health d2c brands new year: Health and wellness D2C brands cash in on new year resolutions

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Direct-to-consumer brands and internet platforms in the health and wellness space have been recording a surge in demand for their products and services for the past fortnight — a corollary of one of the most common new year resolutions of consumers: prioritising their fitness and well-being.

Khosla Ventures and Unilever Ventures-backed startup HealthifyMe, which offers services such as nutrition and calorie tracking as well as fitness coaching, said that on the first day of 2024, it posted sales of Rs 2.5 crore, the highest on record for a day and more than three times of its average daily revenue of Rs 70 lakh.

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“In the new year, there is definitely a seasonality spike that all health and fitness brands see,” Tushar Vashisht, cofounder and chief executive of HealthifyMe, told ET. There was also a “huge amount of engagement and excitement” from the new consumers, he said.

Nearly 66% of the revenue in January so far has come from renewal of subscriptions. Last year this number was 50%. By the end of January, he expects to touch Rs 35 crore revenue in a month for the first time.

Pallav Bihani, founder of bootstrapped D2C brand Boldfit, which sells fitness products and nutritional supplements, said there was a 20-25% spike in sales during the first week of January compared with business as usual. “This quarter (January-March) accounts for a good 35% of our annual business. This is the best quarter for the fitness industry as a whole,” he said.

New Year boost for health and wellness brandsETtech

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“The first week numbers that we saw were tremendous … we’re serving about one order every four seconds, that is around 22,000 orders a day which is very close to what we did on Prime day in 2023,” Bihani said.

ET had reported during the festive sales last year that Boldfit’s sales during that period grew twofold from the previous year.

The Bengaluru-based fitness company aims to close the ongoing fiscal 2024 with around Rs 150 crore in revenue, more than double compared with Rs 73 crore in FY23.

Elevation Capital-backed apparel brand Blissclub, which focuses on the gym and yoga wear segment for women, said it witnessed robust growth in revenue from mid-December to January.

“December 2023 has been the best ever month for us so far in terms of top line. In the last three years, we have been very young, and it has been different every year. However, post-Diwali, more people become aware of fitness as the new year is coming. So, there is a lead up to the new year and we generally plan our brand campaigns for this quarter of the year,” founder and CEO Minu Margeret told ET.

In the December 2022 to January 2023 period, Blissclub posted a 50-60% revenue increase compared with the previous months, she added.

The big picture

The surge in business that health and wellness brands witness as the new calendar year begins, typically subsides in the following months.

Cultsport – the D2C vertical of Tata Digital and Zomato-backed Curefit – which sells sportswear and fitness equipment, saw an increase in sales over the last fortnight, but expects a decline in customer interest by the end of January, with an expected 30% drop by February.

“December and January put together would probably contribute about 24% (to revenue), which is significantly higher than February which is about 7%,” a Cultsport spokesperson told ET.

“We are looking at least 20% growth compared to the previous January to this January, driven more by consumer demand and with certain new categories getting added,” he added.

Brand-focussed venture capital firm Fireside Ventures sees a broader trend of growing demand for such products beyond the episodic jump in sales during the new year resolutions season, as more people look for healthier solutions.

“Given the mindshare and the wallet share of the consumers shifting significantly on the health and wellness side, as a fund we believe there could be large winners that could be created in this space. We will continue to double down on our investments in the healthcare industry,” said Ankur Khaitan, principal, Fireside Ventures.

“However, these are not just restricted to the new year, but we are seeing this trend emerging on a daily basis. It is complementary to the overall health and wellness theme,” he added.

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