A synchronized global recovery—much stronger than was anticipated just a few months ago—is in the making. This year, barring the emergence of new COVID-19 variants that are vaccine-resistant, the global economy should grow by around 6%. Next year, by 4.4% (IMF forecasts).

Industry reports from consultancies and investment banks point to the continued rise of the wellness market at a rate that will exceed (on average) GDP rates. A recent survey by McKinsey provides some new evidence as to wellness’s rising importance among global consumers.

The survey was conducted among roughly 7,500 consumers in six countries (Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US), and 79% of the respondents said that wellness is now important for them, with 42% considering it a top priority. Noticeably, every market revealed a substantial increase in the prioritization of wellness over the past two to three years. This suggests that the wellness trend will not abate (it’s been in the making for years) and will most likely strengthen (spurred by the pandemic) in the foreseeable future.

As the wellness market becomes more and more appealing, it is also becoming more and more crowded and prone to excess. What do consumers pay attention to or value the most?

According to the McKinsey report, in the coming months and years, six trends will dominate: (1) consumers now demand clean/natural products (across the board: from cosmetics to food); (2) increasing personalization; (3) a shift to digital channels (happening at the speed of a “decade in days”); (4) influencers’ recommendations still matter a lot (shaping up to 50% of purchasing decisions in Brazil and China); (5) while products remain a critical component of the wellness market, services are rising relentlessly (a look at Peloton explains how); (6) category lines are blurring (like athletic apparel maker Lululemon’s acquisition of smart home fitness solution, Mirror).

The categories most likely to enjoy increased spending, according to McKinsey, are: (1) memory/brain enhancers, (2) anti-aging products, (3) beauty supplements, (4) non-invasive cosmetic procedures, (5) nutrition (sports nutrition, juice cleanses, nutrition coaches, fortified foods), and (6) meditation and mindfulness offerings.

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