The health and wellness industry is currently worth around $3.7 trillion dollars, according to a Global Wellness Institute Estimate, which has caught the eye of leading retailers.

Since October 2016, the global wellness industry grew by 10.6% within the last 10 years. In 2013, the market was estimated to be around a $3.36 trillion market, to $3.72 trillion in 2015. The Global GWI wellnessWellness Institute has released new data on the ten markets that compromise the global wellness cluster, providing fresh evidence that wellness is one of the worlds largest and fastest growing markets. The GWI is considered the leading global research and educational resource for the global well-being industry and is known for introducing major industry initiatives and regional events that bring together leaders and visionaries to chart the future.

Health enthusiasts may be accustomed to picking up not only makeup products, but also bath products at their local health and beauty retailer, but these days beauty chains are full of all-natural scents, free from chemicals face cleansers and £30 collagen – enhancing supplements. The beauty category increasingly expands to include new products, including “wellness & health” products more commonly associated with the pharmaceutical industry.

Chief merchandising officer Artemis Patrick of Sephora USA says “the cosmetic chain tries to keep up with trends and help consumers discover brands and products they couldn’t find elsewhere on their own. Our clients are eager to discover and play within the well-being category while looking for beauty products that help to achieve their wellness goals”.

Today’s consumers are far more informed, and this alters how new products are marketed and manufactured. This shift is changing how retailers position and market themselves, as consumers are reading the labels very carefully. During the last decade, the fashion and beauty industries have eagerly adopted natural and organic skincare brands that contain “better for you” ingredients. Within the beauty industry, the idea is that wellness stresses empowerment.

Many independent beauty brands target an emotional, physical or psychological need, appealing to shoppers who are fed up with what the traditional bigger retailers have been selling for a long time. Millennials are often attracted to “authentic” brands that embody their values and lifestyle. Millennials put a premium on health and experiences, spend less on clothing and more on products that could potentially affect their overall well-being. Fashion retailers have no choice but to embrace the change and introduce wellness products to their ranges.

As health and well-being brands gain market share in the overall market, retailers are both having to cater to consumer demand and attempt to bring more excitement to their beauty aisles to attract the new kinds of customers.

wellness sectors

The category now represents around 5% of global economic output. Among the ten wellness markets analysed within the report, the fastest growing sectors were personalised medicines, fitness and mind-body, lifestyle and healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss.

“Recent years have been marked by global economic contraction and disruptive geopolitical events, but a ‘wellness economy’ just keeps rising, with an upward trajectory that seems unstoppable,” said Ophelia Yeung, Senior Research Fellow, GWI. “And we predict that consumers, governments and employers will continue to spend big on wellness because of these mega-trends: an emerging global middle class, a rapidly aging world population, a chronic disease and stress epidemic, the failure of the ‘sick-care’ medical model (resulting in uncontrollable healthcare costs), and a growing subset of (more affluent, educated) consumers seeking experiences rooted in meaning, purpose, authenticity and nature.”