Additional data from the HealthFocus International 2018 Global Trend Study on Primary Food Shoppers and Their Quest for Health & Nutrition shows that the passion for healthy consumption is back—and consumers are willing to pay for it.
“It is not that consumer desire to live and eat healthier ever actually went away,” noted Steven Walton, president of HealthFocus International. “In countries impacted by the Great Recession we did see the high levels of concern for the economy, jobs and mortgage payments. The focus on getting by day-to-day competes for top of mind interest with always eating healthy. In countries less affected by the Great Recession, we saw no slowdown in search for healthier options.”
The recently released US data shows that in spite of 80% of research respondents claiming their diet is currently very health/healthy, 47% say that they now eat heathier than they did before, and 6 in 10 are willing to pay as much as 10% more for products that promote health.
Larissa Jensen, executive director and beauty industry analyst at The NPD Group, noted that natural brands are outpacing the growth of all beauty categories in the US. Tying into the wellness trend, a renewed focus on sustainability and a greater understanding of Gen Z’s interest in “clean living” could boost sales.
“Brands that share the values of their consumers will win in 2018,” she said.
Other industry executives agree.
“Consumer focus on health and wellness is inspiring a burgeoning trend in beauty with innovative, on-the-go formats,” observed Alison Gaither, beauty and personal care analyst at Mintel.
Known best for their ability to improve gut health, probiotics are also on the rise for their skin care benefits. This interest is reflected in new product development in recent years, as the use of the probiotic Lactobacillus in skin care products in the US grew 98% from 2013-17, according to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD).
But really, what is wellness? Jamie Johns, director of merchandising skincare and body division, Birchbox, New York, NY, told Happi that wellness is an amorphous tag.
“It can be tied to exercise, natural ingredients, mindfulness, brand values and transparency,” she explained. “There is a lot happening under this catch all ‘wellness’ tag that has become so buzzy in the last year.”
In 2018, we’re taking better care of ourselves, and there’s a rising interest in nocturnal health. According to Kaitlin Stafford, director of sales at Spa Week, New York, sleep is finally becoming a priority for most people.
“Fitness and wellness trackers have helped the average person learn just how little sleep we’re getting—and how much more we need,” she told Happi. “Consumers are turning to spa treatments, dietary changes, high-tech apps and exercises to help them get better sleep.”
Personalization and bespoke products are another huge trend in wellness right now, added Stafford.
“We’re seeing this trend pop up everywhere, from personalized vitamin regimens to personalized skin care and hair care products based on your specific skin concerns and hair type. Spas are diverting from their standard menu items and creating specialized treatments for their clients,” she said.
Another big trend in wellness this year is self-care. Yoga and meditation have been major trends for a while but now consumers are prioritizing taking time for themselves every day. Stafford noted that “breathwork” (breathing exercises to help relieve stress/anxiety) is becoming more common as people start to look for ways to relax and ease stress in their day-to-day lives.
“We’re making self-care a priority in our lives, not a luxury,” said Stafford.
Christy Ras, division vice president, retail and service innovation, Massage Envy, Scottsdale AZ, agreed that a “whole body” approach is key to wellness.
“People looked at wellness strictly in terms of diet and exercise; however, consumers are now taking a 360° approach to their routines and seeing the importance of wellness as a lifestyle that effects mind, body and soul,” she told Happi. “Increasingly, consumers see regular body and skin care as essential to their wellness routine and, arguably, the most enjoyable things they do as part of that routine.”
In the ingestible beauty and nutraceutical sector, a significant trend is “reduced sugar everything,” noted Diana Jenkins, owner and CEO of NeuroBrands LLC, makers of Neuro Drinks.
“Every nutrition/diet/weight loss book advocates for little to no sugar. The threshold for acceptable amounts of sugar in a product keeps dropping. Where 10-15 grams might have been okay five years ago, 0-5 grams is the new normal.”
Jenkins added that the “type” of sugar is also important. Organic can be acceptable, non-organic most likely not.
Neuro’s most recent launch is Neuro Protein with 10 grams of “high quality” collagen protein per bottle. The beauty drink is crafted with collagen in the form of a peptide (smaller protein) which leads to hyper-efficient absorption and utilization in collagen-containing tissues. This form of collagen aids in brightening/firming skin, reducing wrinkles through moisture, protecting hair against chemicals and more, according to the company. Neuro Protein comes in two flavors: Watermelon Mint and Cherry Vanilla. Other active ingredients in the beverage include fiber, vitamins C and D, aloe vera and bamboo extract—and it all comes with only 50 calories and two grams of organic cane sugar.
Additionally, beverages focused on digestive health benefits offering “pre” or “probiotic” ingredients, such as kefir, inulin, functional fibers or live probiotics are also in demand for 2018, said Jenkins. Emerging science on the microbiome points toward a very real connection between a healthy digestive tract and a healthier looking appearance, better energy and stronger cognitive skills.
Ingestible beauty is paramount right now, agreed Chrissy Blair, co-founder of Kalumi BeautyFood, Los Angeles, CA.
“Everything known to make your skin glow is trending right now: collagen, probiotics, prebiotics, juices and other healthy food products,” she told Happi. “People are becoming more aware that our skin is a reflection of our gut and it’s so important to feed our bodies healthy food and nourishment to truly have great skin and lower our need for tons of makeup and hair extensions.”
As a leader in the internal approach to skin care, Murad recently developed Beauty RESTore Sleep Oral Spray Dietary Supplement, a one-of-a kind beauty sleep spray that helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. The fast-acting liquid spray also delivers a blend of GABA and L-Theanine that aids in relaxation, while melatonin regulates the body’s circadian rhythm, the internal clock that cycles between sleep and being alert, improving the quality of sleep and helping people wake up feeling restored.
Also big in the sleep space is Scentered’s new Sleep Well Therapeutic Candle, which is said to fill the room with a calming fragrance. A sophisticated floral blend harnesses the relaxing and therapeutic benefits of lavender, chamomile, palmarosa and ho wood while geranium and ylang ylang add balance. The patchouli, cedarwood and clove base brings a modern oriental twist with a touch of warmth.
The natural aromatherapy brand also partnered in early 2018 with CorePower Yoga, the largest privately held chain of yoga studios in the US with a network of more than 1,000 yoga instructors. Scentered’s six signature Therapy Balms—which include De-Stress, Focus, Sleep Well, Escape, Love and Be Happy—will be carried in 87 CorePower Yoga studios across the nation. These core balms are made from therapeutic grade essential oils and botanicals chosen for both their proven aromatherapy wellbeing benefits and their fragrances to help positively address a particular lifestyle challenge such as focus, fatigue, stress, anxiety and more.
According to Lara Morgan, founder, Scentered, because so many people are on a daily quest for balance, portable and easy-to-use wellness products are a must. Scentered provides a more modern and accessible take on essential oils, which have been used for thousands of years for medicinal and therapeutic purposes.
“While essential oils provide wonderful benefits, they can frankly be a bit of a mess,” she told Happi. “Scentered has developed a way to bring people essential oils in portable, easy-to-use, mess-free balms and candles, perfect for use at home, in the car, at the office, anywhere! Being mindful is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity in our daily lives.”
Easy-to-use aromatherapy is at the forefront of today’s wellness. According to Shannon Ousley, director of marketing at Aura Cacia, Norway, IA, research indicates that one of the biggest barriers to entry for its consumers is lack of education. Therefore, the company created a product set within the aromatherapy category targeted at new users. The brand’s new Discover Line delivers consumers an assortment of Aura Cacia’s top-selling essential oils, along with an educational guide and coupon for a future purchase. The Discovery Kit includes lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint and tea tree essential oils ideal for wellness formulations.
Pills & Powders
Busy days, digital blue light and daily stress are modern day sleep disruptors that can affect weight, mood and health. Twinlab Dreamory is billed as a deep sleep solution that helps de-stress, enhance mood and support cellular repair. Formulated by Twinlab Innovation, the supplement is non-habit-forming and safe for daily use, according to the company. A potent, low-dose plant extract and the unique combination of Venetron and GABA are shown to help calm for sleep, help consumers fall asleep and enjoy deeper slumber, according to the company. Antioxidants CherryPure and Lutemax 20/20 support cellular renewal.
Meanwhile, FibeHer from Reserveage Nutrition is formulated to support everyday health through better digestion and weight balance. It combines three key macronutrients—fiber, prebiotics and protein—to support a lighter, cleaner, balanced feeling and healthy weight. FibeHer delivers a non-GMO prebiotic plant fiber clinically shown to increase healthy bacteria and support digestion. One scoop of FibeHer delivers 29% of recommended daily fiber to help curb hunger and cravings. It works by slowing down digestion to help feel satisfied longer. Plus, it supplies five grams of bioactive collagen peptides to promote collagen formation for healthier skin, joints and bones, according to the company.
Another big launch from this brand is Collagen BeauTea. Nourishing from the first sip, one cup of Collagen BeauTea provides a day’s serving of clinically-backed collagen protein, said the company. Hydrolyzed collagen peptides are rich in amino acids and well absorbed to nourish inner beauty and activate the wellness benefits of collagen. Infused with aromatic botanicals for an enhanced tea experience, this blend supports health from head to toe.
New for 2018 from fellow ingestible beauty brand Vital Proteins, Collagen Travel Sticks are ideal for tossing in a carry-on or purse to ensure that skin stays looking perfect throughout a vacation. This powder is sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hides to ensure a natural, high quality, and sustainable source of this ancient nutrient. It improves hair, skin, nails and joints, ligaments and tendons; the products are also soluble in hot or cold liquids including coffee, smoothies and baked goods.
In the OTC category, one recent noteworthy rollout came from wellness brand Skin Therapy Calm. Its Calm + Detox supplement duo is a remedy that has brought relief to many with sensitive skin issues such as rosacea and eczema. The Skin Therapy line is formulated by Dr. Dongxin Ma, MD, PhD, LAc, a clinical expert in traditional herbal medicine and a trusted authority on skin health.
The synergistically developed products are powered with 15 super concentrated botanical extracts that work to detox root irritants from the inside with the Calm + Detox supplement, and to reduce redness and itch and increase moisture and lipids with a related topical. Each product can be used individually, but the results are quicker and more complete with dual use, according to the company.
“When we talk about skin health, we must address the whole body. Besides having powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, traditional medicinal herbs also help support the body’s own healing mechanisms and strengthen internal detox processes, providing beneficial effects for inflammation related skin conditions,” said Dr. Ma.
Watch Out for These Innovations
Future trends in the wellness sector span from herbal remedies to alternative protein sources. But the main focus is on nutrition.
Big news at press time was cosmetic entrepreneur Bobbi Brown plans to branch out into wellness with a new lifestyle venture dubbed Beauty Evolution. The brand will focus on ingestible products including a vanilla collagen cocktail and a chocolate protein drink.
“Look out for more products that are made with less sugar and are sweetened using better and unique natural sweeteners,” said Blair of Kalumi. As concern for gut health increases, sugar consumption will continue to decrease as it’s been linked to so many gut issues and disease.”
Stafford of Spa Week told Happi that cannabis skin care is an up-and-coming trend in the wellness industry.
“As legalization becomes more common, we’re seeing more companies create products that have CBD oil as a main ingredient,” she said. “A few of our spas are offering cannabis treatments for this Spring Spa Week event, and we expect to see this at more spas throughout the country as the cannabis industry grows.”
Non-traditional sources of protein are also big in wellness right now, said Jenkins of Neuro. This includes finding protein from a large variety of botanical (plant) sources such as pumpkin, cranberry, pomegranate, sunflower, chickpea and others. This also includes proteins from non-traditional marine sources such as collagen (as collagen peptides), derived from discarded fish skins and scales, which are de-odorized and converted to an extremely light and clean-tasting powdered form of protein.
“Collagen proteins don’t have the muscle-building cache of whey proteins but deliver on the beauty benefits such as better-looking skin, hair and nails,” she noted.