TAKING SIDES

Health and wellness may be booming, but indifference to the trend is growing as well. In fact, over the past four years, Americans have become polarized, with about 20 million shifting to either extreme of the health and wellness spectrum, according to the Natural Marketing Institute. Using NMI's customer segmentation model, "Well Beings" and "Food Actives," consumer groups that believe in eating

Health and wellness may be booming, but indifference to the trend is growing as well. In fact, over the past four years, Americans have become polarized, with about 20 million shifting to either extreme of the health and wellness spectrum, according to the Natural Marketing Institute. Using NMI's customer segmentation model, "Well Beings" and "Food Actives," consumer groups that believe in eating right and taking supplements for health, grew at compound annual growth rates of 10.6% and 7.4%, respectively, from 2001 to 2004. Similarly, the "Eat, Drink and Be Merrys," consumers who say they know they should eat better, but just don't care, grew at a CAGR of 5.3% during that period. "Fence Sitters" and "Magic Bullets" -- the two consumer groups in the middle -- both shrank.