The US wellness industry is set to boom in this new age of political uncertainty, heightened income inequality and the looming repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a new report from the Global Wellness Institute (GWI). In the study, GWI chief executive Susie Ellis forecast the trends that will sharpen in the US wellness market in coming years:
- Wellness Beyond the Wealthy: The US ranks 85th globally when it comes to equality in wellbeing among its citizens (United Nations, 2016). "Now, more than ever, the country needs more mental wellness solutions and more wellness offerings for the 'other 99%,'" noted Ellis. "In a country where income and wellbeing inequalities helped fuel a populist backlash, the US wellness industry is ripe for democratisation."
- Democratised Wellbeing: As a result, "we'll see a wave of wellness products and services at lower price points: affordable healthy grocery stores (Whole Foods 365); healthy ‘fast-food’ chains (Lyfe Kitchen, Sweetgreen); low-priced, wellness-focused hotels (Even); and budget spa brands (The Now).”
- Nuanced Spaces: We'll also see more sliding-scale wellness (prices of fitness classes and healthy restaurant meals based on income) and politicised wellbeing spaces. "A new crop of spaces, clubs, retreats and gyms where wellness, feminism and politics interweave will appear," added Ellis.
For more on how wellness has transformed from a consumer need into a commercial driver, see The Business of Wellbeing. Meanwhile, The Currency of Dissent addresses the commercial challenges and opportunities that all businesses and brands must navigate in turbulent times.