Bellevue, WA—A new report released by the Hartman Group, a consumer research firm, shows that many consumers are investing in their health and are making positive changes in their lifestyles. According to the report, over half of all consumers (54%) say that they have recently changed their views on health and wellness for the better. This report indicates that people are looking for products and services that can help them attain a better quality of life.

This change in views of the consumer market can be reflected in the big rise in profits of two recognized major wellness-related retailers. Whole Foods Market reported earning 15% more in the second quarter than the first with a grand total of $2.2 billion. The natural and organic food store reported an increase from $42.8 million to $65.7 million net income. Six new Whole Foods stores have been opened in the past few months.

Sales are also on the rise for General Nutrition Company (GNC), a leading global nutritional supplements retailer. For the second quarter of the year, GNC reported to having a 42.5% increase over the second quarter of 2009. Earnings totaled $25.6 million this year, whereas it was just $18 million the same time last year. GNC recently launched a line of dietary supplements for pets in collaboration with PetSmart, which may have helped increase sales. In the first six months of 2010, GNC has opened 22 new stores and 103 within-a-store Rite Aid locations.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, October 2010 (published ahead of print on August 28, 2010)