From Niche to Norm: The Financial Power of the Wellness Industry

The wellness industry is one of the fastest growing and financially lucrative movements to take the world by storm. According to a report conducted by the Global Wellness Institute, the global wellness market is now three times larger than that of the worldwide pharmaceutical industry. As of 2015, the global wellness economy was reported to be worth $3.7 trillion. Moreover, this number is growing at an average of 10% per year! Let’s explore how and why the wellness industry is booming like never before.

From Beauty to Real Estate: A Comprehensive Industry

What in the world is wellness? The World Health Organization defines wellness as a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being… that goes beyond mere freedom from disease or infirmity and emphasises the proactive maintenance and improvement of health and well-being.” It comes as no surprise that the wellness industry incorporates various lucrative sectors – ten to be exact. They include beauty & anti-ageing, nutrition & weight loss, wellness tourism, fitness, preventative & personalised medicine, alternative medicine, wellness real estate, spa industry, thermal/mineral springs, workplace wellness. Okay, now that $3.7 trillion makes sense!

From Scarce to Standard: Wellness as a Mainstream Success

Although statistics reveal that there has been an overall increase in interest from the general public in personal growth and health, particular age groups stand out amongst the rest. Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) are the group that have vehemently shoved wellness into the spotlight. According to a survey conducted by Goldman Sachs, millennials value their health above friendship, second only to family. This survey also revealed that millennials are the first generation to define ‘healthy’ as a daily commitment to eating right and exercising, which drastically differs to that of Gen X and Boomers who define ‘healthy’ as “not sick”. As we can see, the way we talk about health is fluid from one generation to the next. Another example of this change in discourse is evident in a 2015 food and health survey conducted by Food Insight which asked millennials to define what makes food “healthy”. According to the study, millennials defined “healthy food” as foods that are “natural, organic, locally sourced or sustainable”. This study illuminates why farm-to-table restaurants and health-conscious brand’s such as Lifebox are both relevant and increasing in popularity. Still not convinced? Take a look at the skyrocketing figures in athletic apparel. In the last nine years, the worldwide sportswear market has increased $148.51 billion! With a figure like that, no wonder journalists such as Alexandra Kirkman interchangeably use the phrases “health is wealth” and “wealth is health” to describe the economic profitability behind the wellness movement. According to a study conducted by MyProtein, the average male millennial in Britain spends £110 per month on their health and fitness, £35 of which is spent solely on athletic apparel. Brands such as Lululemon – who made nearly $1 billion in net revenue last January – have reaped the benefits of millennial spending power. These statistics illustrate how millennial buying power is propelling the wellness industry in an upward trajectory, from niche to norm.

Some may perceive the wellness industry to be built on fads. However, the numbers, statistics, and generational shift in spending power reaffirm the fact that the wellness industry is booming and here to stay for good.

This article came from our intern, Lorna Shirley. If you are interested in stepping up your health and wellness game, sign up for a Lifebox subscription here.

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