The road to personal health and wellness has built a $4.5 trillion dollar global wellness industry. The expansion of the market pivots to meet the changing trends of innovation and consumer preference for products, experiences, or values that meet their desired outlook on life or lifestyle.

A driving force in the growth of the wellness industry is credited to millennials’ collective love of wellness, which may come in part from a healthcare system that falls short, placing the challenge of health and wellness on the individual. The lack of medical support for stress and chronic illness has resulted in trends focused on reimagining diet, exercise, and mental health to support overall wellness, happiness, and lifestyle. 

The Eating Revolution

Studies on millennial food preferences show an increase in demand for healthier fresher items. Studies also showed a consumer preference for sustainability and a rise in preference for plant-based foods — which has become a $3.3billion dollar industry, with 24% growth in plant-based meat substitutes.

Diet trends are under scrutiny from both consumers as well as dieticians that note inconsistencies or imbalances that may occur from overly restrictive diets. According to health experts, diets that are more sensible and that include a variety of food items may not be the best for weight loss but promote overall health and nutrition. This may include the Mediterranean diet or intuitive eating that places an emphasis on promoting a healthy attitude toward food and body image and eating to satiate and meet your individual needs. Food allergen testing is also becoming more popular with market growth projected at 8.32% that can help consumers curate diets to meet their body’s needs in a functional and healthy way.

Leaning Into Natural Products and Remedies

The global market for natural and organic cosmetics and personal care is projected to reach $54.5 billion by 2027, indicating a preference for skincare and cosmetic products that are focused on natural ingredients with a reduction in environmental harm.

Analysis of herbal supplement trends shows an inclination towards natural products, awareness regarding preventative healthcare, and a surge in spending on health and wellness in a market that sits at $6.3 billion in 2020 and is projected to increase to $8.5 billion by 2025. This rise in alternative wellness trends includes Ayurveda practices and botanical substances, as well as CBD products to improve health and wellness. While many traditional botanicals are seeing a resurgence in popularity as “natural medicine” regains ground, other less well-known botanicals are also gaining broader attention. Kratom, a plant in the coffee family that is grown in several Southeast Asian countries, has many reported benefits, such as providing relief from a variety of complaints ranging from minor discomfort, providing calming and relaxing effects, while also giving a boost of motivation and enthusiasm. Ongoing research into the largely unregulated botanical community may yield more support for the use of natural supplements, or help indicate exactly what these herbs are capable of doing in support of human health.

The Evolution of Fitness 

Fitness is evolving alongside technology. Surveys on wearable tech and apps that track health found that 34% of adults use mobile health apps that are capable of tracking heart rate, exercise, weight, and sleep, and 27% of adults use fitness-focused wearable technology. 33% of wearable users indicated that the use of the device is to help them achieve their fitness goals, while 32% noted that they use their devices to track their health data. 

Tracking activity through apps and technology can be done anywhere and from most devices, putting health data at the user’s fingertips and in their hands. The hybrid approach to fitness includes opportunities for virtual training that keep pace with boutique fitness companies that have seen a rise and fall in recent years as fitness studios strive to compete with at-home gyms. Support from digital fitness apps and tools, as well as the rise of social media integration and fitness influencers, are also impacting the evolution of personal fitness.

Fitness trends are also evolving, and now include a greater emphasis on active recovery, an aspect of fitness that complements working out. Examples of active recovery may include low-intensity exercises, stretching and yoga, massage and acupuncture, or mindfulness and meditation. 

Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

The Global Wellness Summit states that meditation is one of the most powerful wellness trends, citing CDC statistics that note that the use of yoga and meditation has increased in popularity by threefold in recent years. The practice and popularity of meditation is a part of the Mindful Revolution and is considered helpful to those dealing with stress, depression, working long hours, and constantly engaging with technology. 

Mental wellness and technology are taking a hybrid approach that is gaining popularity. The behavioral health software market is growing at almost 15% and is projected to reach $2.31 billion by 2022. Again, wellness is put in the hands of the individual through tech with chatbots, apps and digital support groups, and virtual therapy sessions with counselors, and even virtual reality therapy. 

Wellness Travel and Tourism

Travel is often associated with good health and well-being, reducing the risks of cardiovascular and heart disease, reducing stress, helping to lift the mood and creative thinking, alleviating symptoms of depression, and providing temporary boosts of productivity. Wellness tourism extends beyond the typical reasons for travel and is often used in the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal or holistic wellbeing. 

Wellness travelers seek destinations and experiential wellness from places that offer wellness retreats, festivals, workshops, spas, tours, or centers. Many of these destinations offer the opportunity to meditate, connect with nature, or physically cleanse the body through diet and nutrition or other experiences such as natural hot spring soaking.

Empowering Wellness

Self-care and inclusivity are becoming more closely connected as a one-size-fits-all approach to health and wellness are found to be less effective than inclusive wellness programs. The journey of personal wellness and self-care can be empowering, encouraging the individual to be their best physical, mental, and emotional self. This may include not only eating and exercise habits but also rest. Studies on sleep health in the U.S. show that 50-70 million Americans are affected by sleep-related problems.

Sexual and reproductive health is also on the rise in the wellness industry. The global sexual wellness market is expected to reach 57.57 billion in 2020. This includes a rise in contraceptives, sex toys, and personal lubricants that are a part of the pleasure revolution with a focus on innovation for a female-focused sexual-wellness space. Issues of wellness and fertility are also coming to light, as people are waiting until later in life to have children, and are seeking new and innovative approaches to personal and sexual wellness with innovative fertility, pregnancy, or contraceptive plans that are growing in popularity. 

While the fundamentals of overall wellness seldom change, the wellness industry is constantly innovating and providing new ways to help people achieve better health. Food choice and dietary awareness is at uncommonly high levels, allowing you to be more thoughtful about your food choices and making it easier to elect for unique diet plans. The resurgence of natural products and remedies provides more consumer choice in supplements, and is driving both casual interest and clinical research into traditional medicine’s full range of benefits. Mind and body alike are getting renewed attention as well, with fitness and emotional self-care going mainstream. 

Whether you roam the globe in support of health, or leverage technology to support your wellness, customization and accessibility are the key trends opening the doors to new ways to achieve whole-person wellness.

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