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New Global Wellness Summit report forecasts top 12 wellness trends for 2023

By Megan Whitby    31 Jan 2023
Communal wellness continues to be labelled as one of the hottest trends coming down the track for the wellness industry in 2023 / GWS
Wellness in 2023 (and beyond) will be more serious and science-backed, but also more social and sensory
– Susie Ellis
Credit: GWS

The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) has unveiled its annual trends report predicting the trends set to dominate the global health and wellness industry in 2023.

Containing individual chapters dedicated to each trend, the 160-page 2023 Future of Wellness report was unveiled today at a media event in New York City.

The evidence-based forecast is based on the insights of global executives of wellness companies, economists, doctors, investors, academics and technologists that gather each year at the GWS.

This year, in addition to having leading journalists and analysts as chapter authors, trend-spotters include top specialists in that field, including doctors, economists and urban futurists.

The GWS' top 12 wellness trends for 2023

1. Wellness + Gathering: Wellness Comes for the Loneliness Epidemic, by Beth McGroarty

2. Wellness + Travel: From Global Smorgasbord to Hyper-Indigenous, by Elaine Glusac

3. Wellness + Workplace: Workplace Wellness Finally Starts to Mean Something, by Skyler Hubler and Cecelia Girr

4. Wellness + Beauty: From “Clean” to Biotech Beauty, by Jessica Smith

5. Wellness + Cities: Urban Infrastructure Just Might Save Cities, by Robbie Hammond and Omar Toro-Vaca

6. Wellness + Weight: The Skinny on Brown Fat and Eliminating Obesity, by Michael Roizen, MD

7. Wellness + Governments: The Case for Coming Together, by Thierry Malleret

8. Wellness + Water: Blue, Hot, and Wild, by Jane Kitchen

9. Wellness + Sports: New Business Models for Hospitality, by Lisa Starr

10. Wellness + Senses: Multisensory Integration, by Ari Peralta

11. Wellness + Biohacking: The Wild, Wild West of Biohacking, by Marc Cohen, MD

12. Wellness + Faith: Having Faith in Business, by Brian Grim

Radically different consumer values

The 2023 trends show a profound shift in consumer values coming out of the pandemic: from a rejection of a ‘self-obsessed’ wellness to a demand for science and solutions that work.

If in this last decade, wellness led with two lonely models – a swathe of self-care products and digital wellness – the trend “Wellness Comes for the Loneliness Epidemic” details the many ways that the wellness world (and wider world) is tackling the biggest missing cornerstone in health: social wellness, with a surge in new spaces, community models and concepts that put human connection at their centre.

With a critique of wellness as a relentless cultural appropriator, one trend details how wellness travel will shift from “global smorgasbord” to Indigenous wellness at the source.

In the Workplace Wellness Finally Starts to Mean Something chapter, the authors illustrate how fed-up employees, worsening mental health and remote work mean workplace wellness is finally moving from false promises to a meaningful plan of action.

Science is kingFrom ‘Clean’ to Biotech Beauty reveals how we’re moving beyond clean beauty’s often muddy claims to lab-tested, scientist-created “biotech beauty.”

With so much misinformation about diets and metabolic health, one trend – written by a doctor – explores how transforming white fat into brown may be the obesity breakthrough.

A return to wellness roots, with a difference

Various trends illustrate how we’re returning to some of the deepest roots of wellness, but with a radical reimagining. If wellness has always been a sensory affair, new directions in multisensory integration are emerging with light, scent, temperature, touch and sound being blended to create a dramatically new era for sensory wellness.

If water is the foundation of spa, the Blue, Hot and Wild trend predicts that we’ll now be “taking the waters” in deepest nature, with an unprecedented global surge in new-look hot springs destinations – and wild and cross-country swimming going global.

After three years of touchless wellness, people hunger for sensory immersion.

Wellness impacts serious new sectorsWellness has rewritten industries from fashion to real estate, and the report shows how it’ll now transform a couple of very serious, people-impacting sectors, including how a wellness lens is powerfully changing urban design and infrastructure; the opportunities hospitality brands see in embracing pro-level sports; and how wellness is becoming a much bigger focus of government policy.

“Cast your mind back to 2019, the highwater mark of the hyper-consumerist, product-flooded wellness market, with so many evidence-challenged trends every minute,” said Susie Ellis, GWS chair and CEO.

“This report is proof that the wellness market of just three years ago suddenly feels archaic. Wellness in 2023 (and beyond) will be more serious and science-backed, but also more social and sensory.”

Those wishing to read the full Future of Wellness 2023 report can purchase it from the official GWS website.

The 2023 Global Wellness Trends are supported by Biologique Recherche and Art of Cryo.

At today’s media event, a new Global Wellness Institute (GWI) report was also presented: “Health, Happiness, and the Wellness Economy: An Empirical Analysis,” written by Dr Shun Wang, editor and founding member of the World Happiness Report, and GWI researchers Ophelia Yeung, Katherine Johnston and Tonia Callender.

/ Therme Group
/ Shutterstock/DerekTeo
Global Wellness Summit  Susie Ellis 
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