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New year’s resolutions hike health and fitness subscriptions in January but tighter budgets restrict year-on-year spend

6 minute read
  • January saw gym subscriptions increase 14% and balanced meal kits rise by 11% compared to December as consumers look to kick off a healthier new year
  • Gym subscriptions have remained resilient seeing year-on-year spend increase 12%
  • But meal-kits, fruit and vegetable delivery boxes and at-home gym plans have all seen weaker spend compared to January 2022 as consumers cut back on non-essentials

New year’s resolutions drive an increase in spending on health and fitness subscriptions in January, but overall spend is down year-on-year driven by cost-of-living cutbacks, according to new data from digital advertising platform, Cardlytics.

New spend data from over 24 million UK bank accounts revealed that spending on gym subscriptions increased 14%, whilst at home workout plans and healthy meal kits both rose by 11% between December and January.

Traditional gyms have come out on top with continued increases in spend year-on-year, rising 12% from January 2022. But the same can’t be said for all health and fitness related subscriptions as consumers reign in their spending amid the cost-of living crisis.

Despite the expected month-on-month increase in January as people kick off their healthy habits for 2023, tighter budgets mean that demand for at home gym plans has declined when compared to last year, with spending falling 25%.

New year means new members for gyms - but at-home subscriptions face a decline

Fitness goals have long been a part of new year’s resolutions for many, and this year has been no different. Traditional gyms such as David Lloyd and LA Fitness saw a 13% increase in transactions when compared to December which drove an 18% uptick in overall spend.

But whilst gym subscriptions are on the up, at-home fitness subscriptions face a decline. The pandemic drove a boom in sign-ups with transactions increasing 1070% since 20191 however this success has been difficult to maintain and spend this January is down 25% on last year as consumers leave behind their living room workouts.

Meal kits remain convenient for the health conscious

Healthier eating is always top of the agenda in January, and one of the easiest ways for people to switch up their diets is with balanced meal kits - which saw an 11% rise on December. However, compared to last year, balanced meal plans, and grocery delivery boxes are down, as spending on fruit and vegetable boxes fell 16% whilst meal kits fell 9% on January 2022.

Since 2019, meal plan subscriptions such as Hello Fresh, Mindful Chef and Gousto have seen an astronomic growth in popularity with spend rising by 379%2. But this trajectory may have reached its turning point as consumers cut-back on nonessentials with spend declining 9% compared to January last year.

Grocery boxes of fruit and vegetable deliveries have faced similar difficulties when it comes to subscriptions as the cost-of-living crisis drives up the price of produce. Spend fell 20% between December and January and is down 16% on last year.

January typically represents a clean slate for consumers who use the new year as an opportunity to not only set goals but also assess their finances and evaluate areas to cut back.

The convenience of subscriptions allows brands to capitalise on such resolutions but this year’s dampened spending, particularly across the health and fitness space, could provide an indication of what retailers can expect in 2023.

Brands need to recognise and understand changing consumer needs in the face of rising costs, offering tailored promotions, cashback and discounts on the subscriptions that matter most, to help build loyalty in the long term."

Sharina Mutreja, Partnerships Director, UK

About Cardlytics

Cardlytics (NASDAQ: CDLX) is a digital advertising platform. We partner with financial institutions to run their rewards programs that promote customer loyalty and deepen relationships. In turn, we have a secure view into where and when consumers are spending their money. We use these insights to help marketers identify, reach, and influence likely buyers at scale, as well as measure the true sales impact of marketing campaigns. Headquartered in Atlanta, Cardlytics has offices in Palo Alto, Los Angeles, New York and London. Learn more at

1 Transactions in January 2019 compared to the same period in January 2023

2 Spend in January 2019 compared to the same period in January 2023

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