As we evolve into more informed and empowered individuals, it’s having a profound impact on how we define what it means to be well –– and the steps we’re taking to attain those ideals.
Driven by a growing rejection of the existing approaches towards wellness, an outspoken rebellion is fueling a move towards a more balanced, reflective and enjoyable form of wellness.
In a world where work, rest and play are increasingly being underpinned and connected by wellness, the expectation is that we will receive what we want when we need it. And, with the future of health and wellness continuing to point towards a more individual and informed approach, demand for personalisation is reaching a tipping point.
As we enter a new decade, it’s clear that our collective thirst for wellness is showing no sign of slowing down.
So, what can we expect? Here we explore the five wellness trends we predict will take centre stage in 2020.
The New Wellness Warriors
Driven by a growing understanding of the importance of mental health, a new willingness to embrace ‘flaws’ and ‘failures’ openly and a rise in unrest towards the lack of recognition the industry has for individual motivations towards the pursuit of wellness, a counterculture of disaffected consumers are fueling a move towards a more balanced, reflective and ultimately enjoyable form of wellness.
Taking the lead from influencers such as Alice Liveing and Emily Skye, who once championed the former ideals of wellness, but have recently spoken out against the detrimental effects of such a utilitarian and high-pressured approach, these ‘new wellness warriors’ are forcing brands to rethink their approach.
Like US athleisure brand Outdoor Voices, which is creating a new narrative around wellness by focusing on movement and participation rather than performance, or premium supplement startup The Nue Co. which recently unveiled a new company ethos: ‘feel real things again’, in 2020 a new age of enjoyable and ‘real’ wellness will prevail in which brands focus on delivering products and services that don’t just do the mind-body good, but deliver a feel-good factor too.
Conscious consumerism might be shifting from a mindset to a lifestyle, but despite 65% of consumers saying they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, only about 26% currently do (Harvard Business Review).
To narrow this intention-action gap, in 2020 we predict we’ll see a rise in groundbreaking wellness brands eliminating common barriers to entry, such as a lack of convenience, style, function or affordability, in order to incentivise action and cultivate behaviour change.
Launched in 2019 by social influencer Grace Beverley (@gracebeverley), who boasts over one million followers, sustainable activewear brand TALA is one brand that’s already doing so. According to the startup, it’s more than just a sustainable brand: “We give #TALAGIRLS the choice to look cute, feel empowered AND care for the environment without breaking the bank,” states its website.
By understanding the motivations of her mostly Millennial and Gen Z audience, and harnessing the power of her social influence, Beverley has created an effective way to elicit pro-environmental behaviour from a demographic that feels like existing athleisure brands haven’t been listening to their needs.
Over the next twelve months, we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for more purpose-led businesses encouraging conscious consumerism, via innovation, transparency and accessibility.
In Search of a Wellness Ecosystem
In 2020, when it comes to wellness, the expectation is that we will receive what we want when we need it – and the ultimate form of convenience will rest on the notion that it should also exist within the common frameworks found at home, work and recreational spaces.
This revolutionary idea is already sparking a new breed of hybrid spaces that are redesigning the buildings of the future.
Equinox’s recently opened hotel in New York reflects consumer thirst for wellness that cuts across the various touchpoints of life. It integrates innovations within movement, nutrition and regeneration, both in the built environment –– via soundproofing and blackout blinds, natural-fibre mattresses that adapt to any form and temperature regulating duvets –– and through access to high-performance breakfasts, in-room IV vitamin drips, a 60,000-square-foot flagship Equinox Fitness Club, and a SoulCycle studio.
Elsewhere, London-based boutique fitness chain Ten Health’s tenth studio sits inside property developer Derwent London’s headquarters. The studio offers Physiotherapy, Massage, 1-1 Pilates sessions, personal training, rehab and clinical exercise, as well as onsite workplace assessments to the building’s occupants.
By integrating themselves into the flow of everyday life, these brands are shifting away from the idea that wellness is a distinct pursuit, and in 2020, we predict wellness will increasingly become part of the infrastructure, not an addition to it.
Mental Wellness for the Modern Age
In just a few short years mental health has risen to prominence and cemented itself as one of the major pillars of consumers' relationship with wellness.
Having grown accustomed to this new paradigm, consumers’ expectations have also risen. In an era where demand for personalisation is greater than ever before, shoppers want the products or services they invest in to be an expression of their personal values and a projection of their individual desires, even when associated with more serious or sobering issues such as mental health.
Demanding that brands approach mental wellness in a more intuitive, reflective and diverse way, identity-driven consumers are no longer satisfied with one-size-fits-all solutions. Individuality is key, so in 2020 we predict a rise in mental wellness offerings evolving from generic to nuanced in order to inspire interaction and engagement.
Both music-driven meditation service WAVE, which answers consumer demand for an elevated form of at-home meditation that’s more culturally relevant, and mental fitness startup Elevate Labs –– a personalised meditation program that adapts to the user, rather than the other way round –– showcase how the next generation of mental wellness solutions are expanding upon the more prescriptive and uniform offerings that currently dominate the market.
From Self-Care to Self-improvement
In 2020 empowered and informed consumers will continue to expand the parameters of what’s considered to be self-care by approaching common issues that are known to take a toll on mental health, through a wellness lens.
Financial wellness, a movement spearheaded by millennials navigating the realities of living in uncertain and oppressive economic times is just one example of how self-care mutated in 2019, in response to modern conditions that are impacting our wellbeing.
And as this zoomed-out approach to wellness and what constitutes self-care continues to be adopted by consumers, over the coming year we expect to see the trend trickle through to other taboo or under-represented areas of life such as menopause, family dynamics and even death.
The consumer of tomorrow is searching for brands to help them cultivate a healthier and more habitual relationship with prevalent issues that could harm their health, and so just as the health-focused consumer has ritualised the taking of supplements, participation in boutique fitness classes or the practice of meditation, in 2020 we predict that more contemporary forms of self-care will become just as crucial to the elevation of personal wellbeing as their predecessors.
*Trends taken from Welltodo’s 2020 Consumer Wellness Trends Report – available to download in full from www.welltodoglobal.com