Forward Thinking: Health and Wellness Reboot


Health and wellness is a broad subject, which continues to evolve and be of interest to both consumers and manufacturers. From food and beverages to fine fragrance and beauty products, Trendincite LLC has examined this topic often. Trendincite’s “Forward Thinking: Health Matters” article, which appeared in the March 2013 issue of Perfumer & Flavorist magazine, explored healthful cold-pressed juices, teas, water enhancers and gluten-free products. The “Forward Thinking: A Wealth of Health” April 2012 article, researched reduced sugar and fat claims, targeted heart health, children’s products and emerging healthful snacks. The October 2013 “Forward Thinking: Crafting Beauty with Nature’s Resources” article covered fine fragrance, skin care and gluten-free beauty. Lastly, botanicals, organic, vegan and raw trends were reviewed in the October 2011 “Forward Thinking: Au Natural” article.

All of these trends discussed over the last five years are still relevant. In fact, consumers’ interest in healthy lifestyles and their demand for healthier products and services continue to escalate. Luckily, innovation does not cease and there are a plethora of new healthy introductions and services to meet the demand. Clean labels with organic ingredients, plant-based products and full-service wellness offerings are the latest trends happening in the health and wellness arena in flavored and fragranced consumer goods.

Organic, Natural, Clean and “Free-of” Claims

There are several interpretations of what health and wellness means to consumers and there are a variety of ways consumer packaged goods manufacturers are communicating the benefits of their products. In flavored and fragranced consumer packaged goods “organic” and “natural” remain popular callouts, while “clean” and “free-of” claims are trendy buzzwords targeting consumers in search of better-for-you products.

According to data from the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), 75% of the U.S. population said that consuming a healthy, nutritious diet is important in how they achieve a healthy lifestyle.a Mintel’s research revealed that 84% of American consumers buy free-from foods because they are seeking out more natural or less processed foods and 43% of consumers agree that “free-from” foods are healthier than foods without a “free-from” claim.b The Organic & Natural Health Association abandoned its plan to create a certified seal that demonstrates when products are natural and instead is working on educating consumers by defining the term natural. Beverage Industry’s 2015 New Product Development Survey, published in January, reported that 90% of the survey respondents believe “organic” will be a leading trend this year and that “natural” maintained its number two status with 34% of respondents naming it a trend.c

An interesting brand and initiative is the Beekman 1802 partnership with Target. In January, Beekman 1802 rolled out a collection of over 40 non-GMO and organic products to 1,400 Target stores across the country. The products do not contain fillers or added sugars and many of the ingredients are sourced from small American farms. The company gives back up to 25% of its profits to help other small farms. “We are creating the farm-to-shelf revolution and the first step is to reduce our reliance on industrialized processed foods and the import of ingrediends that can and should be grown in America,” said Dr. Brent Ridge, co-owner, Beekman 1802.

In response to consumers’ demand for clean labels, French’s mustard launched French’s Super Yellow Mustard with #1 grade mustard seeds and more turmeric spice. In addition, French’s Buffalo Ketchup, infused with Frank’s RedHot joins the high-fructose corn syrup-free line. Similarly, Hellmann’s introduced organic mayonnaise, which uses USDA certified organic ingredients, including organic cage-free eggs and organic oil. Available in Original, Roasted Garlic and Spicy Chipotle flavors, the range contains no artificial flavors or preservatives.

Moondani Natural Breath Mist is an interesting new product, which entered the market in February. Made of natural, organic and non-GMO ingredients such as cardamom oil, fennel oil and ginger extract, the breath freshener has no alcohol, additives, preservatives or sweeteners. Jelly Belly introduced organic jelly beans at the end of 2015. Available in 10 assorted and five sour flavors such as Apple, Cherry, Coconut, Peach, Pear and Strawberry, the jelly beans are USDA-certified organic, non-GMO and use natural sourced flavors and colors. Similarly, PepsiCo announced plans to introduce an organic Gatorade expected this year. These organic products are a telltale sign of the importance of this trend. From a marketing perspective, neither of these products are perceived as healthy and making them organic is not a natural fit.

A Cleaner Beauty

On the beauty side, healthy and organic products are also important to consumers. According to Grand View Research, Inc.’s recent report, the global organic skin care market will reach $12 billion by 2022.d To help consumers quickly and easily identify personal care products and cosmetics that are healthy, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently launched the EWG Verified: For Your Health mark. At the end of January, H&M, the Swedish retailer, launched the Conscious beauty product line, which is formulated with organic ingredients and Ecocert approved. The collection features 30 skin, hair and body care products at affordable prices.

Based on Ayurveda medicine, Arya Essentials is a natural skincare line formulated with Ayurvedic doctors in India. The newest product in the line is an oil based Botanical Cleanser. The cleanser is formulated with turmeric and papaya seed oil to soothe and exfoliate the skin. In October 2015, Couverture & The Garbstore launched the No Chemicals range, which includes unisex perfume oil and roll-on, two candles and a box of wooden incense sticks. According to the company, the line is “completely free of chemicals and synthetic ingredients.” The Lux Puff is a new and unique, 2-in-1 bath and shower tool that offers an ultra-soft, microfiber cloth side that flips inside out to a gentle, exfoliating loofah. It contains Polygiene, an all-natural silver salt that is said to effectively block the growth of bacteria, mold, and fungi and is environmentally friendly.

Lastly, while not a product, but an important and influential law that will affect the formulation of soaps, toothpastes, and body washes is the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015. The act prohibits the manufacture and introduction of products that contain plastic microbeads.

Take a Bite out of a Plant-Based Cheeseburger

Once reserved for vegetarians and vegans, plant-based diets are becoming more mainstream and there’s been an increased interest in plant-based beauty. In addition to looking for healthier choices for themselves, consumers are gravitating towards healthier choices for the environment. According to “Cassandra’s Body Mind Soul” report, Millennials are more aligned with the “food movement” and are interested in sustainable food sources and ethical eating.e

A plant-based diet is not necessarily a generational issue. In May 2015, 21 plant-based businesses submitted commentary to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to highlight a plant-based diet’s ability to address the nation’s nutrient deficit problem. In July 2015, the “PlantPure Nation” documentary was released to show the power of a plant-based diet and how it helps prevent and in some cases reverse chronic conditions.

Impossible Foods by Patrick Brow created a plant-based cheeseburger. The company identified the key components of meat as amino acids, fats and nutrients and used a variety of plant sources and processing techniques to meet the functional, taste and textural criteria of a real cheeseburger. According to Impossible Foods, the company’s goal is to make foods that are tasty, but have no cholesterol, hormones or antibiotics. Veggemo by Global Gardens Group, is a plant-based milk-like beverage formulated with pea protein, tapioca from cassava roots and potato starch. It’s available in three flavors—Original, Unsweetened and Vanilla.

Sakara Life, the New York City and Los Angeles organic based plant-based meal delivery service, increased their reach and now offers their service nationwide. To expand their lifestyle brand, they also launched the S-Life magazine. Plant Power Fast Food opened its first plant-based quick service restaurant in San Diego, California with plans for expansion. On the other side of the pond, British blogger Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella, opened the Mae Deli, her first brick-and-mortar café. Known for clean, vegan, plant-based recipes that are free of sugar and gluten, the café offers a variety of Ella’s signature dishes.

Plant-based Beauty

Last year, model Elle MacPherson partnered with Dr. Laubscher, PHD Nutritional Doctor and launched the Super Elixir by WelleCo supplement. Made in Australia, it took 10 years to formulate and the plant-based powder includes more than 45 ingredients designed to alkalize the body. This year, Gwyneth Paltrow and Juice Beauty debuted the Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Color Collection. Formulated with creamy plant-based ingredients and cold-pressed oils, the clean makeup collection comprises 78 organic products. In February, Australian brand, Babescrub, added the Super Food Oils range to its collection. The Babescrub brand is Australian certified cruelty-free, suitable for vegans and formulated with a mixture of plant-based and certified organic oils. The new line is available in four variants: Superfood Face Elixir - Pomegranate + RoseHip, For Vitality + Plumping; Superfood Décolleté Youth Juice with Spinach + RoseHip, For Vitamin C Repair + Anti-ageing; Superfood Rock Star Body Oil - Sage, Citrus + Chia, Omega 3, For Healing + Antioxidant; and Superfood Body Oil - Orris Root & Watermelon, To Hydrate + Glow.

Norabloom Botanicals, a luxury organic skin care line and spa in Ithaca, New York, introduced the Norabloom Organic Herbal Sip + Steam Blends in three varieties. This dual-purpose line is gluten-free and caffeine-free and can either be imbibed or used for a steam facial. The Soothe + Heal Blend is made with nettle, oatstraw, lemon balm, linden flower and rose flower, while the Detox + Restore Blend combines burdock root, dandelion root, milk thistle seed, oatstraw, peppermint leaf, ginger root and hibiscus flower. Balance + Maintain Blend features nettle leaf, chamomile and goji berry.

Alternative Naturals by Keys is a novel new line of six vegan and chemical free, fruit and vegetable jelly-based products similar in texture to petroleum jelly. For example, the AvoJel is formulated with pure organic jellied avocado oil, while the VaporJel is made with pure organic jellied avocado oil, natural camphor, menthol and eucalyptus essential oils.

Wellness, at Your Service

Health and wellness encompasses many aspects of an individual’s life and brands are creating full-service wellness offerings and communities to integrate products and services. Naturopathica Chelsea is a new healing art center and spa located in New York City. The center offers “holistic experiences to inspire self-discovery and well-being” and has a Vitality bar, Remedy bar, Sensory and Meditation Lounge and Spa. The Vitality bar carries herbal tonics, elixirs, teas, cold-pressed juices and kombucha, while the Remedy bar features custom therapeutic remedies.

EatingWell magazine owned by Meredith Corporation collaborated with Bellisio Foods, Inc. to create a healthy frozen foods line expected in fall 2016. The EatingWell brand will focus on single-serve frozen entrees, with future plans to develop multi-serve meals, appetizers, sides, snacks, breakfast items, dessert and breads.

Even Hotels, owned by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), is a chain of “holistic wellness” hotels that specialize in healthier food choices, fitness experiences and relaxing spaces. In 2014, Even Hotels in Rockville, Maryland and Norwalk, Connecticut opened and New York City followed in November 2015. IHG has rapid expansion plans with five Even hotels in the pipeline, including two in New York (Manhattan and Brooklyn); Seattle, Washington; Miami, Florida and Omaha, Nebraska. Similarly, Equinox, the owner of Equinox gyms, SoulCycle and Pure Yoga announced plans to launch a “hospitality brand intended for health conscious travelers.” f The first hotel, expected in 2018, will be located in the Hudson Yards neighborhood in New York City.

In July 2015, Boston-based Wellcoin, the world’s first health currency, launched a website and mobile application to help Americans lead healthier lives. Users report and verify healthy activities such as eating, drinking, exercising and even sleeping and then are rewarded with wellcoins. Wellcoin partners with name brands, such as Whole Foods and Sports Authority. Members can use their earned wellcoins to purchase rewards such as healthy food, workout gear and fitness classes.

Evolution of Health and Wellness

Health and wellness is a broad topic that touches many aspects of an individual’s life. Consumer packaged goods and services are just one fundamental piece of the health and wellness puzzle. According to a 2014 study conducted by Women’s Marketing and Rodale, the global wellness industry, which includes 10 sectors including, beauty, vitamins and supplements, healthy eating, weight loss, fitness, alternative medicine and wellness travel is estimated to be $3.4 trillion.g

Health and wellness will evolve as consumers and manufacturers continue to define healthy lifestyles, diets and behavior. For example, according to data from the “Nielsen/NMI Health and Wellness in America 2014” report, 75% of respondents feel they can manage health issues through nutrition (aspiration), yet 50% say it’s a challenge to eat healthy (behavior).h Nielsen’s “Global Health and Wellness - January 2015” report, revealed that three quarters of global respondents who are trying to lose weight plan to change their diet, and nearly as many (72%) plan to exercise. i New research from Mintel reported that, in addition to American’s eating healthier and exercising, respondents are taking proactive measures to lead healthier lifestyles, including focus on relaxation (49%), maintaining a work/life balance (48%) and focusing on mental health (43%). j

Health and wellness will evolve as consumers and manufacturers continue to define healthy lifestyles, diets and behavior.

Plant-based products and popular label callouts, such as “organic,” “natural,” “clean” and “free of” claims will continue to be used to signify healthy attributes. Technology will play a significant role in the future as new fitness initiatives and wearable health tracking technology becomes available and is incorporated into product use. Expect to see more activity in full-service wellness offerings and communities, such as healing centers and hotels. Health and wellness is a continually evolving subject and within the beauty, food and beverage arena it will offer new opportunities and challenges for fragrance and flavor suppliers and consumer packaged goods manufacturers.

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