If you’re a business owner in the health and wellness sphere, keeping your finger on the latest wellness trends is pretty important…


It helps you forecast customer changes and desires, develop your products and services to meet new needs and ensures you’re one step ahead of your competitors. 

The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) recently released a 116 page report describing the big wellness trends that matter right now. We’re here to summarise three of what we believe to be the most important trends to watch out for in 2020 (don’t worry, in less than 116 pages). 


#1 Meditation Diversifies 

Wellness trendsUnless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know how huge meditation has become in the last few years. With meditation apps making themselves comfortable on many home screens, and big corporates like Apple and Google encouraging their employees to practice mindfulness, it’s evident that mediation has gone mainstream. 

But although meditation has grown in popularity, there is still a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about what exactly meditation is, how to practice, and most importantly, what effect it has on one’s mental and physical health. 

The GWS report predicts that Meditation will move from a singular to a plural practice – from a generic concept to specific types, with people starting to understand their specific brain mechanisms and outcomes.  

So rather than this big buzz word of “meditation”, people will start niching down to specific strains of meditation. These types will be chosen based on their cognitive goals. 

For example, Focussed Attention is a type of meditation that is about clearing the mind of busy thoughts. You focus your attention on objects, breath or bodily sensations. Whereas, Open Monitoring Meditation is about not trying to clear the mind of thoughts, but rather paying attention to the present moment. You learn to observe, acknowledge and accept thoughts in a nonjudgmental way. 

Different people will be interested in practicing different types of meditation. This provides an opportunity for businesses in the meditation space to diversify their offerings and segment their customers accordingly. 

This trend is also likely to reflect on other areas of the wellness niche. The market will become increasingly educated on once considered ‘woo woo’ practices. Therefore, people will demand more specific strains of that niche that feel personal to them. 

Ultimately, this is something to consider no matter what your niche is within the wellness sphere. Ask yourself how your offer can be diversified, and how you can segment your market. 


#2 Nature a Sought After Remedy 

Wellness trendsMore people are living in urban areas than ever before. According to the GWS report, in 1950, 30% of the world’s population lived in urban areas. By 2018, that number had increased to 55%. In 2050, it’s expected to reach 68%. As more people live in smaller apartments in concrete jungles, less people are living in settings surrounded by nature. 

This shift in demographics means that nature is not as readily available to people as it once was. The GWS report references Dr. Robert Zarr, a paediatrician who quite literally prescribes nature to his patients that suffer from obesity, diabetes, anxiety and depression. He gives them the location of the nearest park and instructs them to take a walk in nature X times a week for X amount of hours. 

The positive effect of nature on mental and physical health has been proven in countless studies, so we know how important nature is. However, as nature is not as readily available to an increasing part of the population, there is an opportunity in the wellness sphere to provide experiences that use nature as a remedy. 

We predict that nature retreats, indoor plant experiences and outdoor exercise and wellness activities will become increasingly popular heading into 2020 and beyond. 


#3 The Wellness Landscape in China

There has been a seismic shift towards health and wellness in China which is driven by 3 key factors:

    1. The growing middle class population who view a healthy lifestyle as a high priority.
    2. Women – who are leading the wellness consumption trends. This is due to a shift in roles and values, higher income levels and more exposure to Western wellness trends. 
    3. The Chinese Government, who are facing major health concerns as a result of the one-child policy, rising pollution levels and increased rates of serious health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and cancer.


The shift towards wellness is reflected in the following statistics, cited from the GWS report: 
  1. Out of 802 million mobile users in China, over 104 million have at least one fitness app on their phone. 
  2. Activewear sales experienced an 11% growth in 2017, with China valued as a $27 billion market. 
  3. Over 15 million Chinese consumers have a gym membership. 
  4. China is home to 10 million yoga practitioners.
  5. Sales of health supplements grew by 27%  in 2017.
  6. There has been a 250% increase in demand for imported foreign foods. 
  7. Despite China’s culture where eating meat is a sign of wealth, there are 50 million vegetarians in China. 

This national wellness shift presents tremendous opportunity for health and wellness businesses to penetrate into the Chinese market. Particularly (according to the GWS report) in areas such as culinary exploration, outdoor recreation, nature/ecological tours, holistic wellbeing sanctuaries, spiritual and emotional wellness and physical activity (eg. gym memberships). 

Meditation diversifying, nature a sought out remedy and the booming wellness landscape in China — these are all things to consider as you pull together your strategies for 2020. 


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