health and wellness brands


Leading The Future of Health & Wellness

Two Socio-Cultural Shifts to Propel Brands Forward

In an age where wellness trends emerge and fizzle out in the blink of an eye (thanks, TikTok), it's becoming increasingly challenging to discern the true culture shifts from the passing fads. But to make a lasting impact, health and wellness brands must also move with time  anticipating and adapting to the shifts in cultural norms, innovations in research, and technological advancements that transform consumers' experiences and expectations. 


Cristina Ferrari

Senior Strategy Director
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So how do we unravel the real from the fluff? In an attempt to help guide the way forward for health and wellness brands, we’ve unpacked the two primary socio-cultural shifts influencing the health and wellness industry in 2023 and beyond.

#1 Fewer Decisions. More Possibilities.

Oat milk or whole milk? Google Meet or Microsoft Teams? Continue watching or keep scrolling? Dry or oily? Dry and oily? What’s happening here? Can I get off the ride now?
Welcome to the Age of Overwhelm.

Informed by too much information. Defined by too much definition. Whether they’re building a skincare routine or a coffee order, today’s consumers face a constant barrage of questions disguised as colorways, skin types, and shoe sizes. In other words? Options.

Which we’ve loved, to be fair.

There’s a strong argument that opportunities for personalization function as opportunities for self-actualization. When we decide what we want, in some way, we decide who we are.

But with a majority of US adults reporting higher levels of stress than they experienced pre-pandemic — stress that’s taking a mighty toll on concentration, memory, and decision-making — it’s likely that, for many consumers, the idea of “more choices” has lost its charm.

No wonder, then, that 2023 will continue to see the collapse of complexity and the rise of a simple, one-size-fits-all approach to wellness. 
overwhelmed consumer by too many choices

Overwhelm? Binaries? They're Over All of It

One thing is clear—it’s all too much. Nearly two-thirds of consumers feel overwhelmed by choice, with 54% of consumers abandoning shopping carts when the decisions pile up.

The salve? Collapsing complexity and embracing inclusivity.

When executed thoughtfully, a one-size-fits-all approach to branding and product design can break down barriers of age, race, gender, and ability—and ameliorate analysis paralysis for all consumers across the health and wellness industry.  Brands can benefit by adopting a unifying approach— celebrating similarities versus differences. According to Google, 64% of consumers took action after seeing ads they felt were diverse and inclusive, while a surging number of young Americans want to see more diversity in their ads.
health and wellness simplicity
Blurred (fashion) lines – The gender binary? That’s so last season, at least according to 61% of Gen Z shoppers. Expect continued consumer demand for gender-neutral, unisex, and gender-free clothing in 2023 and beyond. Fashion influencers like Young Emperors, who champion gender-inclusive style, will continue to push boundaries—and push fashion brands forward.

Sweeping #skinimalism – Forget 10-step routines and products that tailor to only one gender. Growing demand for pared-down routines and inclusive products will shift the make-up of the beauty market. Just look at the popularity of #skinimalism on TikTok or the success of Alex Carro, a genderless Spanish skincare brand that offers a streamlined product line that suits all skin types and genders.

Accessibility, everywhere – From tech to beauty, expect a fresh emphasis on accessible design that will make self-care possible for every consumer, no matter their ability. Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty line features packaging that makes makeup application easier for those with limited joint movement, while Comcast’s Large Button Voice Remote means users with mobility, dexterity, or vision impairments can navigate leisure with newfound ease.  

#2 Turning On, Tuning In, and Dropping Out

Between the climate crisis, economic concerns, and the Twitter wars du jour, today’s consumers contend with a cacophony of chaos on a daily basis.

Outrage has become ordinary. Anxiety, everyday. In fact, over three-quarters of adults in the US report that the future of the nation is a significant source of stress, the vast majority of all respondents confessing to fears around inflation, crime, and the degradation of civil rights.

Stress is everywhere, all around us, all at once. On the news. On our phones. And it’s unhealthy for our brains and bodies, impacting everything from immunity to cognition. So in many ways, a socio-cultural shift toward escapism aligns perfectly with the wellness industry and feels, pardon the pun, inescapable. 

Escape Artists

How will this mood manifest in health and wellness trends? Expect the rise of immersive products, innovative tech, and mind-bending campaigns that premise a vibe shift—breaking with the mundane for utopic tomorrows and magical multi-verses.
blurred fashion lines
The shroom boom – The microdosing moment seems to be making a macro-impact on product development, with the global psychedelics market poised to reach $8.31 billion. As restrictions loosen up around the therapeutic use of MDMA, ketamine, and psilocybin for mental health, look for a growing number of brands to explore the wellness-boosting potential of psychedelics. In the meantime, consumers hungry for deeper experiences can chew on kanna-infused Ka!

Ceci n'est pas un brand – Our collective yen for unreality will also manifest in health and wellness branding and packaging design. Forward-thinking brands might add a psychedelic bend to their visual assets and marketing campaigns, capturing consumer attention with surrealist imagery and playing with a multi-sensory approach. With evocative, imaginative design, Toiletpaper Beauty is just one brand touting the imagination as the portal to indulgence—and vice versa.

Transcendent tech – Is there anything trippier than moving through a smart city, receiving mental healthcare from highly trained AI, or slipping up a VR headset to plumb the depths of the metaverse and also, perhaps, your psyche? 
While recent interest in psilocybin proves that the natural world has much to offer by way of amplifying experience and furthering wellness, innovations in machine learning and artificial intelligence shows that tech can also serve as quite the escape hatch—a plane for disrupting, enchanting, and healing.

As evidenced by Enosis Therapeutics, a company that integrates virtual reality tech with the therapeutic use of psychedelics, it’s evident that the next frontier of wellness looks a lot like the metaverse. 

Planting Your Flag on the Future - And Moving Your People to Action

As the cultural mood of 2023 becomes one of simplicity, inclusivity, and escape, the health and wellness industry has followed suit. But wellness trends don’t just speak to the current moment. They speak to a vision of the tomorrow we desire and deserve.

A tomorrow that welcomes, delights, and heals. We’ll help you plant your flag there.

As seasoned experts with decades of experience building category-defining wellness brands, we create powerful brand strategies that succeed in today’s shifting landscapes and tomorrow’s imagined vistas. From insight to execution, packaging design to pipeline dev, we’re led by empathy and curiosity—anticipating cultural shifts and the deepest human impulses to drive profound, sustainable brand growth.

With Spicefire on your side, you won’t have to keep up with the future of wellness.

You’ll lead it. 

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