Biggest Health and Wellness Trends To Watch In 2021
I’m sharing this article from Elizabeth Gulino – These Are The Biggest Health and Wellness Trends For 2021 – which appeared here on refinery29.com. Elizabeth interviews Beth McGroarty, Vice President of Research at the Global Wellness Institute.
Six Health and Wellness Trends
The six health and wellness trends cited in the article include:
Not surprising, any brand experiences delivered digitally took off when we were suddenly tethered to our homes. The wellness brands who were able to pivot and shift their offerings were rewarded handsomely as our homes became makeshift gyms, yoga studios, tele-health examination rooms, etc. On the other hand, those businesses taken by surprise, very quickly becoming irrelevant.
Pre-pandemic, we were already taking our health into our own hands. Pushing back against reactive traditional Western medicine, we were demanding a more “prevention rather than cure” approach.
The pandemic accelerated this shift. Staying well became an important emphasis. Exercise, healthy food, sleep, stress reduction became part of our daily lives at home – with the goal of preventing underlying conditions.
Radical Self Care
After a year filled with trauma, our mental health has been threatened. Tethered to our homes, and not being able to go anywhere or see other people – there was a lot of sadness. Which we know has turned into depression for too many people.
On top of this, there were the two additional forces of family dynamics that many faced (which created difficulty and added stress as parents juggled family and jobs) as well as economic stress.
Experts expect the increasing legitimizing of the burgeoning field of drug-based therapies. Legalizing ingredients like psilocybin (hallucinogenic principles contained in certain mushrooms) helps open the door for more research into the compound, which will help us figure out all the potential uses.
We would also include here the significant interest in the development of therapies and other consumer products derived from cannabis and its components, including cannabidiol (CBD).
In 2019, the Global Wellness Institute launched what they called a “Dying Well” Initiative, which was intended to open up more conversations about death, and the pandemic has brought the topic back to the surface, due to the overwhelming amount of loss we’ve experienced this year.
Talking openly about death with loved ones may feel uncomfortable at first, but it can ultimately reduce stress. More of us will be having conversations about death in the coming year (many due to the pandemic), and we may start to see tools that are designed to help us do so.
Two Additional Trends That Health and Wellness Brands Need To Consider
This is another trend that health and wellness brands need to consider, as consumers prioritize its importance. It’s a shift towards collective consciousness, as consumers form new expectations around brand purpose – which has moved center stage into everyday culture.
In demanding that the brands they buy from not only tackle global issues directly but enable them to become agents of social change too, these ‘action-ists’ are forcing wellness brands to make them part of the process. The eventual pay-off being not just positive social change but collective loyalty.
Micro-Communities And Groups
While Covid-19 forced people to distance from one another, our desire for safety, connection and community reached an all-time high. With limited physical contact, we looked to connect through social media and digital forums.
As a result, social media usage has grown, and smaller, more niche online groups, known as micro-communities, began to form at an increased rate. These communities have always existed, but their importance has been heightened for both users and brands during the pandemic.
The Thriving Health and Wellness Sector
The Wellness category was already exploding pre-pandemic, growing at a faster clip than the economy overall. But the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated even more so the growth of some of these trends.
As consumers increasingly prioritize health and wellness as the new ‘non-negotiables’ underpinning the customer journey and experience, moving forward, every business should consider how they can become a part of this new health-focused ecosystem.
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