As we close in on the one year mark of sending the weekly Fitt Insider newsletter, I thought it was as good a time as any to revisit the prominent developments from the worlds of fitness and wellness.
From connected equipment to direct-to-consumer healthcare and anti-aging startups to plant-based everything, here’s what’s trending…
For years, the at-home fitness space was devoid of innovation — a treadmill was a treadmill. The problem, of course, was that your cardio machine quickly turned into a drying rack.
Then in 2012, Peloton turned the direct-to-consumer fitness market upside-down. In the time since, as Peloton pulled ahead, a growing number of competitors have joined the race to reinvent the home gym.
Flash forward to the present day, and an entirely new category has emerged: say hello to connected fitness equipment.
>> Read the Connected Fitness report.
Meatless burgers may have put protein alternatives on the map, but beef is just the beginning. From fish to chicken and even pork, there’s a growing list of startups racing to replace meat as we know it.
- A recent Nielsen Homescan survey found that 39% of Americans are actively trying to eat more plant-based foods.
- A shift in consumer preferences is bolstering plant-based meat sales, which could increase by 1,000% in the next decade to reach $140B, according to investment firm Barclays.
Meanwhile, this plant-based coup isn’t isolated to just animal protein — the dairy industry is also under siege. Milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream… You name it, and there’s an incredibly well-funded startup seeking to make dairy obsolete.
>> Read the Plant-based report here.
Backed by billions in funding, anti-aging startups are seeking to stave off mortality.
- According to CB Insights, investors sunk more than $850M into aging and longevity startups in 2018.
- The global anti-aging market is expected to exceed more than $271B by 2024
As one paper concluded, healthspan extension companies are “risky and most likely to fail.” Still, the lure of living forever is too strong to subdue the ambitions of entrepreneurs, scientists, and billionaires committed to finding the proverbial fountain of youth.
>> Read the Anti-aging report here.
If the headlines are true, we’re living in the age of anxiety. Beset by burnout, wellness has emerged as the antidote to modern times. And now, more than ever, a good night’s sleep is critical to any self-care routine.
- Humans spend about one-third of their lives sleeping.
- Sleep deprivation costs the US $411B of lost productivity each year.
- The global market for sleep aids is expected to reach $101.9B by 2023.
Bragging about pulling an all-nighter has been replaced by tracking your sleep with wearables like an Oura ring, Apple Watch, or WHOOP band. As a result, selling sleep has become a billion-dollar business.
>> Read the Sleep report here.
If early indications hold, “weed as wellness” will help cannabis achieve mainstream acceptance while forming a lucrative pillar of the billion-dollar cannabis industry.
>> Read the Cannabis report here.
Nowadays, that belief is a byproduct of the wellness industrial complex — a mesmerizing combination of medicine, magic, and marketing that has turned wellness, in all its forms, into a $4.2T behemoth.
>> Explore the Wellness Industrial Complex here.
With big-box stores struggling to stay relevant during a time when iconic brands like Sears declare bankruptcy, the fallout from a retail apocalypse is creating a world of opportunity for fitness providers.
- Since 2013, the amount of square footage leased by gyms and fitness centers in malls has grown 70%, according to CoStar Group.
- In 2017, Planet Fitness leased more new square footage in US malls than anyone else.
- Planet Fitness sees vacant malls and empty big-box stores as being central to their growth. The same goes for Life Time, Gold’s Gym, and Equinox’s Blink Fitness.
From budget gyms and boutique studios to high-end health clubs, fitness is filling the void left by brick-and-mortar retailers.
>> Read the Replacing Retail report here.
Fueled by busy and health-conscious consumers seeking convenience and nutrition, the meal replacement market is forecast to reach $20.6B by 2021. In an attempt to appeal to the modern, on-the-go consumer, powdered or ready-to-drink shakes are popping up everywhere.
- Soylent has raised $74.5M from prominent investors like GV, Lerer Hippeau, and Andreessen Horowitz.
- Huel has sold 50M meals globally, with an annual growth rate of 150%.
- Ample raised over $4M from investors and another $774K in equity crowdfunding, boasting a 150% monthly growth rate for Amazon-based revenue.
While each brand is ultimately focused on convenience, their products vary to include keto-friendly, vegan, protein-packed, or soy-based formulas. But these brands aren’t all that dissimilar — they all seem to embrace clean-label ingredients and online DTC sales.
>> Read The End of Food report here.
A new generation of startups is disrupting healthcare, seizing a trillion-dollar market in the process.
From new-age clinics and mobile apps to wearables and DTC medical testing, there’s a growing number of companies working to alleviate the numerous pain points associated with healthcare.
As costs skyrocketed, the overall customer experience has suffered, lacking personalization and transparency while becoming increasingly inconvenient. Now, a convergence of factors makes this the perfect moment to reimagine healthcare.
>> Read the DTC Healthcare report here.
Every new innovation in at-home or on-demand exercise is referred to as the “Netflix of fitness”, threatening traditional gyms and studios everywhere.
Whether it’s streaming services, voice-led workouts, or tech-enabled exercise equipment, there’s no denying the shift taking place in the fitness space. But it’s reductive to position every advancement in fitness technology as a Netflix-like disruptor set to decimate big box gyms and boutique studios.
How will studios reinvent the exerciser’s experience, what new technologies will emerge, and will any of these developments improve access or adherence to physical fitness?
>> Read the Netflix of Fitness report here.
With Chipotle announcing their keto-friendly menu and SlimFast hawking their take on a keto shake, there’s no denying the mainstream appeal of this fat-first diet.
- The market for medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs is expected to reach $2.5B by 2025.
- Sales of grass-fed butter rose 45% in 2018 as global butter sales expanded to $19.4B.
- Some estimates expect the global keto diet market to reach $366B by 2022.
>> Read the entire Keto report.
- 72% of Gen Zers say managing stress and mental health is their most important health and wellness concern.
- More than 80% have a sense of spirituality and believe in cosmic power.
- 87% of Gen Z reported exercising three or more times per week, with 43% working out at home, 65% using fitness apps, and 28% using wearable tech.
>> Read the Gen Z Wellness report.
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