by Amanda Baker Lemein, MS, RD, Registered Dietitian and VP of Nutrition and Wellness
The pandemic pushed health and wellness to the front of our daily thoughts. As our society and daily lives shifted to include less stressful schedules and an overall slower pace, the perception of wellness evolved too. This shift has opened doors for more wellness-infused practices beyond the traditional physical fitness and nutrition trends, and now encompasses a much more flexible approach to healthy living.
This is a noted departure from decades past when restrictive mindsets led the industry. A time when “earning” meals, punishing, detoxing, or cleansing the body were all considered standard nomenclature for wellness. Instead, the new face of wellness allows consumers to find paths to live well in a way that holistically serves mind, body, and spirit, and serves the individual’s preferences for how to do so. Learn more about the top wellness trends and topics for this year:
- Longevity: Longevity means not only living longer but living well for longer. This goal influences everything from breakthroughs in epigenetic research and age-related chronic disease management, to diet and mental well-being’s influence on longevity, including new research pointing to positivity’s impact on a longer lifespan.
- Sleep Wellness: Sleep’s impact on health is now well accepted by the medical community and was even included as a topic area for the first time in the CDC’s 2020 Healthy People report. This, paired with the pandemic’s impact on sleep patterns, a greater understanding of circadian rhythm and health, plus the shift away from “hustle culture” have all ushered in new sleep hygiene products and practices to the wellness scene.
- Full Body Biome: Gut health may come to mind when thinking of probiotics and the microbiome, but new research points to benefits beyond the GI tract, including nutritional psychiatry. A greater consumer awareness for pre-, pro- and postbiotic benefits also means brands have new opportunities to include microbiome-friendly ingredients and address some misconceptions.
- Food Tech and Modern Farming: Sustainability concerns continue to grow with more consumers taking note, including the wellness minded. Food waste, water usage and how environmental changes may impact food access are also front of mind, spurring innovative protein production using microbial fermentation, strides in vertical farming and advances in upcycled products.
- Sustainable Nutrition: While sustainable growing and production methods continue to evolve, the dietary side of conscientious consumption is also front of mind in the wellness community. Keeping a more fluid approach to nutrition, eating patterns like the Flexitarian diet, the Green Mediterranean diet and the Nordic diet promote a strong emphasis on plant-based foods, without completely omitting animal products.
- Low and No Alcohol + Built-in Benefit Beverages: Alcohol’s impact on wellness goals, like sleep and improving mental health are well reported. The “sober curious” set are now looking for low and no alcohol spirts as alternatives, but also beverages with built-in benefits, like adaptogens and probiotics, along with the return of fresh pressed juices to the wellness scene.
- Mental Health, Mindfulness and Meditation: Cultural awareness of mental health, including among celebrities and athletes, may be helping to decrease the stigma, and wellness seekers are looking to support mental health as part of a holistic wellness practice. Meditation is still very popular among the wellness community, but new practices focusing on the benefits of relaxation and sound wellness are also gaining more attention with classes popping up that focus on rest.
- Health Equity and Nutrition Security: The social determinants of health have been widely referenced by health organizations like the WHO and CDC, but many media facing HCPs and influencers are bringing the health equity convo straight to consumers. As these disparities are illuminated, brands can play a lead role in supporting equitable health and nutrition efforts across the wellness space.
- Shame Free Wellness: Historically considered taboo topics for all gender identities are going mainstream in the wellness world. Consumers have begun embracing these subjects without shame and are looking for more modern wellness-infused brands and practices to support fertility, menstrual health, menopause, pelvic floor health, sexual wellness and more.
- Convergence of Beauty and Health: Consumers are becoming more aware of the skin’s role in overall wellbeing and how skincare products can not only influence the aesthetics, but also the health, of the body’s largest organ. Functional fragrances are emerging too, with claims to improve mood and energy – a supplement for the olfactory system to improve cognitive and emotional states.
Today’s wellness feels more purposeful with products and practices that serve the health of the individual, their community and the environment – a space where doing good, looking good and feeling good are now all considered part of wellness. With this more holistic take on the meaning of healthy living, a more joyful tone seems to be applied to well-being today and is a red thread noted across the ten wellness trends we have identified thus far in 2022.
For more information about Nutrition and Wellness at Golin, feel free to reach out to Amanda Baker Lemein, MS, RD, Registered Dietitian and VP of Nutrition and Wellness, at firstname.lastname@example.org.