Athleisure is a growing market, but brands still have to come up with ways to stand out from the pack. However, infusing workout clothes with CBD oil probably isn't the most viable way to attract long-term customers.
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.
It seems as if CBD has infiltrated nearly every consumer category in existence over the past year or two, whether that’s food and beverage, beauty, sleep, health, or fitness. With analysts forecasting that CBD sales could reach $20 billion by 2024, it’s not exactly surprising that brands in other categories, including athleisure, want to get in on the action.
But this is definitely a new one: Athleisure brand Acabada has taken the step we thought no company would dare by lacing workout wear with the oil. The claim? To help women “perform their best,” thanks to the oil’s apparent ability to soothe sore muscles and “promote healing.”
You’re not alone if you think it seems a little far-fetched. The company claims that some will feel the difference after the first wear, while others will need to put them on consistently for two weeks to feel the benefit. Our guess: Most won’t notice the difference at all.
While we can cast doubt on the efficacy of the stretchwear, it’s likely that enough wellness enthusiasts will be intrigued by the potential perks to spend the (mere!) $160 on a pair of leggings. There’s a good chance they’ll fly off the shelves when they launch in October — and that other copycat athleisure brands will follow suit and release similar CBD-infused activewear. But this is one trend that will likely have a short shelf life.
In other athleisure news, Under Armour is aiming to stage a comeback from slowing sales and slumping revenue. Rather than target the weekend warrior, it’s working to narrow its audience by going after the “focused performer.” Understanding your customer — or desired customer — is key, but can it really compete with the likes of Nike and Adidas?
Like Acabada has discovered, it’s all about differentiating yourself. We’ll see if Under Armour can do the same. Game on.
— Leslie Barrie, Wellness Editor
Athleisure Is the Latest Category to Hype CBD: With the rise in popularity of luxury athleisure, it seems like there’s a new activewear startup launching every month. So how do brands differentiate? One company, Acabada, is infusing CBD oil into its collection. Yep, you heard that right — its leggings will be slathered in oil. While it’s surely a gimmick, certain gullible wellness diehards will likely be eager to get their hands on them. Read more here.
Under Armour Attempts to Make a Comeback: It’s recently been a losing game for the activewear company. Its stock has lost more than half of its value since 2015, and its revenue growth dropped from double to single digits. Despite the slump, CEO Kevin Plank is optimistic about a changing tide. The company is opening more full-price stores and wants to create a more loyal fan base with a focus on “precision performance” to boost sales. We’ll see if these tactics score. Read more here.
Mind & Body
How Wellness Brands Are Getting Men to Buy In: It’s not one size fits all when it comes to wellness marketing. Brands are trying to appeal to what men want, which they believe is “soft masculinity” rather than relying on old-school masculine stereotypes. Asystem, a skincare and supplement brand for men, for example, opened a house in Venice Beach, California, where men can talk wellness “offline” and “share and be vulnerable,” as co-founder Josh LeVine put it. And of course, buy products. Read more here.
Peloton Officially Gets Slapped With a $300 Million Fine Prior to Its IPO: Just when it seemed like Peloton was set to ride off into the IPO sunset, it got hit with a $300 million fine from the National Music Publisher’s Association for copyright infringement. This comes after Peloton was previously sued by the organization for $150 million. Peloton’s instructors, the association claims, streamed artists like Taylor Swift and Adele without paying the price upfront. Looks like the company will pay now and then some. Read more here.
Food & Drink
Does Anyone Really Want to Drink Nonalcoholic Beer? Apparently, the answer is yes. Athletic Brewing Company, the one-year-old nonalcoholic beer brand, had a hard time keeping up with demand this summer, halting production twice to add more equipment. Most people might think of cocktails when they hear about of-the-moment alcohol-free beverages, but craft beer companies want to change that by creating brews that hypothetically taste just as good as the boozy variety. Read more here.
Skift Wellness Editor Leslie Barrie [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Wellness newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.
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Photo credit: A woman is shown doing yoga on a rooftop. Athleisure brand Acabada is infusing CBD oil into its collection. @theformfitness / Unsplash