Not only have consumers been increasingly prioritising their wellness over the past two to three years, but the industry itself is anticipated to continue to grow each year by 5–10 per cent. The spike in consumer interest and demand in wellness has already inspired a handful of entrepreneurs to launch innovative products and services onto the market.
With recent research findings suggesting the importance that environmental factors have on our health compared to genetics, alongside a growing awareness of wellness as a lifestyle that needs to be incorporated into our everyday lives, consumer perceptions and behaviours when it comes to wellbeing have noticeably changed.
Although priorities and spending habits differ across various countries, the parameters around wellness are increasingly expansive, encompassing health, fitness, nutrition, appearance, sleep and mindfulness according to the ‘Future of Wellness’ survey conducted by McKinsey & Company. Simultaneously, the marketplace is competitive, requiring that startups position themselves to address consumer needs while standing out from the crowd.
“Consumers have been empowered by technology, they’re accessing more information than ever before, and they’re able to make choices about their own health care.” – Scott Melville
From medical devices and health-related apps to skincare and nutrition programs, the wellness industry is teeming with activities and products that the GWI affirms are designed to lead to holistic health outcomes and put the control back into the driver’s seat for consumers as a result of numerous factors. In fact the GWI has revealed that the rapid growth of the wellness economy has surpassed global economic growth as consumers focus on prevention when it comes to their health.
Whereas previously wellness was thought of as a series of short-lived trends, in today’s world, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic, taking care of one’s wellbeing has become more critical than ever.
At the heart of the evolution towards self-care are the educational resources we have easy access to today. Self-treatment can also be more cost-effective, efficient and empowering. Revealingly, the explosion in wellness products could reflect a combination of the effects of our modern lifestyle, but also a growing ageing population that has greater health requirements.
“Consumers have been empowered by technology, they’re accessing more information than ever before, and they’re able to make choices about their own health care, whereas in the past perhaps they would have relied upon their doctor to make those choices for them,” explains Scott Melville, President and CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.
Innovative wellness startups in 2021
The female-founded Australian startup offers women the opportunity to invest in a drug-free solution for their monthly pain. Designed to be worn underneath clothing, the compact and flat device delivers electric vibrations that relax the uterine muscles and, therefore, the discomfort in a non-invasive manner.
“All women who suffer from painful periods are conditioned to believe it’s merely just our lot in life and that the treatment is simply to pop another painkiller. Ovira takes the long-term, holistic health and wellbeing of women into account and offers them a non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical treatment for managing pain,” says Alice Williams, Founder of Ovira.
With an overall rating of 4.5 on Trustpilot, the alcohol tracking app is designed to encourage people to adopt healthier drinking habits by keeping them accountable without the guilt attached. Using effective behavioural psychology techniques, the app is focused on building long-term habits that help users to achieve their goals with a customised plan.
“The daily text messages from Cutback Coach help me keep to the schedule I create at the start of each week. They also help create awareness as to how much I’m drinking and encourage me to pause and consider whether I need another drink,” says Bea from Trustpilot.
Positioned in the mind-body fitness category the startup offers yoga, meditation and nutrition techniques to tackle common issues that many face in today’s world, such as sleeping difficulties, reduced concentration, an impatient mind or chronic ailments. The service offering includes interactive classes and a personal coach from the comfort of your home to improve both your mental and physical health.
Since launching in 2019, the European intermittent fasting app has not only achieved an impressive rating of 4.8 in the App Store, but it has also recorded around 15 million downloads. On a mission to tackle the detrimental effects of weight gain, the German founders support their users to adopt a holistic lifestyle with the well-documented benefits of intermittent fasting at its core.
“Americans spend more money on diets than it would take to fight world hunger. This is a problem we want to solve. With the help of our app, we provide a healthy balance between our body and our eating habits,” explains Phillip Wayman, Co-Founder of Fastic.
Tips for pioneers in wellness
If you are contemplating launching a wellness startup there are a few critical things to keep in mind:
Solve a need
It’s important that startups are driven to solve a real world issue that many consumers face, rather than just a want. By creating a solution to a problem and developing an authoritative voice within your niche, you can differentiate yourself from competitors.
Determine whether your offering is adding a great deal of value to people’s lives or is in fact self-serving. Many startup founders have designed solutions that have helped them on their journey towards better health and this is reflected in their ability to serve the needs of others experiencing the same issues.
Whether you decide to collaborate with relevant professionals or qualify yourself in your chosen field of expertise, experience and/or qualifications can communicate authority and trust.
Develop a business plan
A comprehensive business plan can help you to secure funding and appeal to potential investors. It’s also a document that can be referred to numerous times throughout the life span of your business and maximises your chance of success.
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