The Global Wellness Summit releases its annual report on 31st January 2023, which details four emerging themes and predicts 12 wellness trends for 2023 and beyond.
Global Wellness Summit Annual Report – Future of Wellness
The Global Wellness Summit, as reported by My Mind News in November, is an organization that works alongside the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) and other industry leaders.
The GWI was established in 2007 and is a non-profit organization recognized as a leading source of research and authority in the wellness industry – an industry estimated to be worth US$4.4 trillion.
What are consumers looking for?
The COVID-19 pandemic has given consumers time to reflect on their lifestyles and helped solidify their values around wellness and how they can embed this into their lifestyles.
This represents a massive tectonic shift in consumer thinking and values. GWS points to four key themes that have emerged from their research –
- Radically different consumer values – consumers are demanding wellness products are services where the science and solutions work. In the past decade, wellness growth originated from self-care and digital. These aspects do not support human connections in all our lives. According to GWS, human connection is now at the forefront and center of consumer decision-making.
- Science is king – consumers are exhausted with the misinformation around products and services. Consumers no longer accept misleading statements and demand scientists create ‘biotech beauty’ products and services.
- A Return to Wellness Roots—With a Difference – consumers want to appreciate and require Indigenous wellness and return to our wellness roots. The need to satisfy consumers’ hunger for deep sensory immersion in nature will see a growth of new locations with new-look hot springs and wild and cross-country swimming destinations going global.
- Wellness Impacts Serious New Sectors –the need and expectations of wellness are filtering into every industry, including government policies, urban planning, and hospitality brands. Wellness is now part of our decision-making process.
In a press statement, Susie Ellis, GWS Chair and CFO, tells us that,
“This report is proof that the wellness market of just three years ago suddenly feels archaic. Wellness in 2023 (and beyond) will be more serious and science-backed, but also more social and sensory.”
The 12 emerging wellness trends for 2023
Based on the four trends, GWS predicts explicitly the following 12 global wellness trends that will influence and reshape the wellness industry. These are –
- Wellness + Gathering – new products, spaces, and services will be designed to encourage human connections and bring people together intentionally and creatively.
- Wellness + travel – this will see greater focus and appreciation of authenticities and culturally appropriate travel, such as Indigenous travel and travelers returning to the origins of the many wellness practices.
- Wellness + Workplace – Employees require more meaningful wellness solutions, and this year will mark a reform in employee wellness. Growing trends include the right to disconnect, wellness resort team meetings, ice baths, and the introduction of effective policies to finally lift the stigma on mental health, menopause, and infertility.
- Wellness + Beauty – Consumers demand more transparency and education around products and services with science and data-based evidence.
- Wellness + Cities – according to Robbie Hammond and Omar Toro-Vacay, “urban wellness infrastructure is no longer a luxury – it’s a necessity.” This was born out of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The health of city residents goes hand-in-hand with the city’s health. There will be more focus on introducing natural beauty into cities and setting up wellness destinations in many countries.
- Wellness + Weight – this trend focuses on living longer and younger by converting white/yellow fat to beige/brown fat to reduce obesity. The science will focus on pluripotent cell transformation (changing stem cells), cold therapy, and drugs.
- Wellness + Government – proactively pursuing policies that will focus on prevention, such as improving citizens’ physical, mental, and financial wellbeing h as well as the surrounding environments. Legislating on ultra-processed food and sugary drinks, campaigning for healthy eating, and so on.
- Wellness + Water – Jane Kitchen, the report author, summarizes this trend as “Blue, hot, cold and wild,” where consumers are seeking out water-based activities in nature. These range in temperature spectrum from the world’s wild blues waters and hot springs to wild, cold cross-country swimming.
- Wellness + Sports – this trend will see hospitality organizations continuing to focus on wellness in sports outside the traditional gym environment. Investment in equipment and facilities and alignment with celebrity athletes will continue.
- Wellness + Senses – Ari Peralta advises that “senses have always been present in wellness,” and this trend will continue with brands ensuring all products and services will have more multi-sensory integration to make the wellness experience more meaningful and impactful.
- Wellness + Biohacking – Marc Cohen, MD, defines biohacking as “the attempt to control biology and defy disease, decay, and death so we can become superhuman.” The AI, supercomputers, and technologies behind biohacking are incredible (e.g., new tissues and organs), but it remains an area that is not regulated, and there are ethical and moral issues to overcome.
- Wellness + Faith – in line with the workplace trend, and the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, more companies are looking to acknowledge the full identity of their employees. Companies are setting up faith groups, including non-theists, to support these initiatives as it enhances inclusivity, workplace culture, and wellness.
To conclude, the wellness industry will continue to grow and evolve in all aspects of our life as it becomes at the forefront of our purchasing decisions and way of life. This evolution will positively impact us, the products and services we experience, and the environment we surround ourselves in.
What do you think of the GWI views on wellness and the merging trends it has identified? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.