Spafinder Wellness announces 2015 trends

Above: Social fitness is a key industry trend for 2015, according to Spafinder Wellness (Image: Starwood Hotels & Resorts) 

Forrest bathing, the use of cannabis, “blue collar wellness”, wellness communities and hyper-personalised beauty are among Spafinder Wellness’ top 10 global trends for 2015. 

The other trends forecast to be big in 2015, announced in a webinar yesterday, are: wellness traditions from the Islamic world, super-social fitness, spa on arrival, gut reaction and beyond the stars. 

Forest bathing, a term coined in Japan and based on the concept of time spent in the woods is, Spafinder states, driven by a global population in need of remedies for stress and depression. 

With 54% of the world’s population now living in cities, according to figures from the United Nations, access to the forest is a more rare commodity for many, making it more highly prized. 

Urbanisation is also driving the emergence of wellness communities, entire areas designed around a “365° concept of wellness”. High stress levels and an understanding of the positive impact of factors such as green spaces and natural light are behind the boom. 

“With stress levels on the rise, we are seeing much more comprehensive concepts for what wellness living can be: entire communities with a 365-degree approach to wellness, from design and new global guidelines,” said Mia Kyricos, chief brand officer at Spafinder Wellness. 

Spafinder also predicts that in 2015 workplace wellness- a term the company says is fast replacing the expression corporate wellness – will extend beyond the office environment, and also be embraced by employers in industrial workplace settings. 

The company predicts that we will this year see a greater number of businesses in the industrial, manufacturing and transportation sectors offer programmes and services such as health tests, nutritional classes and discounted gym memberships. 

This development is, Spafinder explained, fuelled by factors such as rising obesity levels the world over, employer’s increasing awareness of the potentially detrimental impact of unwell staff on their business and a new employee generation of millennials, with healthier habits and a greater expectations on employers to support those habits. 

The connection between cannabis and the spa and wellness world will deepen in 2015, according to Spafinder, propelled in part by a wave of the legalisation of the drug in some parts of the world, including a number of US states. 

Examples of this trend are the prescription of medical marijuana in medical spas, the inclusion of “non-high inducing cannabis topicals” in beauty products and the growth of cannabis yoga classes. 

The hyper-personalised beauty trend centres on consumers desire for and increasing ability to have beauty products made specifically for them and their skin needs. One of the key groups behind the trend is Generation Z, born from 1995 onwards, who “reject the notion that one size fits all” and seeks custom-made products. 

Spafinder also predicts that Islamic wellness traditions will become even more popular this year, extending beyond the hammam tradition and the use of again oil – which are already well established. 

Susie Ellis, president of Spafinder Wellness, said: “There will be more rasul and mud based treatments, more sand bathing and [increased use of] ingredient’s such as camel’s milk, black seed oil, baobab fruit, frankincense, turmeric and harrissa.”

The super-social fitness trend is, Spafinder stated, seeing fitness assume third place of importance in people’s lives, after their home and work lives. Our social life now to a greater extent revolves around our exercise of choice, from running and yoga to boot camps and Pilates. 

The spa on arrival phenomenon is attributed to factors such as the growing popularity of short getaways and a global population pressed for time. Examples include airport spas and massages offered to guests as they check in to their hotel. 

Spafinder also estimates that the focus on a healthy gut as the key to wellness will “grow even bigger and more credible in 2015,” with more and more spas around the world incorporating gut health into their offering. 

Meanwhile, Kyricos explained that the beyond the stars refers trends refers to a development seeing “traditional rating criteria [becoming] possibly too limiting, when it comes to how consumers are defining luxury in their own minds. Review sites and social media are upping the ante and creating new definitions of luxury.” 

The 2015 report is the 12th annual trends forecast from Spafinder Wellness. 

Spafinder Wellness’ top 10 global spa and wellness trends – 2015 

  1. Forest Bathing
  2. Cannabis: New Spa & Wellness Connections
  3. Wellness Traditions from the Islamic World
  4. Industrial Revolution: Blue Collar Wellness
  5. Wellness Homes, Communities & Cities
  6. My Fitness. My Tribe. My Life.
  7. Spa On Arrival (& En Route)
  8. Hyper-Personalized Beauty
  9. Gut Reaction
  10. Beyond the Stars