Wellness Boom Creates Fertile Ground For Natural Health Startups

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Over the last few years, health and wellness have been top concerns and new products are everywhere, vying for public attention – and while it’s a competitive marketplace, this is good news for startups. Both investors and buyers are interested in exploring new opportunities for enhancing their health and sales are booming.

Selling A Trend

One of the primary reasons that wellness startups are thriving right now is that trendy topics get a lot of media coverage and coverage fuels sales. What’s more, these brands are masters of new media; wellness startups know how to work with PR firms and traditional publications as well as how to push products via social media influencers. Those influencers play a key role in getting new products into mainstream homes through their appealing Instagram posts, blog reviews, and other promotional strategies. Partnerships between wellness startups and influencers help to sell new products in a pervasive yet personal way.

Trend Spotters

It takes more than just media coverage and influencer support for new wellness startups to succeed. They also need to know the trends inside and out. In 2019, these wellness trends include, for example, a big emphasis on circadian rhythms as a component of overall wellness, a renewed interest in the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda, and increased availability of natural wellness products at mainstream pharmacies and grocery stores. This push for increased availability is also a big motivator for new brands trying to break into the market. A larger group of buyers means there’s room for more brands to compete and succeed.

Breakout Brands

Whether you’re an investor, a distributor, or just a shopper, health and wellness startups are excited to make a case for their new products, and many of these products channel traditional medicine and folk practices. For example, projections by Grand View Research say the medicinal mushroom market is expected to be worth $50 billion within the next six years as brands promote the idea of “functional foods” and the anti-inflammatory nature of mushrooms.

Brands like Host Defense are leveraging the medicinal nature of mushrooms with their US-grown supplements, each targeted to a specific function and drawing on the unique compounds of mushrooms such as cordyceps, chaga, and lion’s mane. The fact that these products are American made is of particular importance since, despite the growing popularity of medicinal mushrooms, their roots in Eastern Asia have many consumers worried about the safety of the supply chain.

Another traditional practice startups are promoting with a modern twist is the notion of color therapy and how colors relate to the chakras. So how do you rebrand chakras for 2019? With an app, of course. Pranadigma emits imperceptible flashes of light based on users’ specific health needs, leaving a trace of light that boosts the targeted chakras. It can also support specific healing and wellness goals such as quitting smoking, improved sleep, and pain relief.

Modern Branding

Finally, it’s important to consider how modern branding is changing how startups sell wellness products, a phenomenon that can be traced back to Goop and similar modern wellness brands. Goop’s vitamins, for example, have catchy names like Nerd Alert, Knock Me Out, and Ball In The Air that describe their intended effects, and other startups are following this lead.

At acupuncture-forward startup WTHN, which counts the founders of SoulCycle and Sweetgreen among its investors, supplements based on Chinese medicine are rebranded with millennial-ready names like Oops I Did It Again, a recovery formula, and Dream On, a supplement meant for sleep and relaxation. These products supplement emphasis on acupuncture, which aims to make the treatment more accessible and affordable, but they also fit neatly within the new wellness startup culture.

It’s an exciting time to be part of the health and wellness world with new innovations popping up constantly – but how large can the market get? With falling prices and increased availability in mainstream stores, as well as the option to deliver wellness via an app, it seems like the sky is the limit for today’s startups.

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