13 Jun 2024 Spa Business Handbook
 

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Spa Business Handbook - Strength in numbers

Industry insights

Strength in numbers


Technology platform Mindbody surveyed 17,000 people to uncover what’s important to today’s wellness consumer. Margo Badzioch, market research lead at Mindbody, highlights the trends

Consumers are looking to connect with nature shutterstock/Martina Strihova.
The more active people are, the more connected they feel SHUTTERSTOCK/Africa Studio
39% of women surveyed prefer women-only gyms SHUTTERSTOCK/Studio Romantic
Adaptogens like mushrooms are growing in popularity SHUTTERSTOCK/marilyn barbone
1/3 of consumers are interested in ice baths SHUTTERSTOCK/Michele Ursi

With each passing year comes a fresh batch of wellness trends. Some stay, some go, some reappear years later. One facet of the wellness industry that stands the test of time: its ability to impact our lives in profound ways. In fact, three out of four consumers say wellness is more important than ever.


At Mindbody + ClassPass, we keep a constant pulse on what’s happening in the world of wellness. This year, we surveyed more than 17,000 Americans for our annual Wellness Index to find out how their relationships with wellness continue to evolve — and what that means for the year ahead. From that survey, here are the five wellness trends we expect to see in 2023.

Strength in Numbers: The Rise of the Wellness Collective
The past few years have underscored the importance of connection in our day-to-day lives – and we’re not talking about internet connection. Consumers will continue to look to fitness, beauty and wellness businesses as a source of community, with nearly half (43 per cent) saying that community is a very important part of wellness experiences. More than a third of consumers are likely to choose wellness businesses that are well known for their community-building activities and nearly a quarter say they’re more focused on their health and wellness to feel connected to other people. Showing the correlation between connectedness and wellness, consumers who use beauty and integrative health services report feeling more connected to their communities than those who don’t. Similarly, the more active consumers are, the more socially connected they feel, too.

From the Ground Up: Going Back to Our Roots
Today’s consumers are looking to reconnect with nature, with nearly 40 per cent saying they’re embracing a more natural lifestyle. When it comes to clean beauty, women are more conscious, with women reporting they’re more likely to visit a salon or spa that uses natural products and try natural anti-ageing techniques like facial massage and sculpting tools. Consumers are turning to rest and the great outdoors to boost their mental health, with nearly 40 per cent saying they spend time outside to support their mental wellbeing, while 24 per cent go for nature walks or forest baths, a Japanese practice of intentionally taking in nature through all five senses. Consumers are also looking to plants and herbs to reduce stress and improve cognitive function, with more than four in 10 Americans in our survey saying that they’ve either tried or are interested in trying adaptogens – mushrooms that can reduce negative effects of stress on the body – or nootropics, medical-grade supplements that can support brain performance. Millennials – and especially Millennial men – are most likely to try these options for optimal health.

Big Female Energy: The Year of The Woman
Whether it’s going to a #WomenOnlyGym or taking advantage of the body’s hormonal shifts, the data is clear: American women are tapping into their feminine power like never before. Thirty-nine per cent of women in our survey said they prefer women-only gyms or fitness studios, which may be why the number of women who experience “gymtimidation” has decreased this year. For those who are too intimidated to work out in public, seeing more real and diverse bodies in fitness promotions will help. But don’t underestimate the power of a good outfit – 24 per cent of women say finding the right ‘fit’ (ie, proper fitness attire or sportswear) will make them feel less intimidated, especially for Gen Z and Millennials. While periods used to be a taboo topic, talking about cycle syncing, or aligning diet, exercise and other lifestyle habits – even skincare products – with the stages of the menstrual cycle is now becoming an increasingly mainstream topic. Thirty-five per cent of women between 18-50 structure their workouts based on their menstrual cycle, with Gen Z and Millennials most likely to do so. The number of American women who say they’re sexually fulfilled is also on the rise. This could be due to the growing number of women who actively seek to improve their sexual wellness with enhancement therapies, coaching or workshops and the like. And while there’s still room for improvement across the board – or in this case, bed – men and women report being equally sexually fulfilled.

Longevity: Functional Fitness for a Longer, More Fulfilled Life
All signs point to longevity becoming the new weight loss. Americans report being less concerned with using exercise to control their weight and more concerned with living longer. In fact, almost a third of consumers (29 per cent) say they exercise because they want to live a long and healthy life – a significant increase from last year. One specific way consumers are optimising their health is functional fitness – a type of strength training that prepares the body for day-to-day activities like squatting, bending, pushing and lunging. More than half (51 per cent) of general consumers engage in movement that prepares the body for daily living, with Millennial men the most likely to do so. Workout recovery is also a top priority, with nearly half (47 per cent) of Americans saying practices like stretching and restorative yoga are very important to them. More than one third of general consumers have tried or are interested in trying ice baths while over a quarter (26 per cent) of Americans practise biohacking for peak physical and mental performance.

Gen W: ‘The Wellness Generation’
For Gen Z and Millennials, wellness isn’t hours spent on cardio machines and crash diets, but rather feeling connected, emotional and inclusive – the foundation of a well-lived life. In almost every way, Gen Z and Millennials engage with wellness more than their mature counterparts; they spend the most on fitness, salon, spa and wellness services and they’re most likely to work out at least once a week and eat the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Younger generations prioritise their mental wellbeing more than other generations, too. Gen Z and Millennials are also most interested in the community aspect of wellness; more than a quarter say they’re focused on wellness to feel connected to other people. They expect wellness to be a part of the workplace, too, as they’re more likely than other age groups to say wellness benefits are important when choosing an employer.

38% of consumers say they’re embracing a more natural lifestyle

43% of consumers say that community is a very important part of wellness experiences

35% of women aged 18-50 are structuring their workouts based on their menstrual cycle

29% of consumers say they exercise because they want to lead a longer, more fulfilled life


Originally published in Spa Business Handbook 2023 edition

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