The shift toward health(ier) choices has been happening steadily for many years. It's not that consumers are recognizing new needs. We have fundamentally wanted to live our best lives all along. We've wanted to look good and feel good and do the best we can for ourselves, our children and our pets.

What has changed - and what will continue to change - is our expectations of how those needs can be addressed.

With every new service or new product that is launched, with every innovation we become aware of, so do we become aware of what's possible. Many of these possibilities awaken previously un-expressed unmet needs, or needs that we had not previously entertained because we didn't think them possible to solve.

With every new service or new product that is launched, with every innovation we experience, so do we become aware of what's possible.

When it comes to wellness, a great many categories come into play, because there are many facets to health that all work together to make us healthy, physically, mentally and emotionally. When all these facets are cared for and working well, it's easier for us to live our best lives. They cannot be viewed in a silo. For example, the importance of sleep cannot be understated, and there are products to address sleep directly, but sleep can also be affected by a myriad of factors including home environment, anxiety, nutrition and fitness.

More recently, we are also waking up to a sense of urgency about not only wellness for ourselves, but the wellness of the planet. Planetary health is about making sure that the Earth is a healthy place to live for all living beings on the planet. Consumers are increasing recognizing that their choices in the aggregate can have an impact, not just for themselves but also for the health of the planet - which will ultimately impact our physical health.

9 interconnected facets of wellness

  • Fitness
  • Nutrition
  • Women's Health
  • Sexual health
  • Mental and behavioral health
  • Sleep
  • Social health
  • Financial wellness
  • Pet health

Facet-by-facet, here are some interesting facts that may help you think differently:


The pandemic has given a boost to the at-home fitness industry, with both equipment and the monthly subscription service to keep you using it.  A consistent fitness routine also helps with stress and anxiety, sleep, and keeping pain at bay. There are also fitness offerings that target specific issues. These apps have the added benefit of providing a cue to efficacy - less low back pain in the case of Kiio - keeping users coming back time and again. We expect fitness offerings to evolve to better address the specific fitness needs and goals of different targets.


We've all heard that old adage "you are what you eat" and "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", yet now we are increasingly better understanding the relationship between gut health and both general health and mood. We predict the new hot "super-foods" will be showing up in all kinds of food products from fresh-packaged produce to supplements. Also, consumers, increasingly aware of the impact of growing methods on their food choices, will begin to look at method of growth for their produce as carefully as they look at ingredient labels. For example, tomatoes grown by Village Farms use recycled water, beneficial insects for pest control, and 97% less land than conventional field growing. Consumers will not just make these choices to impact planetary health, but also to enjoy safer, more flavorful and nutrient-dense food options.

Women's health

Women's health is a vast area ranging from FemHy to osteoporosis and everything in between. We see companies trying to educate women more directly about options for common problems, such as Hologic's Novasure campaign, making women aware of a outpatient procedure to address heavy periods. More recently, there's been a lot more attention paid to understanding menopause (and perimenopause), and, with our aging population, we expect to see more solutions addressing this target with specific solutions involving fitness, nutrition, sexual health, mental and behavioral health and sleep.  Hormonal imbalances are increasingly reported in women, and sedentary lifestyles and already high consumption of multi-vitamins and probiotics are believed to be drivers of women's health today.

Sexual health

Sexual health is an important part of life and we've come a long way since when the only products available on drug store shelves were condoms. J&J's KY brand of personal lubricants - and the ads that supported them - helped to normalize conversation about healthy intimacy. Sexual wellness and sexual enhancement is intertwined with fitness and sleep, as well as anxiety and depression.

Mental and behavioral health

Even before the pandemic occurred, we were leading increasingly always-on, stressed out lives. The leading use case for the behavioral health tools market is anxiety and depression. The rising incidence of depression, stress and other mental health conditions is a major factor that is expected to boost the brain health supplements. We are also more open to digital therapeutics to help with these issues. I counted no less than 14 different mindfulness or medication apps. The connection between regular exercise and mental health is well established.


Of all the facets of wellbeing, sleep is possibly the most foundational. Getting enough sleep improves our mood, productivity and ability to learn. People with sleep deficiency have a greater risk of many health complications, including heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and obesity. Many of these overlapping facets impact our ability to get a good night's sleep with anxiety, as well as nutrition and fitness to tackle obesity, a cause of sleep apnea, being particularly high on the list. Up to 35% of adults are estimated to experience insomnia symptoms or sleep disorders, and the sleep aids market is a $30b industry in the U.S. alone.

Social health

We view social health as the ability to feel connected to others and to society. Good social health not only means not feeling lonely, but also includes feeling productive. Enjoying social health is correlated with good mental and behavioral health, possibly due to more social interactions, good fitness due to a higher level of activity and generally getting more enjoyment out of life. Examples of categories that encourage social health include cooking, arts and crafts, social fitness and pet ownership. As our population ages, we expect more innovation aimed at social health.

Pet health

The benefits of pet ownership for people of all ages is well known. Pets can bring joy and purpose to a home. In older people, those who are pet owners show slower deterioration in the activities of daily life than those who do not. Keeping pets healthy and happy is therefore important to support the overall health of owners. The primary focus in pet wellness has been around nutrition, but there is also opportunity to address the holistic wellness needs of pets, especially around fitness.

Any brand wishing to participate in these areas needs to realize that these facets are intertwined. A positive feeling regarding one may impact one or more other facet, but this can go the other way as well. Marketers need to keep this in mind as they strive to better understand the health and wellness consumer and the consumer's expectations for a brand. In the end, true health and wellness, or at least the consumer's perception of it, is how these facets work in concert to positively impact one's well-being.

When all facets of wellness are addressed, it's easier to live our best lives - Photo Photo by Joshua Balsamo on Unsplash
Lisa Brookins

Lisa is a marketing and brand strategist with a deep experience creating, launching, and generating demand for CPG products in Canada and the U.S. She has been with Compass Marketing since its founding in 2009.

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