Why Young Consumers Are Spending Over $150 Billion a Year on Wellness

Our recently released wellness intensified trend report dives into the extreme ways young consumers are focusing their efforts to live healthy…

Recently, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey appeared on fitness podcast where he went into detail about his extreme—and questionably healthy—wellness habits. Along with regular exercise, the Twitter CEO meditates, takes ice baths, uses the sauna, stands near an infrared light, journals, and keeps track of his sleep daily. His restrictive diet especially raised eyebrows: according to Dorsey, he eats one meal per day—except for Friday or Saturday, when he eats nothing.

Although Dorsey’s interpretation of living healthy is an extreme one (and has not escaped harsh criticism), many of the wellness practices that he described have become increasingly popular with young consumers. Gen Z & Millennials have been passionate about health for years, but lately the frenzy has reached a fever pitch—it’s clear that the standard for wellness has become much higher than hitting the gym for an hour. Now, they’re becoming mini-experts with Google and social media as their research catalogs, scanning ingredient labels, tracking their sleep, buying products that promise stress relief, and crafting elaborate skin care routines.

Our recently released trend report Wellness Intensified dives into this phenomenon, revealing that more than six in seven 13-36-year-olds have focused on improved an area of health in the past year and they’ve spent an estimated total of $158 billion to do so. Nutrition and fitness are the top topics they’re interested in, with the majority having researched a health topic in the past year. While online articles are their top source for health information, doctors and health experts follow, revealing that they’re putting their trust more into the expert than YouTubers, Instagrammers, or fitness bloggers. They are optimizing their efforts, and vanity is not the main motivation. Instead we found, it is a feeling of control in a chaotic world and the desire be happy that are intensifying efforts: 81% of 13-36-year-olds say focusing on their health and wellness helps them feel in control of something tangible and 90% agree that a healthy person is a happy person.

This craze has presented an opportunity for brands. While established brands are rushing to tweak their offerings to appeal to health-ified generations, startups that sell wellness products and tools are cropping up and cashing in. And the craze won’t just matter for brands that are directly tied to the wellness industry, as everything from travel to entertainment is getting a wellness twist. Click here to see our full report on Wellness Intensified, and check out our infographic for a brief spotlight into the trend:

To download the PDF version of this insight article, click here.


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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Retail should be a facilitator for experience, rather than just selling product.”—Sharmandean Reid, Founder, Wah Nails London (YPulse)

Millennials seeking portable booze are cracking open canned wine. Even though the category still only accounts for less than 1% of the Millennial-favorite alcoholic beverages’ market, Nielsen reports it spiked 69% last year and continues to gain ground. An exec at Delicato Family Wines explains, “Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.” (Wine Spectator)

Summer camps are cropping up to teach kids how to become YouTubers. At I-D Tech Camps, Level Up, and Star Camps, kids can learn all about how to, as the latter puts it, “Become an Internet sensation.” They offer courses in how to create and post videos, from shooting clips to editing audio, and how to build their personal brand. But don’t worry, most are framing YouTubing as a hobby, not a career, and setting kids’ expectations accordingly. (WSJ)

A new bill could change the free-to-play profit model that’s made games like Fortnite top earners. Senators have proposed the official ban of “loot boxes,” or items that players can buy (and sometimes must buy) to win a video game, often gambling on what’s inside. Senator Ed Markey explains that “Inherently manipulative game features that take advantage of kids and turn play time into pay time should be out of bounds.” For some, this will eliminate a key revenue stream and open the door to review other in-game purchases.  (The Verge)

A social media overhaul upped Corn Nuts’ sales by 12%—with no paid support.The snack’s sales were stagnant before a new exec took over their Twitter, infusing it with the personable tone food brands have become known for (and sometimes notorious for). Since then, followers spiked from 650 to 21,000, and what they’re calling a “scrappy” strategy “absolutely translated to sales,” reporting that retail sales spiked 12% and Millennials’ repeat purchases rose the same percentage. (Marketing Dive)

The retail apocalypse continues, with 7,000 more stores closing their doors in 2019. CoStar Group estimates that the square footage of retail space closed has topped its own record each year since 2017, and this year they’re “predicting more of the same.” PayLess ShoeSource, Gymboree, Dressbarn, and Charlotte Russe lead the list of number stores planned to shutter this year, as retailers learn to scale down size and up Experiencification for young shoppers. (Business Insider

Quote of the Day: “It’s a really interesting time at the moment in catalog [music]…Sometimes, it’s a question of how we make something out of nothing.”—Tim Fraser-Harding, President, Global Catalogue, Recorded Music at Warner Music Group (Rolling Stone)

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