September 10, 2019 / Trend

Vice to Vitality

One trend that we have been tracking for years is the change in consumer attitudes to health and wellness. Living solely for your vices ended with the Millennium and we look at how this trend is evolving in 2019 with cultural values favouring more of a holistic lifestyle.

This began with a big shift in the party scene, with people looking to balance health and hedonism. Gym cults have taken this on, with brands like Lululemon and Psycle offering Spin classes in night clubs, giving consumers a good work out associated with pleasure; a different kind of high that you get from endorphins after a class.

Young Millennials and Gen Z have grown up with these emerging values, leading to a drop in drinking habits as almost a third of 16-24-year-olds are choosing to avoid alcohol entirely. Reflecting this developing trend of forgoing alcohol, we have seen an increase in dry bars and pubs opening across the UK. Sainsbury’s is launching an alcoholic free pub, The Clean Vic, for two days in central London, joining the already established dry bar, Redemption, which invites guests to:

Spoil yourself without spoiling yourself.

It’s an interesting paradox to see alcohol vilified, whilst psychedelics and cannabinoids (both key players of the ‘90s party scene) are being welcomed under the wellness banner. We wonder how this will extend over the next few years. With more awareness about the addictive side and health detriments of alcohol, will we start to see a decline of alcohol similar to the declining acceptance towards cigarettes in the coming years?

‘Party vices’ are not the only area taking a hit, as consumers look for healthier options within their everyday lives, starting with their morning coffee: in recent years we have seen milk replacements become mainstream, but the new coffee trend is sans caffeine altogether. Chicory coffee, specialised teas and supplement infused juices are becoming popular alternative drinks to the addictive morning coffee. Clean energy drinks and cold-brew teas are also emerging, offering healthier alternatives to this already saturated market.

In 2017 we looked at why brands should be investing in festivals, consumers with the values congregate for shared enjoyment. Going beyond entertainment, festivals are incorporating vitality, hosting pop-ups at larger music festivals and holding fitness festivals in their own right. Wilderness festival was host to brands like HotPod and Aerial Yoga, while festivals like Sweat Life and Wanderlust are gaining momentum.

Moreover, brands are creating bespoke retreats that are focused around mental health, fitness and recharging. Juxtaposing the alcohol bingeing breaks, brands are focusing on consumers growing concern for wellbeing, offering ultimate retreats that are good for your health.

Playing on the Ibiza party scene, KIN, who specialises in natural vegan and whey protein powders and supplements, run wellness retreats to help consumers refresh and explore a community of likeminded community. An escapist mindset, mixed with the ultimate vacation experience without the guilt-ridden feelings of a binge-worthy holiday, consumers are growing to indulge in this and connect with similar people.

In the past ten years, we have seen on-going trends support the vice to vitality revolution. Future cities are looking to be informed by a more democratic and holistic approach to wellness. From self-care becoming an everyday necessity, to open and honest conversations about mental health, to the relaxed attitudes around cannabis, we are now seeing some of the sources of our societal anxieties transformed into healthier alternatives.

We expect to see future cities build to be equipped to sustain levels of healthier living. From modes of transport that help build community, to buildings that are designed with mental health in mind, to bars that cater to non-alcoholic beverages – cities are undergoing a transition.

Key Insights

  • Consumers are viewing health more holistically. Brands should be considering how to create environments that benefit consumer needs from a mental, physical and environmental perspective.
  • Community is a big topic at the moment as levels of anxiety and loneliness rise to an all-time high. Creating spaces that are supportive and inclusive of changing societal values and cater to the needs of people looking to rid of previous vices.
  • Tech will evolve to help us with decision-making and help us live healthier lifestyles. Wearable tech helps us understand how we can be more active from correcting posture to tracking fitness level more accurately.

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