2021 Wellness Trends: On the GWS Agenda

Since March, when the pandemic changed almost every aspect of human life, we’ve been covering wellness trends accelerated by COVID-19. We’ve spotlighted everything from the huge focus on mental wellness (the explosion of virtual therapy platforms, mental wellness platforms for people of color, and the boom in psilocybin research and investment) to the rush for more “wellness in the home” to a demand for more evidence-based wellness to travel being transformed by digital nomads seeking work-wellness destinations.
At the upcoming Global Wellness Summit (Nov. 8-11) the focus will be on how wellness could “reset” the world post-COVID and how its transformation of vast industries–including traditional medicine, mental health, technology, travel and hospitality, food, the workplace, real estate, and beauty–will only ramp up.
One Summit panel will bring together top global media and future-forecasters to discuss the most powerful, eye-opening shifts in wellness they are seeing, and what will matter more to consumers in 2021 and beyond. With top editors and journalists from publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Well+Good, W, and more– and global trends forecasters from Backslash by TBWA\Worldwide and LSN Global–it’s sure to be a provocative conversation about where wellness is headed.
View the 4-day Summit agenda.
Register for the Summit
(either for virtual access or in person at The Breakers, Palm Beach)
If you’re press, apply for free virtual access here.


Wellness Trends Emerging from the Pandemic – Recent Articles and Research Reports

What Is the Next Wave of Wellness?–ED\GE by Backslash
ED\GE, a new magazine from Backslash, a cultural intelligence unit powered by TBWA\Worldwide, lays out the main shifts they’re now tracking in wellness, arguing that the pandemic is making wellness a dramatically more important, serious consumer value, with “avocado toast, fasting, athleisure and being shouted at while sitting on a $2k stationary bike (being) mere saplings compared to what's on the horizon.” Their five, major conclusions: 1) wellness is going back to basics, 2) it’s “wellness and health” not “health and wellness" (the pandemic has woken us up to the seriousness of prevention), 3) wellness with a capital W (less silly and superficial, more science-based), 4) wellness is getting political, and 5) wellness is our new global religion, fulfilling humans’ spiritual needs. The report identifies numerous emerging wellness trends, from how a youth subculture now fetishizes nature to the surge in ‘financial therapy’ to a massive menopause rebrand.
Read their key wellness shifts.
Read the full report.

The Future 100: 2.0.20–Wunderman Thompson Intelligence
This is an update on Wunderman Thompson’s 2020 trends report in light of the pandemic, identifying the 25 trends that have been accelerated or come to light because of COVID-19. Unsurprisingly, many fall squarely into the wellness category, including “optimistic futures,” skincare 2.0, health concierges, wellness architecture, digital spas, renewed faith and “engineering companionship.”

Whole Foods Market Forecasts Top 10 Food Trends for 2021
This new trends report from Whole Foods reveals early ways that the food industry is innovating in response to COVID-19, noting there have been “radical shifts in consumer habits in 2020, (notably)…shoppers have found new passions for cooking and they’ve purchased more items related to health and wellness.” Trend #1: “Wellbeing Is Served,” the lines between the supplement and grocery aisles getting increasingly blurred. That means superfoods, probiotics, broths and sauerkrauts; suppliers incorporating functional ingredients like vitamin C, mushrooms and adaptogens to foster a calm headspace and support the immune system.

The Fitness Industry Will Survive the Pandemic, But It Will Look Very Different–Fast Company
This new article interviews the leaders of Barry’s, Orangetheory, Peloton, Mindbody and Tracey Anderson on how the pandemic has impacted the fitness industry and what the future holds. The consensus: they’re bringing classes into people’s homes in new ways and rethinking the studio experience entirely.

How the Coronavirus Will Reshape Architecture–New Yorker
An exploration of how COVID-19 means we’ve arrived at a new juncture of disease and architecture, where fear of contamination and concerns for our wellbeing again control what kinds of spaces we want to be in. As tuberculosis shaped modernism, so COVID-19 and our collective experience of staying inside for months on end will influence architecture’s near future. Asks architecture experts what kinds of spaces are we willing to live and work in now – looking at domestic spaces, office spaces and city spaces.
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