The Skift Wellness newsletter is our weekly dispatch focused on what’s happening in wellness from a global business standpoint. Skift Wellness lives where wellness meets commerce, mindfulness meets technology, the yoga studio meets the boardroom, and health meets business.
Welcome to the inaugural edition of Skift’s new weekly newsletter, Skift Wellness.
We’re increasingly seeing consumers seek out stress-free living, deeper experiences, and improved nutrition, physical health, and mental balance –– it’s safe to say that the shift to wellness isn’t just a short-lived trend. The consumer demand for wellness is cropping up in nearly every industry sector out there, from travel and hospitality, to food and beverage, to fashion and beauty, to tech, media, and design.
Hotels are going beyond the guest room to become destinations for rejuvenating, relaxing, and escaping the everyday hustle. The new Apple Watch Series 4 isn’t solely for messaging and browsing — it monitors a user’s heart rate throughout the day, sending alerts if something’s up. And members of the co-working space WeWork can head to the company’s gym, Rise by We, for a midday boxing class and green juice, giving a whole new meaning to the phrases “power” and “liquid” lunch.
Still, in this era of the self-care takeover, we feel that it’s difficult to find a single destination for news about the brands and companies making moves to capitalize on the emerging sector, not to mention critical and deeper journalism about the space beyond consumer-facing one-off coverage. That’s why we’re launching Skift Wellness — to cover the business of well-being through the lens of marketing, strategy, and tech with the same journalistic standards that Skift’s known for in the travel and dining industries.
Our goal is to dominate the coverage of businesses looking to reach the consumers who keep their physical and mental health top of mind. And because we believe the wellness world will only expand, we expect there will be an endless stream of stories to track.
What We’ll Cover
Modern wellness, for us, encompasses everything from technology to athleisure, office life to travel, food, drinks, and nutrition to natural beauty, spas, and home. Thus, our definition is expansive. We won’t limit ourselves to traditional health and fitness brands. Instead, we will follow whatever’s innovative, whatever’s disruptive, and whatever’s revolutionizing the industry both in the U.S. and around the globe. We’ll cover the smart fashion startup that landed $50 million in funding, the fitness entrepreneurs aspiring to take on Peloton and ClassPass, and the legacy brands looking to get in on the growing market.
What we won’t be doing is covering every last product launch, rewriting press releases, or cheerleading the latest charming CEO. Rather, we’ll cast a critical eye on the industry, sorting out the substance from the junk (food, included).
What to Expect
We’re starting with a weekly newsletter, curating the best news coverage of the wellness space, with plans for originally reported stories of our own, interviews with investors, analysts, and CEOs, and updates on the latest trends. Join us as we dive into the business of wellness, Skift-style.
— Leslie Barrie, Skift Wellness Editor
Introducing Skift Wellness: Covering the Business of Modern Wellness: We feel there’s very little out there that speaks about today’s global business of wellness and covers it from a deep, critical perspective. That’s where Skift Wellness comes in.
To Ease the Stress of Flying, American Airlines Partners With Relaxation App Calm: Air travel isn’t exactly one of the most relaxing activities one can partake in, so American Airlines’ partnership with mobile app Calm to provide passengers with exclusive meditation and mindfulness content seems like a smart move. We’ll wait and see whether breathing exercises and soothing sounds will be enough to take the edge off the stresses of air travel and give the airline a leg up.
Weight Watchers Changes Its Name to WW in an Effort to Shed Its Dieting Demons: Proving that wellness is in and dieting is out, the legacy brand is shifting its focus to overall healthy living, with plans to go beyond counting points to drop pounds. But will the rename keep its Oprah Winfrey-backed momentum up, and modernize the brand enough to inspire a new wave of millennial fans? Maybe.
Big-Name Brands Like DSW and Eileen Fisher Want to Become Wellness Experiences: You have to get creative to bring in customers these days, so some retailers are eyeing wellness offerings and experiences to get shoppers in the door. Case in point: Eileen Fisher wants customers to come for a knit tunic and stay for a panel on mindfulness, while DSW wants shoppers to unwind in its in-store Sole Lounge, which offers manicures and pedicures, shoe repair, and promotes overall foot health.
Vegan Restaurant Chain By Chloe Breaks Into the Burgeoning CBD Industry: The co-founder of the ever-expanding restaurant chain knows a trend when she sees one. Earlier this year, By Chloe launched a CBD brownie and people went bonkers –– so it only makes sense she’d look to create a whole line of CBD-infused sweets (aptly named: Feelz). Coca-Cola is considering a CBD line as well. If this works out, more companies may follow suit.
Now You Can Find Spire Health Tags at Apple Stores: You might think that Spire’s Health Tags –– trackers that users adhere to their clothing, which monitor sleep, stress, and physical activity — would overlap too much with the Apple Watch. But it doesn’t look like Apple sees it this way, if they’re willing to let the brand take up shelf space in their retail stores. Spire gets more exposure, and the chance to align itself with the world’s most profitable company. Not too shabby.
How Brands Are Tapping Into the Homebody Self-Care Movement: Millennials spend more time at home — 70 percent more than the general population — and a wave of products aimed at pampering them while they stay in have popped up as a result, ranging from alcohol courier apps to luxury bedding. Thus, companies are wise to reach this sector of comfort-seeking customers, who would rather curl up than go out.
Skift Wellness Editor Leslie Barrie [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Wellness newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.