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The Top 5 Trends to Watch in the Booming Wellness Sector

Published June 2, 2024
Published June 2, 2024
Boxed Water via Unsplash

The phrase “health is wealth” has taken on a new meaning in recent years. According to McKinsey research, the wellness industry is growing at a breakneck pace of 5% to 10% per year and has already reached $480 billion. The concept of wellness that grew out of the pandemic has blossomed into many subcategories related to health and beauty, with the divide between the two growing slimmer by the day. McKinsey & Company recently took a closer look at the trends shaping the $1.8 trillion consumer global wellness market in its latest Future of Wellness survey.

The report found that consumers are not just embracing wellness; they are prioritizing it in a way that even surprises McKinsey researchers. This year, a staggering 82% of consumers in the US, 73% in the UK, and 87% in China have reported wellness as a top or very important priority in their lives.

"What we find even more striking is that the focus keeps going up,” says Anna Pione, a partner in McKinsey’s New York office, during a recent appearance on The McKinsey Podcast. “More than half of consumers say they prioritize wellness more than they did a year ago.”

According to McKinsey's research, millennials have been leading the way in spending and participation across different types of product and service offerings. However, this year, the emergence of Gen Z has been particularly intriguing, stepping into prominence and becoming a group to watch in the future.

McKinsey’s Future of Wellness report highlighted the top areas of growth in the wellness space where the firm sees opportunities for companies and brands to step in and bring products and services to market that can help consumers achieve their wellness goals. Below, here are a few of the biggest wellness trends that are casting a sweeping influence over the broader beauty industry today.


Everyone wants to live longer, but more importantly, consumers want to live healthier at every stage of their lives. Healthy aging is a focus for today’s consumers; over 60% of people have said it’s extremely or very important to purchase longevity products, and 70% are planning to buy more products in the future. Younger consumers are interested in preventative services and products that can extend their lifespan while also enhancing their quality of life. Beauty brands and companies can reach these consumers by bringing products to the market that address this need from a healthy aging and/or longevity perspective. Skincare products that used to be described as “anti-aging” might now be better off being positioned as a product that supports longevity, encourages collagen production, or promotes DNA damage repair. Brands like Estée Lauder, Dior, and L'Oréal are investing in skin longevity with reverse-aging technology that has the potential to actually reverse aging.

Clinical effectiveness

It’s official: clean is out. Clinical effectiveness is in. Within just a few years, consumers have made a complete 180-degree change from wanting “clean and natural” products in 2020 to now being more likely to say that clinical effectiveness and scientific backing are consumers' most important priorities. Around half of UK and US consumers reported clinical effectiveness as a top purchasing factor, while only about 20% reported the same for natural or clean ingredients. Consumers want products that live up to their claims, and Pione says there are a few subtrends underlying this shift.

“One is that the inflation environment over the past couple of years has made consumers increasingly conscious of what they spend their money on,” she says. “They want to make sure it works. The other subtrend we’re seeing is there is an element of a baseline standard of clean ingredients.”

Today’s consumers assume that the products on the shelves are “clean,” to a certain extent, particularly in the supplement and beauty spaces. When it comes to what motivates them to make a purchase of one brand over another, they’ll look at clinical effectiveness. Brands that use clinically tested ingredients and share third-party research studies or certifications that help substantiate their product claims are going to come out on top. Additionally, garnering recommendations from healthcare providers or having a medical board that weighs in on product development can also boost the clinical credibility of a brand’s products.

Weight management

Ozempic has changed the conversation around wellness. McKinsey found that 60% of consumers are seeking a weight management solution, and over half of them are looking to lose ten or more pounds. The popularity and ubiquity of prescription medication for weight loss have made it easier for consumers to reach their weight loss goals. According to McKinsey, prescription weight loss offerings in the US were the most highly regarded in terms of effectiveness.

“It’ll be interesting to look out for complementary product and service offerings that may spring up to help consumers meet their health and nutrition needs while they’re taking GLP-1 prescription medication, as well as supplements; things like nutrition bars that help consumers meet their macro needs, lifestyle coaching services that help consumers ensure they’re getting the right nutrients, or fitness routines around their medication,” says Pione.

Hims stock surged 38% after the company announced it would offer GLP-1 injections at a fraction of the cost of brand-name weight-loss drugs Wegovy and Ozempic. For many consumers, GLP-1 injections are a way to kickstart their health journey.

McKinsey believes that given the recency of the GLP-1 weight loss trend, it’s still too early to understand how it will affect the broader health and wellness market, but it’s definitely a space to watch.

Gut health and digestive supplements

The gut is getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. New research shows that the gut is the gateway to health, and some scientists are even calling the gut the “second brain.” Gut health and digestive supplements are some of the subcategories seeing more consistently strong growth within the wellness space. McKinsey reports that over 80% of consumers in China, the UK, and the US consider gut health to be important, and over 50% anticipate making it a higher priority over the next few years.

“What we see in the US and China is that probiotic supplements in the form of a vitamin or pill are the most popular form of treatment. In the UK, it’s more of a nutrition-based approach, so we see consumers prioritizing probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt or kombucha,” says Pione.

Recently, Walmart added a number of buzzy digestive health brands to their supplement aisle, including BelliWelli, Hilma, and Love Wellness. Hilma’s co-founder, Nina Mullen, told Modern Retail that Walmart was “particularly interested” in the brand’s digestive products. Hilma has a range of supplements and remedies in the brand’s portfolio of products, including products focused on immunity, sleep, and tension relief. Walmart chose only to carry Hilma’s digestive products, including dairy and gluten digestive enzymes and its version of heartburn and indigestion relief capsules.

“[Walmart has] been very clear with us that they’re committed to being a leader in digestive health, and specifically interested in offering cleaner natural solutions to their customers,” Mullen told Modern Retail.


Beauty sleep is more than a myth; it’s big business. Sleep ranked as the second-highest health and wellness priority for consumers, but it’s also where consumers said they have the most unmet needs, which means it’s a huge opportunity for brands that can solve this problem in a holistic and comprehensive way.

“We’ve also seen a lot regarding things that help consumers create the environment that’s most conducive to a good night’s sleep: a dark room without distractions, the right type of lighting or lack thereof,” says Pione. “So we are seeing a lot of interesting innovation in the space, and it’s one we find so compelling because sleep is the second-most-prioritized dimension behind health and because of how much consumers expressed that what’s available on the market today isn’t quite enough to meet their needs.”

Some wellness companies have already started to tackle the sleep problem. Supplement brands like Kourtney Kardashian Barker’s Lemme, Olly, Hum, and others offer melatonin gummies, which are supposed to help you fall asleep faster. Moon Juice has several ingestibles aimed at improving the quality of your sleep, including Dream Dust and Magnesi-Om, the latter of which went viral earlier in the year on TikTok as one of the ingredients in a “sleepy girl mocktail.” The Skinny Confidential launched mouth tape earlier this year and immediately sold out. Another mouth tape brand, Hostage Tape, is projecting $40 million in revenue for 2024 and eyeing a Walmart launch for 2025. According to McKinsey, leveraging consumer data to address specific pain points more effectively—including inducing sleep, minimizing sleep interruptions, easing wakefulness, and improving sleep quality—presents an opportunity for companies.


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