“New Year, New You” is the standard January mantra, but this year, some health and fitness brands are upping the wellness ante with personalized solutions and products. Let’s look at some of the health and wellness trends we see exploding in 2023, and the related emerging brands inspiring us to commit more fully to a healthier future.
Health and Wellness, a Consumer Magnet
A recent Vesta survey revealed that consumers are increasingly seeking personalized wellness, especially in the Vitamin, Minerals and Supplements, and the Hydration Drinks categories. The Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements category was one of the few that continued to grow during the pandemic; additionally, the Hydration Drink market is expected to expand 7.8% by 2027. How can brands capitalize on the changing market?
With two-thirds of the survey respondents indicating they need help with seven or more health needs, emerging health and wellness brands have a shot at consumer adoption. And nearly that number of the people surveyed expressed a strong interest in personalized supplements, especially younger cohorts like Gen Z. But one thing is certain—new brands must strongly differentiate themselves in the highly saturated supplement industry.
Brand Highlight: Mela Vitamins
Taking customization a step further, Mela Vitamins creates customized vitamins for women of color. Inspired by her own personal health journey, founder Ashley Harmon discovered that melanin impacts how people of color produce certain nutrients. Therefore, they have unique nutritional needs that other multivitamins don’t prioritize. While doing research for her own health, Harmon never intended it to become a business, but when she realized there was no affordable, targeted solution available for people of color, she launched Mela Vitamins. The brand offers a Daily Essentials Vitamin that replaces the “multivitamin, probiotic, and vitamin D supplement in just two capsules a day.” Mela can be ordered online; they also offer an affiliate program.
Food As Medicine
According to Deloitte, even with higher prices at the grocery store, 84% of consumers still consider health and wellness when purchasing fresh food. This represents a huge opportunity to bridge the information gap and help consumers make choices beyond price point—by connecting what they eat to their health. Consumers are beginning to see food as medicine, going beyond eating for health to eating to cure what ails them or prevent disease.
According to the Deloitte report, “In the United States, over 48 million households have a member with a health condition that needs to be managed through diet. These households represent 60% of Americans and nearly US$270 billion in annual grocery sales, according to Nielsen.”
Brand Highlight: Season Health
Season Health creates meals as medicine for individual needs. By pairing consumers with a personal dietitian who uses the consumer’s diagnosis—diabetes, for example—to build a personalized nutrition plan, they have changed the game in home-delivery meals by creating a food-as-medicine meal plan. The consumer selects pre-made meals custom-designed to help manage and improve their specific health needs.
A New Approach to At-Home Fitness
The public’s desire to be healthier is not new, but with nearly half of previous gym members not returning to the gym after the pandemic, creating opportunities for home fitness is necessary. Delivering fitness through an app to your customer’s devices adds convenience and removes barriers.
Brand Highlight: Centr Fitness
Chris Hemsworth has launched a new all-in-one fitness app, Centr, that offers healthy meal plans, mindfulness and meditation guidance, and fitness training with Chris’s own team. They invite users to “transform your health, fitness, and mindset with Chris Hemsworth’s team of world-class experts in one easy-to-use program.” Hemsworth’s company taps into influencer marketing to drive membership. With 56.1 million followers on Instagram, 8.5 million followers on Twitter, 5.4 million followers on TikTok, and the third-most-popular Marvel superhero, who better to help you get fit than Thor?
As more consumers seek fitness as a lifestyle and not a once-a-year effort to assuage guilt over holiday eating, brands are working hard to be part of their new lifestyle. In 2023, fitness is more than just something to be squeezed in around work hours; it’s something many companies even offer their employees. It’s a win-win, as healthier employees cost less and show up to work more.
Brand Highlight: Advantage Fitness
While there are a number of insurance companies offering health apps and other solutions to improve the health of their workers, Advantage Fitness is encouraging companies to add a gym to their office space.
“Exercise is one of the most effective ways to keep your employees motivated and stress-free. Adding a functional and dynamic on-site fitness space shows your team that you care about their wellbeing and are willing to invest in them. Working to build a good company culture will also attract potential new hires and put you at an advantage in today’s competitive hiring market.”
Fitness That Fits
Athleisure and fitness clothing has undergone a renaissance. March8 highlights several women-owned fitness brands helping turn the industry on its head by creating long-lasting, luxury sustainable fitness wear for women. But it’s not just the clothes. Wearable tech has been the top trend in fitness in recent years. Not only does the tech give the wearer instant data about their efforts, but it can also gamify and motivate the effort.
Brand Highlight: WHOOP
WHOOP is part fitness tracker and part motivational coach, monitoring sleep, recovery time, and activity to guide users into optimum fitness. WHOOP can also measure blood oxygen levels, skin temperature, and heart rate, allowing users to “see when you’re making progress, or when something’s off your baseline.” So what’s the big differentiator between WHOOP and other wearable trackers? It’s the depth of data, the fact that the device can be worn 24/7 (even in the shower), and the passive data collection that is then used for personalized coaching. WHOOP 4.0, the newest version of the device, can be worn directly on the skin and does not require a wristband. For an in-depth review, read Andy Cochrane’s monthlong exploration of WHOOP.
Fitness isn’t just happening at the local gym or at home. However, fitness in the metaverse is a slower-growing opportunity. Gamified fitness software, like Nintendo’s WiiFit, paved the way for consumer adoption. Today’s virtual fitness options offer consumers an exciting new way to bring the gym into their homes. Instead of streaming a fitness program on the TV, consumers can create a virtual character, put on a VR headset, and immerse themselves inside the virtual environment.
Brand Highlight: FitXR
FitXR promises to “unlock your fit” with immersive fitness classes in four different virtual studios – a boxing ring, a dance studio, HIIT, and Sculpt, featuring Pilates and barre exercise. Exercising in virtual studios using a VR headset lets the user feel as if they have stepped into the environment and aren’t just following along on the screen. They even provide the soundtrack for your workout.
Focus on Women’s Health and Fitness
When it comes to fitness, there is no one-size-fits-all solution that works, especially for women in what has largely been a male-dominated industry. Great strides have been made in the past few years in regard to the understanding of the unique needs of women in the areas of health and fitness.
Now, female-focused fitness labels and wellness brands are upping the ante. By creating support-centric online platforms, tailored content, fit-tech collaborations, and regimens that target the hormonal impact on physical well-being, resourceful brands are prioritizing women’s holistic health.
Brand Highlight: P.volve
P.volve is a fitness company founded by women for women that utilizes custom equipment. Not only do they offer a full library of on-demand classes, but they also offer live Zoom classes as well as personalized one-on-one sessions with a trainer. P.volve is launching in-person studios around the country. They have locations in Chicago, LA, San Diego, and New York. A new location is opening in Nashville in 2023.
Self-Care at the Center of It All
The pandemic ushered in a new era of self-care. Brands must offer innovative ways to help consumers stay focused on health, well-being, and fitness, as their lives have resumed and expectations have shifted. There are massive opportunities for fitness and wellness retailers to take advantage of the consumer’s new focus on self-care—not as a guilt-driven New Year’s resolution, but as a lifestyle commitment.