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Connected wellness across categories

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We asked each of our Global Studios to delve into a specific category to explore how brands are adapting to trends.

From innovations encompassing enjoyable wellness, to new developments helping consumers adopt preventative healthcare measures, what certainly stands out within each category is the move to a connective holistic wellness approach.

Beauty is only skin deep

The significant changes to our lifestyles, diets and screen time over the past twelve months has not only had an impact upon pressures towards our physical appearance; it has also caused many of us to look inward: placing greater expectations from our beauty and personal care brands as advisors for our health and wellbeing.

What are the benefits of beauty and wellness?

Major online beauty retailers including Sephora, Boots, LookFantastic and Cultbeauty have all launched wellness sections since the pandemic began, providing recommendations on inner and outer health, demonstrating the importance of self-care during times of anxiety.

We have seen a popularity shift from BHA’s, retinols and peels; to restorative spirit-lifting products; with bath and skin care rituals becoming a sacred moment of escapism from our living room offices.

CBD remains a popular ingredient, with aromatherapeutic scents, soothing textures and holistic brands such as Rituals, Aveda, Neom and REN seeing an increase in sales.

As more extreme stress is placed on our skin from central heating and outdoor exercise, the need for anti-oxidative products has increased. Dutch brand Combray produces luxury oils containing only two natural ingredients: Oxofulleram and a plant-based oil. Together, the substances prevent damage and inflammation caused by environmental factors such as pollution, UV, cold and wind exposure.

A shift in focus to our inner heath has seen a boom in the supplement market, blurring lines between the health and beauty categories. We now see brands such as Murad and Beauty Pie offer ingestible skin-improving pills and collagen powders, whilst traditional supplement brands such as Olly and Centrum now offer beauty-focused vitamins. 

Aside from some ‘unconventional’ hair cutting and dying techniques that have graced our social feeds: damage protection and ‘salon at home’ products have gained popularity, with Olaplex becoming the most-purchased beauty brand during lockdown. We can expect to see enjoyable wellness permeate further into the haircare industry, with essential oils and hair infusions aiding relaxation from head to toe.

‘Skin-tech’ has also been a huge trend, with consumers investing big money in new innovations such as LED light therapy face masks and microcurrent devices. Japanese brand Shiseido even offers a bespoke system using an algorithm to analyse day-to-day factors that may impact a user’s skin including weather, environment, sleep and hormones – they then provide a targeted two-step skincare regime selected from 80,000 possible patterns. 

If we take something positive away from this pandemic, it should be the benefits of self-care: with brands entering the connected wellness space and enabling us to take a set moment each day to cleanse the body and mind.

The best of both worlds

With many of us spending more time at home during lockdown, trying to create a safe environment for our families and housemates, we are seeing a shift in household cleaning (HHC) brand messaging. Many are now no longer simply focussing on efficacy, but coupling this with a more natural ingredient story delivering both effectiveness and safety.

Consumers aren’t simply focussed on the task at hand but are thinking holistically about the products they buy and their impact on the world, both their world and the impact on the wider environment.

What products are harmful to the environment?

All brands now have a duty to think about their use of single-use plastic. The introduction of post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic, clear recycling and carbon neutral roadmap communications are expected by many.

There is also a growing trend for more plant-based products containing ingredients famed for their natural cleaning properties. We’ve seen brands within HHC take learnings from personal care brands, introducing products with baking soda and vinegar. 

I think we will start to see the introduction of live ‘good’ bacteria; similar to innovations in food and drink with products like kefir and kombucha, used in HHC over the next 3-5 years, naturally lifting dirt. 

I anticipate a shift to more premium fragrances, with ingredients renowned for their relaxing or energising properties as consumers look to brands to create more of a connective holistic wellness approach. Methods have focussed their brand positioning on fragrance cues to add joy to the cleaning experience (anyone who has used the rhubarb variant will I’m sure agree). Could we see a stretch into home fragrance for some of their best-selling SKU’s?

You are what you eat

‘You are what you eat’ has taken on a whole new meaning. Going beyond consumers wanting natural and organic products, your choice of foods now reflects your lifestyle choices. We have seen a systemic shift in consumers’ food and beverage choices, whether this be from a humanitarian climate change movement, health management or holistic wellbeing. 

Does eating meat really harm the planet?

Natural disasters repeatedly confirm the impact of climate change; we’ve already used more resources than can be regenerated and food is 26% of humanity’s ecological footprint. With recent Netflix documentaries such as ‘Cowspiracy’ and ‘Game Changer’, there is growing awareness that society must respect and work in collaboration with nature. Developing from this we see a rise in veganism and also commercial brands such as Impossible Foods who, with their impossible burgers, claim to use 95% less land, 74% less water and emit approx. 87% less greenhouse gases compared to the standard production of a beef burger. And for those who can’t imagine a world without meat, Eat’s R&D centre in Singapore is using innovation and science to reduce the impact of climate change; receiving the world’s first-ever government approval to sell lab-grown chicken meat.

In the health management space, micro-hacking and biohacking has become common practice to track and manage health on a day-to-day basis. With new technology and information to help expose any underlying medical conditions using gene-based health screenings, consumers now have more control over how they prevent and restore their optimum health. So how can the food and drinks landscape respond and innovate? We are already seeing brands building natural therapies into their food and drinks mix. And perhaps this will call for a much more advanced GDA system for food and beverage brands in the future too? 

‘Self-care’ is a key concept when considering health and not exclusive to the yoga mats and self-care Sundays, but a reflection of the holistic way health is viewed. Emergent opportunities identify the interconnectedness of physical health and mental health. Angeline Leong, co-founder of Angie’s Tempeh, discovered this connected health when she changed her lifestyle by turning to clean and wholesome eating. She learnt the authentic way of tempeh making from tempeh masters and now delivers her source of positivity to customers ranging from kids and yogis to vegetarians and cancer survivors, with the brand forming a community of wholesome eating.

Health is now viewed holistically, rather than only for definitive reasons such as to lose weight. The Food and Beverage sector will be adapting to the changing needs of the consumer on both a global stage for climate change and also at an individual level to meet our physical and mental health needs. Developments that improve wellbeing are no longer fads, but new ways to change lifestyles sustainably and positively.

Keep on track while travelling

Are you ‘on track’ or ‘off track’ with your health and wellness goals when traveling? Personally, I can fall ‘off track’ but with recent trends emerging in the health and wellness space, I can’t wait to travel again as we see Spas and Hotels worldwide offer new experiences to ease our anxiety and covid stresses.

What is wellness travel?

Gurney’s Montauk Resort & SeaWater Spa in Montauk, Long Island New York offers high end “Wellness Retreats” with a fitness-focused program each month, giving hotel guests the opportunity to stick to their routine with wellness top of mind. The offering includes curated weekends away with sought after NYC boutique fitness studio classes and workshops. Not forgetting wellness-inspired smoothies and group dinners with healthy dish options – all aimed at reducing anxiety and stress.

Hotels are also becoming more elaborate, with in-room workout gear tapping into fitness with cult followings. Gone are the days of just requesting a room with a view, now guests at Westin Hotels and Resorts worldwide can request a ‘Westin WORKOUT Peloton guest room.’ Guests can experience their routine in-home workout whilst travelling, keeping their daily fitness fix on track.

With guests expecting hotels to accommodate many different lifestyles and dietary needs, 1 Hotels have teamed up with Hannah Bronfman, a beauty and wellness expert and founder of HBFIT, to reinvent the minibar experience. The collection is exclusively available at the 1 Hotel West Hollywood location and offers a selection of locally sourced products for the hotel’s first ever wellness-conscious minibars. Guests can choose from “The Early Bird Special”, “The Glow Getter” or “The Wind Down”. Each minibar offers a curated range of products, highlighting added benefits and feel-good ingredients.

Since Covid-19 and the increase of WFH, guests have chosen to discover a more picturesque view than their bedroom wall. The Hyatt hotel brand has reimagined the guest room layout, subdividing rooms into different zones for sleeping, working and relaxing. They have also included blackout shades and warm lighting to help improve sleep quality.

Hotels are also adding music therapy to their offering, as research uncovers the benefits of sound experiences during stressful times. Hyatt Hotels have partnered with Headspace, a digital meditation and mindfulness tool that walks users through guided meditations, helping guests to prioritize their own wellbeing during and between their stays. Headspace has also partnered with many Airlines, beginning way back in 2011 with Virgin Atlantic and then expanding this offering across an additional 12 airlines.

After a year in lockdown, it has motivated many to be even more proactive and self-motivated in finding new forms of self-care, fitness and nutrition. Hospitality brands continue to evolve and dial-up their offerings. With Health and Wellness at the top of brands minds, keeping ‘on track’ can be easier than ever in this ever evolving exciting space.


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