People are feeling frazzled these days, whether they're exhausted from constant connection (thanks technology!) or anxious about where the world is headed –– or both. Companies are picking up on this and marketing products and experiences accordingly.
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.
If you’re like me, you’ve dreamed of working at one of those mythical offices with free yoga classes in the morning or meditation workshops at lunch, so you can zen yourself out before facing your Mount Everest-sized inbox.
This has never been my work reality. But now, anyone can make it theirs –– that is, if they sign up to be a member of The Assemblage, a co-working space in New York City that aims to fuse wellness into all aspects of its offerings.
You won’t find beer on tap here. Instead, you can stop by the Ayurvedic elixir bar and organic restaurant, take daily meditation and yoga classes, or attend nightly wellness workshops and events, all without leaving the building. In this era of heightened work stress and State-of-the-Union anxiety, it’s a logical business move to tap into the desire for a calmer and more balanced work life.
Another smart call in our anxious environment? More companies are getting in on the CBD oil trend to help the worried and stressed-out find some relief. There’s a reason why CBD-infused products, which range from smoothies and edibles to ointments, are having a moment in 2018. And it’s likely their popularity will only grow in 2019.
Speaking of anxiety (notice a trend here?), digital thermometer companies may be selling your fever and sickness data to third-party companies, which then serve up ads accordingly. These thermometers may be convenient, but are they worth it? That’s up to you to decide.
In the meantime, I’ll be doing my yoga and meditation and attempting (yes, attempting) to keep my cool.
— Leslie Barrie, Skift Wellness Editor
Co-Working Meets Wellness at The Assemblage: All the “hip” tech startups and co-working spaces offered beer, in-house baristas, and foosball tables a few years ago. But companies are starting to adjust their perks as the wellness movement emerges. For example, The Assemblage is infusing health into all aspects of its space, from the drinks it serves (healthy elixirs) to its live programs, which range from personal growth lectures to weekend nature escapes. The company is forward-thinking, and others might want to follow suit.
Mind & Body
The Rise of CBD Speaks to the Current Age of Anxiety: In this period of societal unease, CBD –– or cannabidiol, a chemical component of cannabis –– might be the remedy to tame America’s tension. Many users swear by it, though research on CBD is still in its infancy, and some CBD-infused products make questionable claims. It makes sense why the oil has become so popular, so fast –– companies are wise to get in on this blazing trend of the times.
Why Athleisure Will Always Be Here to Stay: Sure, athleisure seems like a fad of the last decade or two –– one that will eventually fade away, right? Well, wrong. In reality, athleisure has been around for over a century. Most of the clothing we wear has its roots in athletics, whether that’s jeans or shorts, polo shirts or sweaters. While specific takes on athleisure may gain or lose popularity, adopting sport styles for everyday wear is as American as (gluten-free) apple pie, proving it’s never too late for new brands to get in the game.
When a Fever Strikes, So, Too, Will the Ads: It makes sense that in today’s era of connectivity, the Kinsa smart thermometer would sync your temperature to your phone for easy fever symptom tracking. It’s also not exactly surprising to hear that the tech startup would then sell your sickness-related data to a company like Clorox, so that the disinfectant brand can more effectively place its ads. It’s a good business strategy for both, but time will tell if the tactic raises too many red flags about privacy.
Healthcare & Medicine
Carbon Health Wants to Make Seeing a Doctor Smarter: First came the app, then the brick-and-mortar locations. If that route can work for retail, then why not for healthcare? That’s the plan for Carbon Health, which just opened seven clinics across the Bay Area with a goal to roll out thousands more. The differentiators: Carbon doesn’t charge subscription fees like competitors do and accepts most insurance plans. Not to mention, patients can use the complementary app to book appointments and view lab results. Still, one of the company’s main rivals, One Medical, just received $350 million in funding, proving Carbon Health has its work cut out for it.
Food & Drink
The Greek Yogurt Boom Is Leveling Off: There may be a limit to how much thick, creamy, protein-filled yogurt people can stomach. Due to changes in tastes –– practically every plant-based source now has a yogurt offering –– combined with lower milk prices and struggling dairy farms, Greek yogurt demand and sales growth have plateaued. The break in buzz may be just what other yogurt-like companies need to squeeze into the business or stage a comeback. Cottage cheese, are you listening?
Vitamins & Supplements
Is It Healthy to Vape Vitamins? These Companies Want You to Think So: There’s been a lot of concern around teens and vaping. But in the midst of it all, new companies geared at the wellness set, like Breathe and NutroVape, are introducing vaporizers that allow you to inhale your vitamins –– for example, Breathe sells a vitamin B12 mist. There’s very limited regulation and oversight, plus there’s the question of whether inhaling vitamins can be harmful to your body. That still won’t stop some people, though.
Skift Wellness Editor Leslie Barrie [[email protected]] curates the Skift Wellness newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.
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Photo credit: A woman is shown with her hands folded with a cup of tea. Companies are capitalizing the sense of anxiety many consumers are feeling, with offerings ranging from CBD-infused edibles to wellness-focused co-working spaces. @rawpixel / Unsplash