Skift Take

Giant companies see the benefits of investing in wellness — and have enough money to take chances. But the wellness landscape, as we all know, is littered with fads gone bust.

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.

Ten years ago, it would have been, well, nearly impossible to predict that a company like Impossible Foods or Beyond Meat would receive such hype. All this buzz for a veggie burger?

Clearly, we’ve come a long way from those cardboard-tasting plant-based meat alternatives. So popular are the new faux meats — hailed for being both good for you as well as the environment — that even meat producer giants like Tyson, Perdue, and Smithfield have come up with their own creations.

Take Perdue: Its “almost meatless” chicken nuggets contain some chicken, blended with cauliflower and chickpeas (interesting). Meanwhile, Smithfield launched a line of soy-based meatballs and sausages.

Right now Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat have the name recognition in the faux meat (that actually tastes good) space, plus a growing number of partnerships. Beyond Meat, for one, recently signed a deal with Dunkin’ for a new faux sausage breakfast sandwich.

We’ll watch and see whether Big Meat can capture a much larger and necessary portion of the hungry, wellness-minded customers.

In other “big company turns to wellness” news, Nestlé is venturing into the personalized supplement space with the purchase of direct-to-consumer vitamin brand Persona. Nestlé is likely hoping to take a piece of business away from brands like Care/of and Ritual. With Nestlé’s deep pockets, it will likely be able to do that, and then some.

For feedback or news tips, reach out via email at [email protected] or tweet me @lesliebarrie.

— Leslie Barrie, Wellness Editor

Food & Drink

Major Meat Companies Want In on the Plant-Based Market: In a move akin to Big Dairy announcing an oat milk line — which hasn’t happened just yet — major players in the meat industry like Tyson and Perdue have launched their own lines of plant-based alternatives. It’s a crowded space: Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have built up cult followings and signed contracts with companies like Burger King and Dunkin’. But it’s wise to dive in as consumers’ palates continue to shift. Read more here.

Could Adaptogens Be the New CBD? Adaptogens sound great in theory — they’re herbs and natural substances that hypothetically help the body adapt to stressors. So Elements, a brand that offers beverages blended with adaptogen — or functional wellness drinks, as the CEO calls it — hopes to break into the stress-reduction economy, like many CBD companies have. It’s debatable, though, whether adaptogens can really become a household name like CBD in the anti-stress space. Read more here.

Vitamins & Supplements

Nestlé Wants to Take on Direct-to-Consumer Supplement Brands: When you hear the name Nestlé, your mind probably goes straight to chocolate. But the Swiss company (surprisingly?) has a sizable Health Science division. Its latest acquisition: a personalized, subscription-based supplement brand called Persona. The buy was likely a good move. It’s wise for Nestlé to keep competitive, especially as personalized supplement companies like Care/of and Ritual gain traction. Read more here.


How Wellness Has Infiltrated Business Travel: In the old days, when an employee would pack for a business trip, the focus was on having the right professional attire for meetings. Now, according to Mia Kyricos, global head of wellbeing at Hyatt Hotels, it’s all about filling your suitcase with your wellness gear, like supplements and workout clothes. The demand for wellness in business travel is strong. The question is whether the corporate travel industry can keep up. Read more here.


Companies Want Customers to Consider Cleaning as Self-Care: The self-care category is a broad one, incorporating everything from face masks to weighted blankets — and apparently, brands want to edge home cleaning products into the space too. Schmidt’s, known for its personal care products, is expanding to include a multi-surface cleaning spray, while clean beauty brand Love Beauty and Planet recently launched a home line with items like dish soap and laundry detergent. We’ll see if customers soon start associating self-care with washing dirty clothes. Read more here.

Skift Wellness Editor Leslie Barrie [[email protected]] curates the Skift Wellness newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.

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Tags: business travel, cbd, food and beverage, Skift Wellness, wellness

Photo credit: A fast food burger is shown. Major food brands are increasingly entering the plant-based alternative meat space. @mael-balland-873203 / Pexels

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