Inclusivity will trump privilege, with widespread wellness communities becoming deeply embedded into the fabric of cities.
We are at risk of fatigue concerning wellness – the peak period for global searches of the term ‘wellness’ over the past five years was from 19 to 25 February 2017, according to Google Trends, but searches for the term ‘health’ are rising steadily.
Consequently, wellness must move beyond its association with inaccessible ‘fitspiration’ influencers – Instagram influencers who post inspirational body shots – and fad diets in the next year. As people increasingly look for ways to belong in a world defined by disarray and disconnection, health and wellness will become community safe havens. There will be a movement towards more inclusivity, as it becomes clear that wellness should not be the preserve of a certain class of society. More wellness narratives will also be geared towards men, whose gender-specific health problems tend to be less vocalised.
As health and wellness are finally entrenched as a mainstream mindset, they will become embedded into cities, with more wellness communities and real estate projects on the horizon. In addition, our data-driven Advanced Living tendencies will lead to more wellness services aimed at servicing our brains through neuro-modulation technologies.
Although the wellness industry tends to be dominated by services that appeal to women, more start-ups will focus on issues that specifically affect men’s health.
With expiring patents on branded prescription drugs such as Viagra, and a rise of telemedicine – obtaining prescriptions over the internet – start-ups are beginning to offer men medical solutions to common problems. The focus is on destigmatising the issues and making them seem less clinical through a simple e-commerce experience and modern, minimalist packaging.
One start-up, Roman, is already streamlining the process of obtaining prescription drugs for erectile dysfunction, while recently launched Hims aims to be a one-stop wellness shop for men, with its products for balding such as DHT-blocking shampoo and prescription drug Finasteride.
It is a ‘wellness brand intended to serve our customers for multiple decades’, says Hims founder Andrew Dudum. ‘Maybe you will come for hair loss products initially, but you will come back for sexual wellness products, then cholesterol wellness products. We want to grow with you as different challenges arise.’
Industry Innovator: Field
Big idea: Creating a private members’ club for brain optimisation and neurotechnology that has the same experience as a luxury spa.
Why it matters in 2018: With the definition of health and wellness expanding beyond physique, consumers’ interest will increase not only in brain training, but also in seeing scientific measures of their cognitive improvements. Field, due to open in the spring of 2018, will set an example in how to create a service-led experience for neuromodulation technologies.
In 2018, being fit and healthy doesn’t have to be the preserve of affluent white people. As health and wellness become mainstream lifestyle pursuits, more gyms will offer an inclusive approach to fitness, not just in their marketing but in their infrastructure as well.
The Everybody gym in Los Angeles is leading the way with its non-gendered locker rooms and regular events and programming for specific communities, such as its Fat Kid Dance Party. The gym also offers membership packages that acknowledge that it is part of the gentrification of the neighbourhood in which it is located. Membership fees start at £23 ($30, €26) per month for gym access for low-income members.
Similarly, boxer Floyd Mayweather has announced that his new franchise of gyms, Mayweather Boxing & Fitness, will also offer different membership fees based on the area in which they are located. Both are positive indications that belonging will become a core tenet of wellness.
With India’s youth population making up almost half of the country, the wellness industry there is reaching a turning point. The nation will experience industry- wide growth to 2020, with gym and fitness centres expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 18% (source: FICCI/Ernst & Young).
This increasing interest in wellness has contributed to a rise in the Indian sportswear market. While brands may find the Indian market difficult to break into, Under Armour entered the country earlier this year through Amazon Fashion, while Adidas is focusing on changing its model from franchise stores to opening 20–40 mono-brand stores in the next five years.
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