Conscious minimalism – a growing movement among healthy believers

A good reason to reduce sugar is the opportunity to sell to ‘healthy believers’. Many of them are well educated and have a pronounced interest in the environment, sustainable lifestyle and health. It is a consumer group that has done their homework and seeks quality over quantity. Where can you find them? In the woods or on the road? Maybe both.

6 November 2020 •

Healthy believ­ers are a grow­ing group of con­sumers who make con­scious choic­es of food and sup­pli­ers based on an inter­est in health. The group is not homo­ge­neous. Among them, you find those who pre­fer food that is as it used to be, those who choose what they eat based on empir­i­cal data and ratio­nal argu­ments, those who are dri­ven by eth­i­cal con­sid­er­a­tions. And those for which food is a piece of the puz­zle of their self-realisation.

Among the lat­ter are many who want to down­shift, live eas­i­er and be less depen­dent on mod­ern soci­ety. They talk about ‘self-sus­tain­abil­i­ty’ and ‘off-the-grid’, live in ‘tiny hous­es’ or are ‘dig­i­tal nomads’ who live ‘van life’.

These buzz­words sig­nal a lifestyle that is impor­tant to under­stand if we are to suc­ceed in devel­op­ing foods that appeal to those who use them. So let’s learn more about what they stand for.

Self-sustainability off-the-grid

Self-sus­tain­abil­i­ty is about being self-suf­fi­cient and liv­ing ‘off the grid’. In large parts of Europe, we had the green wave in the 1960s and 1970s when many young peo­ple moved to the coun­try­side, often to live in a col­lec­tive and be part of the glob­al peace movement.

This is a move­ment that has nev­er dis­ap­peared and is grow­ing strong again. But unlike in the past, today’s emi­grants strive for greater inde­pen­dence, and they are hap­py to use mod­ern tech­nol­o­gy and live part­ly as a dig­i­tal nomad.

Living off the grid means that you are entire­ly cut off from soci­ety – includ­ing the elec­tric­i­ty grid, water and sewage. It is a strong move­ment in the USA. But in Europe, the trend is more towards find­ing the best in both worlds. We can grow our veg­eta­bles and have a fast inter­net con­nec­tion. We can live in a van and have an espres­so machine.

Digital nomad

You can work wher­ev­er you want, as long as there is inter­net and you have a com­put­er. A dig­i­tal nomad has seized this oppor­tu­ni­ty. So far, most of them are younger. Many of them have jobs that did not even exist a few years ago.

The advan­tage of being a dig­i­tal nomad is that you can live rel­a­tive­ly cheap­ly and see the world. Having an income wher­ev­er you are in the world gives you great free­dom. At the same time, not hav­ing your own home can be stress­ful, and the line between work and leisure tends to blur.

Another word for this trend is tele­work­ing. In the spring of 2020, many, more or less vol­un­tar­i­ly, had to leave their offices and try this way of working.

Tiny house

A tiny house is a mini house or micro house that you live in all year round. According to a def­i­n­i­tion of a tiny house, they must not be larg­er than 37 square meters. But in the US the trend is that the hous­es are get­ting big­ger and more lux­u­ri­ous – prefer­ably with sev­er­al floors. Many peo­ple build their hous­es on chas­sis with wheels, so they have the free­dom to move them.

A few years ago, there was a strong trend to build the tiny house your­self, but as the move­ment has grown, more and more com­pa­nies offer tai­lor-made hous­es. Today, it is more com­mon to buy a ready­made tiny house than to build one yourself.

The tiny house trend start­ed in the US in the 1970s with the book Shelter. It gained extra momen­tum in the 1990s with the book The Not So Big House, which high­light­ed the ben­e­fits of small hous­es for the envi­ron­ment (a third of all green­house gas­es are esti­mat­ed to come from build­ings). When the finan­cial cri­sis came in 2008, tiny hous­es became an attrac­tive alter­na­tive for those who want­ed to live sim­pler and cheaper.

Most peo­ple who have embraced it, empha­sise the pos­si­bil­i­ty of avoid­ing the tread­mill, work­ing less, trav­el­ling more, get­ting clos­er to nature, liv­ing a freer life. Health, finances and the envi­ron­ment are three deci­sive fac­tors. This is also true of the next trend: Van life.

Van Life

Those who live ‘van life’ are enthu­si­asts who live alone or with fam­i­ly in a con­vert­ed van. We are not talk­ing about a camper. Not at all. A camper is a larg­er and more expen­sive vehi­cle, pre­fab­ri­cat­ed and aimed at peo­ple who want a hol­i­day vehi­cle. Those who choose van life buy a used van which they con­vert into a full-time home.

In Europe, the van life move­ment is greater than the trend of tiny hous­es, as it gives greater free­dom to trav­el. The moti­va­tion is the same as for a tiny house – health, finances and the envi­ron­ment – and also the per­son­al free­dom and oppor­tu­ni­ty to travel.


Downshifting means to live a qui­eter life. All the trends described here con­tain an ele­ment of downshifting.

Sure, there’s an inher­ent provo­ca­tion in down­shift­ing. To be able to that, you must have some­thing to down­shift from. It also goes against a strong norm in soci­ety that we should work a lot and earn a lot to have status.

The one who switch­es down goes against this view. They val­ue time high­er than mon­ey. The time won can be spent on per­son­al devel­op­ment and family.

We like norm-breaking trendsetters

We at Bayn like peo­ple, com­pa­nies and phe­nom­e­na that break habit­u­al pat­terns and give proof of inno­va­tion. Companies of the future must find con­sumers of the future: Conscious peo­ple who do not buy anything.

More buzzword to keep track of

  • Back-to-the-land move­ment
  • DIY eth­ic
  • Homesteading
  • Prepping
  • Self-sus­tain­abil­i­ty
  • Simple liv­ing
  • Survivalism
  • Voluntary sim­plic­i­ty

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