twice in as many weeks. So it's time to take a look at what it means:

LOHAS stands for "lifestyles of health and sustainability."

You may not be familiar with the acronym, but you're likely familiar with the concept: it refers to that segment of the population that is looking for balance (in their diets, budgets, lifestyles) and mindfulness (through self help books, yoga practice, or eco-tourism, for example).

And as you can imagine, the LOHAS market represents big business for a variety of products and services related to good health, eco-consciousness, meditation, yoga, and holistic wellness. In fact, it was worth an estimated $209 billion domestically in 2005 — equal to the value of the aerospace industry and more than the food services industry. Last year, Americans spent $5.7 billion on the yoga subset alone — including equipment, clothing, vacations and media — which was an increase of 87% since 2004.  And here's something else of interest: while yoga practitioners may be a relatively small group (~ 7% of US adults), they are a relatively affluent one, with 44% reporting incomes of $75K+ and 24% with$100K+ (read: a marketer's dream).

Today, LOHAS consumers are estimated to account for one-third of the U.S. population (63 million adults) and over $230 billion in sales annually.

Apparently, I'm a Lohasian and I didn't even know it! Here's why:

Yoga I love my yoga practice at Charlestown Yoga. Nothing beats an hour of Hatha Flow after a stressful, desk-bound day in the office.

Ode I recently discovered (and subscribed to) Ode Magazine, a magazine and Web site "written for intelligent optimists” that focuses on ways to sustain "ourselves, our minds, our energy, our planet, our society." In fact, as part of your paid subscription, Ode will plant a tree to help stop global warming.

Source I've raved about The Source to numerous people. It's Dr. Woodson Merrell's guide to integrative medicine, including tips for better eating, exercise, and social connectivity.

And there's probably more.

While I don't consider myself an activist like, say, the other Stephanie Rogers, I would say I'm much more conscious of health and sustainability than I've ever been. And I'd venture to say that the general population is heading there as well.

Watch for the current green marketing fad to shift subtly in order to encompass simplicity and inner wellness for the consumers, not just the environmentally-friendliness of the products.

[Note: I have no affiliation with the above products and services, other than being a happy customer.]


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