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Wellness Power Players Writing the Future

The most influential power players in wellness weigh in on the factors fueling the future of the sector — and their businesses.

The wellness economy is expected to reach nearly $7 trillion by 2025 and no wonder — as the world becomes ever more volatile and uncertain, maintaining the sanctity of one’s own personal health and well-being has become essential to survival (not to mention sanity).

Consumers are prioritizing conscious consideration over conspicuous consumption, and optimizing longevity rather than winning at all costs. This attitude has created a seismic shift in the wellness economy. Once the province of the wealthy, wellness is becoming increasingly democratized, with a blurring of categories and channels that has seen a blending of health (both physical and mental), fitness, medicine, nutrition and beauty. The result is a fast-changing category that is harnessing the power of personalization, education and technology to redefine self-care for generations to come.

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Here, the 30 most influential players from all sectors of the business — from C-suite execs to venture capitalists, brand founders to fitness gurus — weigh in on what’s next.

 

Alicia Keys, creator, Keys Soulcare

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

My relationship with beauty and wellness has evolved over the years. I was taking on these tremendously oppressive beauty standards that I thought somehow applied to me. I lost myself trying to be “perfect” and trying to live up to other people’s expectations.

Keys Soulcare is an authentic translation of how I want to change the conversation in beauty. The only beauty standard is your own. This shift in the narrative is soul-lifting. The attention we are paying to ourselves, to self-care, to soul-care, is what excites me most. There are no limits to the ways in which we can allow ourselves to care for ourselves and each other.

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What’s next?

All I see is infinity! With my team, we often talk about the highest vision. The highest vision is giving you the keys to unlock your own greatness, to create your own standards. We just launched color-skin care hybrids that celebrate whatever makes you, you — fresh-faced or full wattage, inspiring you to be more powerful in your own skin. We are focused on that journey.

 

Amanda Chantal Bacon, founder, Moon Juice

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

Year after year, what remains exciting to me is the speed at which people are educating themselves. The uneducated customer can hop on a trend and try it once, but that’s not what we’re seeing in this space. We’re seeing really deep commitment and repeat purchases year after year. And that comes from a real conviction, which I believe comes from education.

What’s next?

Our newest launch, G Pack, is based on our ingestible Super Beauty, which is around glutathione. This is the topical version of that glutathione formula. It’s 10 percent glutathione stacked on top of 50 percent vitamin C and 3 percent ferulic.

The first place glutathione topically piqued my interest was by a doctor who I’ve gone to for almost 20 years. He had some male infertility clients he treated with topical glutathione on their balls. And it was sinking in, repairing sperm, and he was having success with that. All I could think was I need that for my face. The most remarkable thing for me was seeing what it did to my melasma that came with my second pregnancy. It was pretty heavy-duty. But the combination of taking glutathione internally and then using this glutathione C powder topically, it was gone in a matter of weeks.

 

Barbara De Laere, global brand president, Aveda

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

The developments in natural biotechnology and green chemistry as it relates to the wellness of people and the planet. It’s the future of formulation. Also, I’m excited that it’s now quantifiable for us, specifically through GreenScore.

The second thing is the return to ancient wisdoms and becoming very aware that wellness is part of longevity and a good quality, healthy life. All of that ancient wisdom is going mainstream and is combined with modern technology. You can now follow your biomarker tests of micronutrients, heavy metals and genetics. So it’s a modern take on ancient wisdom.

What’s next?

People are starting to define hair care more holistically. Today, hair care and feeling beautiful is an indicator of your overall well-being. Consumers have started to know that lifestyle has an impact on scalp health and hair quality. We’re looking into scalp health, hair growth, and hair thickening for the future. We’re also concentrating on the trend of skinification of hair and the enormous potential of treatments. We’ve recently launched our Botanic Repair Overnight Serum, which is our first overnight intensive serum that strengthens your hair while you sleep. It builds bonds and it reduces the appearance of split ends.

We’re also concentrating on providing diagnostics. We know consumers don’t know their hair and scalp, so we have to help. We’ve developed a hair and scalp check, which is already available and we’re working on generation 10 to take into account environmental factors, lifestyle factors, and seasonal factors and then combine that with professional treatments in the salon.

 

Beatrice Dixon, cofounder, chief executive officer and chief innovation officer, The Honey Pot

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

The continued resurgence of ancient modalities and ingredients rising to the consciousness of the average human. So many of the technologies from the past are now deeply needed in our environment and I’m eager to see how they adapt to the present. Just as these modalities become more commonplace, it’s exciting to bear witness to and continue to the necessity for driving taboo conversations. Wellness has the power to become another bit of marketing jargon or a revolution. My hope is that through de-stigmatizing conversations and practices, we can revolutionize the way humans live and care for themselves.

 

What’s next?

We are excited to roll out products that dive deeper into our core categories in the coming months, in addition to adding more therapeutic and solution-based products to our portfolio. Beyond product launches, we are continuously offering our community educational resources to empower them in their wellness journeys. Most recently, we launched a wellness-centered podcast called The Honey Pot Luck. We built this podcast to create a space for contrasting points of view, life experiences, and expertise to exist in communication when it comes to all things vaginal care and wellness.

 

Brooke Shields, CEO, Beginning Is Now

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

It’s becoming much more the norm and we’re not looking at it as some esoteric thing that’s a fad. Wellness is our connection to the environment and the circularity of production and products. It’s becoming much more mainstream. There’s more accessibility and I’m excited to keep learning.

 

What’s next?

We’re in the process right now of securing funding. We are going to do limited beauty products, but very specifically targeted. Everybody’s got a beauty product and we’re not interested right now in tackling that. But there are very specific things that women over 40 are interested in using and learning about. What’s happening at Beginning Is Now is that we’re trying to change the narrative around age. It’s about vitality instead of agelessness. That’s a really important way to look at it.

 

Chris Ball, CEO, Ball Family Farms

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

I believe cannabis will take over Western medicine. My hope and prayer is to get rid of opiates. With all the benefits that cannabis can provide, whether it’s for cancer patients, kids with Tourettes or people who suffer from seizures, there are so many benefits. There’s a cannabinoid for every illness that’s on this planet. It’s going to come down to the research and development and the research and development dollars that our country needs to put into this to ensure that this plant serves its purpose and starts healing people.

 

What’s next?

Our newest launch is a strain in collaboration with actor J. Alphonse Nicholson and he’s on a Starz TV show called “P-Valley.” When we got a chance to meet, he told me about how he uses cannabis to focus on his scenes and on the things that he has to do as an actor.

On Sept. 11, we are partnering with Ricky Williams. He lost his career over his cannabis use and that’s another big, interesting story that we are going to tell. We’ve located a strain for him that we’re going to share with the world. These collaborations challenge me as a cultivator and grower.

 

Danielle Duboise and Whitney Tingle, cofounders and co-CEOs, Sakara Life

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

The way people are changing how they think about and achieve health. There is an increasing focus now on preventative health, expanding health span, and changing your biological age through food and lifestyle choices. Before starting Sakara in 2012, when Danielle was working in a hospital with patients suffering late-stage lifestyle disease, people were not asking, “What lifestyle changes could I have made to prevent this?” Our parents’ generation went straight to the doctor for health. This generation is asking first, “What can I do to be healthy?”

On the flip side, we are seeing more doctors looking at whole body health and getting down to the root cause. So much of that has to do with food and lifestyle. We’ve been helping people to make those changes for over a decade now and it’s great to see a lot more of society moving in that direction.

 

What’s next?

Our next big launch is this fall! It’s hydrating, energizing and will make you feel “eff-ing amazing”! Following fast from there, we have four launches that target our clients’ biggest health concerns in a programmatic way, combining the latest scientific research, nutritionally designed meals and supplements to deliver significant transformation. Whitney is also deep in development of a brand new offering for Sakara, tackling skin health from a new perspective using our expertise in plants as medicine to deliver proven results.

 

Daniel Hodgdon, founder and CEO, Vegamour

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

The advances in biological and physiological knowledge and the tools at our disposal make it really affordable for a consumer and that is exciting. And we’re only at the crux.

With AI and the availability of these technologies and our understanding of how to make things bioavailable and stable in formulation, it’s advancing at the speed of light. In the next five years, before 2030, you’re going to be able to buy off-the-counter products that are clinically proven to reverse your age. For every year, it could reverse two years. There’s so much that’s going to be possible and it’s going to be available to everyone.

 

What’s next?

We just launched our Gro Ageless Collection to reverse grays. What we’re working on for next quarter are a bunch of treatment products for hair that actually treat and repair rather than just cover up. And we’ll follow that up with styling products.

Most brands haven’t figured out how to make a silicone substitute. What we want to do with our treatment products is make sure that we’re treating the concern, but also giving you instant gratification that’s built on a health benefit.

 

Dr. Jason Wersland, founder and chief wellness officer, Therabody

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

There is so much potential in the wellness industry, but I am most excited about the innovation potential that connects the physical body and the mind. We know these two entities are so inherently integrated. When we are stressed, anxious, or not in the right mental state, it can bring on illness; when we are sick or in pain, it can cause a great deal of mental stress. We have only scratched the surface when it comes to helping people use their two natural superpowers — the body and the mind — to live overall healthier lives.

 

What’s next?

Our latest launch, the TheraFace Pro, stemmed from the desire to have a complete ecosystem of whole body wellness solutions, meaning the face, too. We received feedback from so many of our consumers saying they wanted (or tried) to use our Theragun mini on their face for facial tension, headaches or jaw pain from TMJ. Recognizing the healing power that percussive therapy can have on tense or tight muscles, we knew we needed to scale down our product to accommodate, so we worked with a team of scientists and medical professionals to do so.

We have a world-class product development team that includes engineers, designers and scientists who are on a mission to create category-defining products and solutions that make the best wellness technologies available to more people. They build upon our existing foundation with our science-backed approach that considers the consumer and expert feedback we have received along the way, and offset the environmental impact of our company and our society as a whole.

 

Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, cofounders of Peoplehood and cofounders of SoulCycle

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

Cutler: What I’m most excited about is how we weave it all together so that people feel fully supported, show up for each other differently, show up for themselves, and lead better lives.

Rice: Taking care of your mind and emotional health is becoming just as important as taking care of your body. Social relational health, the way we express ourselves externally, is going to be this new category in wellness in the same way that there was no boutique fitness when we started SoulCycle. There are studies that show your physical health is completely dependent on your emotional relational health. It is a piece of the wellness puzzle that we have not yet focused on.

 

What’s next?

Cutler: We just began construction on our flagship Peoplehood studio. That’s going to open in New York in Chelsea at the end of this year or the beginning of next year. We feel there are a lot of people out there that are trying to solve the problem of connection without physical places to go. It’s going to be a great addition to our digital offering. Our digital platform will launch in late November or early December.

 

 

Éva Goicochea, founder and CEO, Maude

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

Every part of wellness has been super compartmentalized. We have different feelings every single day. We change how we feel; we change how we understand ourselves. This idea of wellness is not about being perfect. It’s not a destination. It’s an everyday process. That’s what excites me, recognition of taking care of yourself and making yourself feel OK every single day.

 

What’s next?

We’re very excited to continue retail expansion. Our primary goal in launching was to set the tone for the category. The secondary function was to expand. And so we’re now in our expansion phase.

 

We always wanted to partner with Sephora because it sets the tone in beauty. And if this category could be brought up to par with other parts of your personal care, then it really does lend itself to the overall elevation of the conversation. For us, the future is pretty diverse in terms of our retail partners. I wouldn’t say we’re going into drug anytime soon, but definitely mass and prestige.

 

Gwyneth Paltrow, founder and CEO, Goop

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

The direction of wellness that I’m incredibly interested in following is personalization. There’s no universal solution for wellness, so seeing start-ups and new technologies using your personal data for things like glucose tracking and microbiome testing and making that accessible via smart wearables and devices is huge. Understanding what works for our individual bodies and customizing our wellness needs is exciting.

 

What’s next?

In the past year, we have seen consumer’s appetite leaning toward streamlined and straightforward wellness practices that they can do at home. This demand has particularly taken off in at-home devices that target multiple concerns in a variety of verticals, from skin care to infrared heat to fitness and sexual wellness. HigherDose, Therabody, Womanizer and Lelo are popular wellness brands on our site.

In the fall, we’re launching our fourth Goop vibrator. It’s cute, innovative and powerful. We love to see the conversation people are having about vibrators now versus even a year ago — we’re slowly breaking free of a lot of internalized shame around pleasure. With each vibrator we develop, we try to create new sensations and design the toy to look like an object you wouldn’t want to hide away in a drawer. And we want them to be something you’d feel good giving to a friend as a gift.

 

Hilary Coles, cofounder and senior vice president of brand and innovation and Andrew Dudum, founder and CEO, Hims + Hers

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

Coles: What excites me the most is what we saw coming out of COVID[-19], which is people being sick of band-aid solutions. We saw people struggling at home to take care of themselves and their families, doing the research to find the best possible products. What we saw reflected in that was our women’s business, which grew high triple-digit growth in revenue over the past year. We’re seeing that in our mental health businesses and our hair loss businesses. That speaks to this super sophisticated level of customer that’s doing the research and coming to Hims + Hers because they trust us.

Dudum: When you talk to most young people today about their health and wellness, they try some things, but when it gets complicated, it’s overwhelming. We want to make what seems complicated really enjoyable, beautiful and easy to access.

 

What’s next?

Coles: Our biggest challenge is always reining in order of operations because the more we’ve been able to tackle, we’ve been able to prove that we’re able to do it better than what exists today.

Dudum: We’ve expanded into the broad supplement space for things like sleep, energy and focus. We’re getting to the point where we are starting to offer something in the market for everybody. This next phase is about creating a world of education with personalized treatments on top of this foundation, something that’s highly curated and highly personalized with regard to your specific use case.

It goes back to how we approach this whole wellness category, which is fundamentally reshaping how you think about what modern medicine and modern health care is. For example, we acquired a large compounding pharmacy last year and have been investing a lot in those capabilities so that we can start to deliver a completely different degree of products and solutions for people.

 

Jen Coccaro, vice president of Whole Body merchandising, Whole Foods Market

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

I’m excited that people are taking a serious and vested interest in their well-being — both physical and mental. It’s exciting that something that was more on the fringe is becoming very commonplace. Given our deep roots in nourishing people and the planet, we are well positioned to be the go-to resource for wellness. We’re excited to showcase products that help support people being the best version of themselves versus products that are formulated and marketed with the intention for people to conform to a certain look and lifestyle.

 

What’s next?

We have a lot of exciting things in the works, but we are very focused on our supplements business. People want easy-to-understand, effective and trustworthy supplements. We are working on launches focused around interesting and tasty new form factors, science-backed brands and whole food ingredients. We’ve led the way in categories like adaptogenic mushrooms, and we’re investing more in this category. We’re also very invested in women’s health. One of my favorite recent launches is Wile, which is a clinically backed, naturopath-formulated wellness brand for women over 40. This brand has resonated with so many of our customers and with me personally.

 

Jostein Solheim, CEO, health and well-being, Unilever

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

This wellness shift is here to stay, embracing health as a lifestyle pursuit and taking control of our own health. And it’s exciting because we can impact human health and outcomes. The advances in science are really exciting. I see our job as translating the science into efficacy and explaining that to the users in a simple way. We’re seeing such an acceleration around so many areas in science, which allows us to bring really high-impact products to market.

For example, Nutrafol goes after one mechanism for stopping hair loss. They’ve got 10 scientific papers. They didn’t break through as a brand in the fashion industry, they broke through at a dermatology conference. That’s a sign of what’s coming.

 

What’s next?

What we see next is in line with what we’re doing now. These spaces are so big. If you look at hair, it’s a gigantic space. Meeting people where they are and addressing their fears and concerns around their hair health is such a gigantic opportunity. So we’re going after these areas deeper, building better and closer relationships and really personalizing and supporting each individual that we reach. We are always looking for new family members that want to make an impact and want to be part of this collective. That’s an ongoing process in terms of launching new brands.

In terms of personalization, instead of a multivitamin for women or men, here’s one for sleep or skin health. It allows you to have a baseline, but have a personal concern.

 

Katie Kaps and Laura Berlingeri, cofounders and co-CEOs, Higher Dose

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

Kaps: We’re able to take some of these more complicated technologies like red light therapy and infrared PEMF mat, break them down for people, and then spread them to the masses. We’re excited to be at the center of this movement. It’s going to grow like crazy over the next five to 10 years. We have a lot of forward-thinking biohackers and doctors who are advocates of our brand and we’re trying to commercialize this technology before a lot of other consumer brands do.

 

What’s next?

Berlingeri: In July, we launched a whole line of magnesium topicals and ingestibles that complement the wellness tech and builds out these at-home rituals in the comfort of your own home. The problem is that more than 60 percent of North Americans are deficient in magnesium, which is an opportunity because we believe that everyone should be taking magnesium as a baseline. It does all of these amazing things, including balancing hormones for women.

We feel like we’ve commercialized heat and infrared, but we’ve always felt like hot and cold therapy go hand in hand. So we have a plan for some cold tech, as well as some consumable cold products to decrease inflammation and boost mood in 2023.

 

Katie Sturino, founder of Megababe, author of “Body Talk,” and body acceptance advocate

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

We’re going to remove a lot of the stigma that we’ve dealt with for so long around specific issues, like acne or thigh chafe, or even vaginal health. We’re founded on tackling taboo topics that big beauty wasn’t willing to take on five years ago. Now there’s definitely more of that conversation. I see us getting into more categories that have not been tapped into in that space.

I also feel like we are going to see more of a pared-down approach. I’m seeing a lot of fragrance-free, more streamlined products.

 

What’s next?

I have been very surprised the past four years about the making and selling of deodorant. Not all aluminum-free deodorants work for one person. We know this. We’ve figured out that baking soda can make people sensitive. In August, we launched a cream deodorant with a cream applicator and a new formulation.

Megababe is self-funded. We’re a family business. We have been profitable since the start. Most of all, we launched to a bunch of naysayers who said chafe and sweat weren’t important and weren’t going to be successful at retail. I want to say that they couldn’t have been more wrong because we’re selling solutions for real problems.

 

Kelly Dill, partner, Imaginary

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

There’s so much innovation to be had on how to treat a woman differently than a man. We’re on the precipice of where research can take us from an innovation perspective.

 

Aging and self-care are a huge part of wellness. I don’t like thinking about beauty and services as something totally ancillary to wellness. Self-care is mental health care. Where we go to recharge is a part of wellness. We’re investors in a company called Every Body and they do injectables, but also HydraFacials and laser treatments. Just like wellness, if it makes you feel better about yourself, it’s a good thing.

 

What’s next?

We’re looking for businesses that are rethinking being innovative around the consumer journey for wellness, whether that is experiential, product-focused, or health care-focused.

Along those lines, mental health, women’s health, gut health, all of these categories, menopause — how do we treat women at each stage of their life and throughout? And so we’re looking at companies who are able to do that, but also simultaneously communicate that to the consumer.

 

Maren Giuliano, vice president of health and wellness, Erewhon Market

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

It’s exciting to think about ways to bring the digital space to life in-store through visual merchandising like our partnership with SEED. There is a whole world to explore in terms of how we retail and feature brands that exist mainly online.

But generally speaking, it’s also really special seeing clean and better ingredients becoming the norm rather than the exception. Also, it’s exciting to see the continual evolution of natural and organic products in terms of the way they look and feel; better sourcing that goes beyond organic such as regeneratively farmed, and it is heartening to see a wider range and more diverse brand founders with different stories and voices in the space.

 

What’s next?

We are really looking forward to some of the private label partnerships we are forming and have some exciting Erewhon brand wellness products launching later this fall.

 

Melissa Wood-Tepperberg, founder and creator, Melissa Wood Health

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

What excites me most is that wellness is now a movement. I’m hoping that the days of torturing ourselves to see results are a thing of the past. Our members are experiencing transformational shifts in all aspects of their lives because they consistently do the work. Consistency is the glue that holds it all together.

What’s next?

The next big focus is about giving the MWH community so much more! I am forever fueled by our members’ feedback to improve the user experience and give them everything they are looking for from a health and wellness lifestyle platform. And they’re about to experience a whole lot more content coming this fall, across all of our categories including workouts, meditation and nutrition.

 

Natalie Holloway and Max Kislevitz, cofounders, Bala

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

Holloway: Bala, with everything we’ve done, is really unique for the fitness industry. What’s exciting is we keep pushing the boundaries and doing things with a fashion-forward tilt.

Kislevitz: We’ve blurred lines. The future of wellness doesn’t necessarily look and feel like it always has. We’re blending fashion, fitness and lifestyle. The more strange the association, the better for what we want to do in terms of pushing against those boundaries. It used to be that you had to dress up in all black to go to a gym and be serious. Now it’s about the integration into your everyday life and the corresponding aesthetics are more exciting.

 

What’s next?

Holloway: Recently, we launched Balacize. They’re free, beautifully filmed workouts on a streaming platform with top trainers. We launched a couple of months ago and we’ll continue to push that. Also, we have a slew of products coming out. We’ve already launched in a few international markets and we’ll be launching in Japan, Canada, China, Korea and a few other places.

Kislevitz: The intent is to continue to beautify this space. You’ll see Bala’s take on existing products as well as those that you might not have ever otherwise considered buying.

Holloway: And then in the New York store, we have classes and they’ve been really successful. So we’re looking at ways that you can workout with Bala in real life. It’s not about counting calories. It’s about enjoying movement for its own sake.

 

Rebecca Parekh, cofounder and chief operating officer and Sarrah Hallock, cofounder, The Well

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

Hallock: One exciting development is that wellness is becoming even more customized and, therefore, efficacious. The Well offers advanced genetic, blood and microbiome testing, enabling our practitioners to hyper-individualize care. We do deep dives into a person’s physiology, but also dig into their lifestyle habits, goals and more to optimize outcomes. That said, if a person wants to start slow and try a meditation class or have a chat with a health coach, they can. The point is, the future of wellness is to clearly understand what a person wants and needs — and then empower them to achieve those goals as easily as possible.

 

What’s next?

Parekh: From the outset, The Well has focused on marrying world-class care with world-class design. Our services and our spaces are held to rigorous standards of excellence. Because of that, we’ve had the opportunity to expand our reach by partnering with brands, such as Auberge Resorts Collections, to bring the The Well to destinations such as Costa Rica and Litchfield, Connecticut, with more openings planned next year. We also have other not-yet-announced projects in development that will grow our global portfolio in new and innovative ways — and that will evolve how people experience wellness in their everyday lives.

 

Cristina Nunez and Rich Gersten, cofounders and partners, True Beauty Ventures

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

Nunez: I’m excited by what we can develop further with the integration of science and biotech and how we can continue to improve our lives through small tweaks — whether that’s something that we can ingest or put on topically. People’s time is so finite and there are a lot of products being thrown at us every single day. So the bar is getting higher and higher for efficacy.

Gersten: Spend an hour with Amanda Chantal Bacon, the founder of Moon Juice, ideating on product innovation and you will get excited about the future of wellness. Having thought leaders like that to help lead the forefront and movement is what’s exciting.

Nunez: Big-picture trends that we’re seeing are about longevity, but also living healthier lives. That ties to aging differently via your aging organs and your body in general; how can you prolong that? And in some cases, even reverse it.

Gersten: We always tell our executive teams what gets measured gets managed in terms of operating your business. If there are certain things you can measure about your well-being that can help you manage your life better, that’s not a bad thing.

 

What’s next?

Gersten: Wellness is reinventing itself every day and we’ve looked at many menopausal and hormonal brands. At some point, we’ll pull the trigger there. We want to see where that landscape settles out. It’s still too nascent and emerging and it’s not clear that a pure-play brand could win versus someone launching it in their assortment to tackle the issue.

 

Nunez: The bar is higher for us in wellness. If a brand has some sort of beauty angle, even better because that means they can play in a broader way. It is harder to create a brand and a loyalist community that you tend to see more in beauty brands. We may not invest as early in wellness as we do in beauty because we know the beauty playbooks; they’re more established. Beauty distribution is very clear, although we’re seeing some blurring.

 

Romain Gaillard, founder and CEO, Detox Market

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

We introduced sexual wellness pretty early. So breaking into new categories and having discussions that people were not having in beauty 20 years ago is very important. It was a very one-dimensional, nonsustainable, noninclusive, mono category. And if you look now at what’s happening, there’s this explosion of new concepts and new discussions coming out.

All of this is part of our culture and it comes down to mental wellness. It’s not something you can sell and that’s an exciting part of wellness. It is unlike a lot of beauty products. It’s more about education than consumerism.

 

What’s next?

Fragrance is a tiny category for us, almost nonexistent, which is crazy because if you look at overall beauty, it’s a fairly big category. That’s something we’ve been working on and educating about. What came out as we were doing research is there is going to be a meeting point between fragrance, perfumery and wellness. And now you have brands that are looking into that segment from the wellness perspective. It connects people with an emotion.

 

Tracey Brown, president of retail and chief customer officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

COVID-19 has taught us the importance of community connection more than ever before. It was the connection to the communities we serve that proved to be essential in keeping Americans healthy. Our trusted pharmacists and our innovative products and solutions allowed for us to be there for our neighbors and will continue to be a driving force for us to truly impact the well-being of the patients and customers.

As Walgreens pharmacists and team members continue to offer relationship-based care and connection within communities rooted in trust, we will continue to evolve how we support them in their pursuit of health and wellness.

 

What’s next?

We leverage data and analytics of our 100,000,000 member-strong loyalty platform, MyWalgreens, to determine the best products and solutions for all of our customers’ wellness needs.

So we are focused on increasing the breadth and value of our health and wellness products, as well as owned brand offering, with an emphasis on quality, innovation and trust. Walgreens branded items will continue to be a priority for us across the business, especially as we aim to deliver on our purpose of creating more joyful lives through better health.

 

Sharon Leite, CEO, The Vitamin Shoppe

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

When the pandemic hit, a lot of people took stock of their lifestyles and tried to figure out what was right for them. We believe that the importance of health and wellness is central to the core of someone’s well-being and who they are. Moving forward, the focus on physical, mental and emotional well-being are going to be much more central to the way people think of their own health. We also find that consumers want to engage with people that are trusted and they want to make sure that they can engage with someone that can provide the best, most accurate, and timely information.

 

What’s next?

We’re super excited about our newest brand True You, which helps take care of the needs of women from college through post-menopause. It includes supplements that cater to the evolving needs of women’s health. It was created to inspire self-care, balanced well-being, and empowering women to be their brilliant selves. We all know that women have different challenges than others and we wanted to make sure that we had a product that served their needs.

We’re going to be developing True You body care and skin care and that’s coming next year. This is a comprehensive women’s brand that is focused on their physical, mental and emotional health.

 

Stephanie Morimoto, owner and CEO, Asutra 

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

I come at this having experienced burnout, professionally flying across the country all the time, working 18-hour days, not sleeping enough, not moving enough, eating terribly. I hit a wall 17 years ago where I said I can’t work and live like this anymore. Being productive isn’t the only way that you’re worthy. Seeing people really respond to these messages that rest is OK, taking care of myself is OK says there’s a group of people out there who understand there’s a different way to live life.

The other thing is we’re seeing massive social issues. As a country, we are not going to solve those unless we come together and work on them collectively. You can’t work on a tough social issue if you don’t have a reservoir of energy that you can pull from. What’s exciting is people are recognizing they need to rest. When I feel better, I can give back to my community and make it better as well.

 

What’s next?

We started as a direct-to-consumer brand and our big goal was to diversify our revenue into retail. We launched in CVS in 2019 with a test and we’re now in 4,000 stores. The goal was to get into Target. So we started with an online test in August 2020, then launched in all 1,900 stores in spring 2021 and expanded assortment in spring 2022. Customer sales are up 70 percent year-over-year.

 

For us, the goal for next year is to add one more mass retailer and we were just invited by Walgreens. We’ll continue to work with the natural retailers that we partner with, where they’re serving a more niche audience who wants natural solutions like Growth Collaborative and Thrive Market.

 

Tom Hale, CEO, Oura Ring

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

Sleep is having a moment: it helps with immunity, recovery, mental health, beauty, concentration, mood, memory, learning and energy, and it’s implicated in many adverse outcomes around cognitive health (Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s), heart health (the American Heart Association just made sleep the eighth factor in cardiovascular disease), and metabolic health (type 2 diabetes). We’re only just beginning to scratch the surface of improving sleep.

 

What’s next?

Last year, we launched the Oura Ring Generation 3. In addition to new, research-grade hardware sensors, Gen3 offers new software features. And later this year, we’re launching an enhanced sleep staging algorithm

In women’s health, Oura’s unique 24/7 temperature tracking feature has become a key tool for researchers. Oura Rings were used by researchers at the University of California, San Diego where they found that the temperature data that Oura collects show trends consistent with early signs of pregnancy. In a separate study, Oura worked with the University of California, Berkeley on QCycle, to identify signals that can predict female fertility. Results showed detection of an upcoming luteinizing hormone surge during the first one to two weeks of the menstrual cycle by heart rate variability and daytime skin temperature patterns from Oura Rings. We’re only just beginning to scratch the surface of new ways Oura can serve as a tool for reproductive health and help women uncover meaningful health patterns.

 

Tracey Halama, CEO, Vital Proteins

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

I always thought it was odd that there weren’t more female leaders at these big CPG companies. So I’m really proud to lead Vital Proteins. If we look across our organization, we’ve got roles that are now occupied by women that were traditionally more male-focused. We’re really pushing the envelope and making sure that women have a seat at the table, especially at the leadership table.

Mushrooms are happening. Nootropics are happening, and stress-related formulations are happening. There’s so much innovation and it’s taking into consideration all the stressors that we have in life. There are so many applicable use cases for health and wellness with some trendy ingredients and I’m really excited about some of the things that are outside of just collagen.

 

What’s next?

We’ve earned a seat at the table to establish ourselves beyond collagen. We’re 55 percent market share in collagen, and the number-one collagen manufacturer in the world, a billion-dollar brand. So how do we move beyond that? We just launched our lemon peptides, a much better for you Crystal Light. When I think about what’s to come, it’s Vital Proteins as a standalone brand that is above and beyond just collagen. So look for new innovations that don’t include collagen.

We’re also going to continue collaborating with innovative thinkers and celebrities. That’s important to us as a brand to stay relevant. We connected very early on with the Millennial female. We’re also talking about mitigating the aging process and who’s feeling aging the most. So how can we make Vital Proteins wellness more accessible for the consumer?

 

Trinity Wofford, cofounder and CEO, Golde

What excites you the most about the future of wellness?

The wellness space is so different from the one that we launched in five-and-a-half years ago. There’s been such a powerful democratization of the space. More and more consumers are aware of this idea of boosting their routine with these functional superfoods. And so the conversation that we’re having now with our customer is not, “Hey, let me introduce you to this. You should try this.” It’s more, “here’s why Golde is the best option for you.” We’re dealing with a little bit more of a savvy consumer, which is really exciting because we get to have a deeper conversation with them. At the end of the day, that’s not something that’s going away. The consumer is more and more educated, and more engaged with the space. And so it’s our exciting challenge to continue to meet them where they are in their journey.

 

What’s next?

Our mission and our focus has always been about accessibility and bringing wellness down to earth in a way that allows it to be something that everyone can bring into their routines. All the things that we have on our road map for the next year are tied to that. How can we continue to make this the most approachable brand in the category and encourage everyone to have at least a couple of Golde products in their daily routine?

We are a business founded by people of color and it’s important for us to make sure that we’re involving everyone in the conversation and letting them know that building a wellness routine is for them, too.