With the anxieties of the 21st century, from 9/11 to the political divisions tearing through the U.S., wellness has entered the mainstream, largely on the back of self-care. During the week after the 2016 presidential election, Americans almost doubled their Googling of the term self-care, compared to years prior. Society increasingly embraces “work-life balance” as more corporations offer gym membership discounts and more consumers invest in wearable tech that encourages healthy fitness regimes. Young female shoppers increasingly favor “clean eating”—a tendency expected to grow as the generation ages—and prestige skincare brands that promote wellness grew twice as fast as the broader consumer market in 2017, according to the NPD Group.

Self-care is grounded in taking agency over one’s own wellbeing—an action that naturally exhibits in purchasing behavior, which consumer brands are keen to capitalize on. Surpassing your typical “shopping therapy,” new products are inundating the space faster than regulators can keep up. But for all that these brands claim in health benefits, they operate in a liminal space not yet guided by standardized testing—a Wild West where so far, brands are making their own rules.

As brands core to the wellness category and others on its periphery take advantage of the regulatory void, they must remain transparent about process in order to cultivate trust with consumers. Purposeful manufacturing and mission-guided growth will also be key if they want to avoid joining the litany of viral health trends that were quick to rise, but rapid in meeting their demise. While many are keen to tap into short-term gains, reckless behavior will almost inevitably hinder long-term survival. If they do, they will be poised to access a $4.2 trillion-and-growing global wellness economy, according to the Global Wellness Economy Monitor.

While wellness spans everything from produce to athleisure to SoulCycle—from snake oil to institutionally regulated—this report narrows in on health-conscious ingestible and applicable products, including: Dirty Lemon, Goop, Juul Labs, Ladder, Ritual and Soapwalla.

The Report

COMING SOON | Part III: How to align product and supply chain dynamics with your brand, using your wellness-inclined mission to guide growth and scale

COMING SOON | Part IV: The Playbook