Wellness trends set to dominate 2021

With the global pandemic only heightening consumer interest in wellness, WWD has reported that home-bound consumers are expected to be hyper-focused on optimising both their personal and physical health in 2021.

Below, BD has rounded up five key trends set to shape the wellness space in the coming year.

The affordability factor

Even though life is starting to resemble the norm for some, many people are still unemployed or working from home due to COVID-19. This means that a return to luxury gyms and boutique fitness classes next year could be off the cards.

In fact, on-demand fitness platforms have risen in popularity, with most being a lot more affordable than regular gyms, which usually charge about the same cost per week as apps do per month. Some affordable apps that have already reigned supreme this year include Centr, Les Mills on Demand, 28 by Sam Wood, Down Dog and Sweat.

The hygiene category

Who would have thought that hand sanitisers would be 2021’s most-desired product category? But if this year has taught us anything, it’s that this product is an extremely efficient way to stay hygienic and (hopefully) virus-free if used properly.

Many brands this year even launched their own hand sanitisers, including the likes of Absolute Essential, Jurlique, Sukin Naturals, Circa Home, Flick Ons, Skinbox, Natio and Glasshouse Fragrances

Digital detoxing

Wellness retreats have been attempting to implement the concept of ‘digital detoxing’ – aka spending time away from screens – for many years now. However, the world is only now beginning to jump on board. Mainly Millennials and Gen Z who have – thanks to COVID-induced anxiety and this year’s dark Netflix documentary, ‘The Social Dilemma’ – decided to take serious action.

“More and more, I hear young people talk about really wanting to figure out how to go through a digital detox and if they come back to social, figuring out how to approach it in a more healthy mind-set,” said The Center founder, Ben Bennett. "COVID-19 has made people rely on social media but it has exacerbated and accelerated their anxiety.”

If a vaccine soon becomes available and makes travel more accessible at some point in the future, he predicts that young consumers could potentially lean towards old-school wellness retreats, saying: “I think we’ll see a surge of experience retreats intended to cater to younger people and help them separate and reset their perspective on social media.”

Home fragrance

Thanks to consumers travelling less and paying more attention to cleanliness and hygiene, they are becoming increasingly interested in purifying and fragrancing the home, with The Light Years Consultancy futurist and founder, Lucie Greene, saying: “It’s this idea of wellness and atmosphere at home, and taking a more holistic approach.”

Greene ticked off air and water purifiers and scents that can sync with mood or promote a sense of wellbeing with fragrance as items that consumers will continue to gravitate towards in the New Year.

According to the NPD Group, home fragrance grew 21% in the third quarter. Many brands have launched products that have proven to be very in demand in a year where people are spending more time at home, including Glasshouse Fragrances, Clarins, MOR, Circa Home and Natio.

Wellness apps

Wellness apps – which offer an array of virtual experiences in the form of everything from nutritional counseling to meditation to sleep tracking – have taken off in a huge way during the pandemic.

COVID has led to a surge in downloads, with a new report from app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower, confirming that the world’s 10 largest English-language mental wellness apps in April saw a combined two million more downloads during the month of April 2020, compared with January, reaching close to 10 million total downloads for the month.

The charts were dominated by market leaders, including number one app Calm, with 3.9 million downloads in April, followed by Headspace with 1.5 million downloads. Meditopia also boasted 1.4 million. Of those, Calm saw the largest number of new installs, with more than 911,000 more downloads in April, compared with January – a rise of nearly 31%. Another app, Relax: Master Your Destiny, grew 218% since the start of the year, picking up 391,000 downloads in April.

BD recommends the following products to assist with meditation: endota spa Time For You Hydration & Meditation Pack, Absolute Essential Tranquility & Meditation, Natio Aromatic USB Essential Oil Diffuser, Arbonne Rescue & Renew Pure Essential Oil – Lavender and L’OCCITANE PDO Lavender Essential Oil.