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Future focus likely to be on health and wellness

New research from Barclays Corporate Banking reveals that Covid-19 could lead to £768 million in additional wellness-related business revenue across the hospitality and leisure sector in the West Midlands by 2023.

Beyond increased hospitality and leisure revenues, these changes could have a knock-on effect for the wider economy, adding a potential £426 million in gross value add to the West Midlands.

The virus has accelerated consumer demand for health and wellness offerings, driving the additional potential revenue boost by £2bn across the UK. Before the lockdown, additional health and wellness options would have led to an estimated £19.3bn in sector revenue by 2023.

Following the pandemic, consumer demand for health and well-being has soared to 1 in 3 (33%).

With nearly half (44%) of respondents saying Covid-19 negatively impacted their mental health, consumers are craving breaks. The most popular types of post-lockdown leisure activities residents of West Midlands report to have used to improve mood and mental health include short breaks (44%).

Crucial for UK businesses, nearly a third of people in the West Midlands (27%) reported plans to take more UK-based holidays over the next 12 months, with the top reasons being consumers do not feel comfortable travelling abroad (39%) or worry about travel advice changing while they’re away (35%).

The top priorities for residents in the West Midlands post-Covid holidays are short breaks. When visiting restaurants after Covid-19, consumers, like the Prime Minister, are hoping for healthier options, in the West Midlands the most popular of which are low fat and low sugar options.

Mike Saul, head of Hospitality and Leisure, Barclays Corporate Banking, said: “Hospitality and leisure businesses face uncertainty following the initial shut-down and continuing change as we adjust to a new normal but this is not a time for companies to delay investment or ignore consumer trends. While difficult in the short-term, firms making the right investments now, such as in health and wellness offerings, have the potential to bounce back stronger.

“Understanding the need for rest, mental health and healthier food options for a public still adjusting to the lifestyle changes forced by Covid-19 will allow businesses to better serve their customers and make up for lost revenue post-pandemic.”

On average, businesses in the West Midlands are putting around £52,000 of money into providing healthier options.

Even before Covid-19, businesses rated the importance of health and wellbeing on average as seven out of 10. Consequently, 45% of hospitality businesses in the West Midlands said they plan to invest more in health and wellbeing in 12 months’ time, while 58% expected to be spending more in three years’ time.


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