From culture to travel, food and drink to retail and beauty, health will be baked into consumer goods and experiences in 2019.

Welcome to The Future 100: 2019 from The Innovation Group at JWT. In the 100 emerging trends across ten categories, the future is clearly health-driven, according to the tea-leaf readers at JWT.a

  • Health is all over,
  • Culture
  • Tech and innovation
  • Travel and hospitality
  • Brands and marketing
  • Food and drink
  • Beauty
  • Retail
  • Luxury
  • Health (as a category itself)
  • Lifestyle.

I’ve mined this report in previous years – you can review my findings from the 2017 report here in the Health Populi post, Health is Everywhere in 2016.

Among the ten trend-examples in the Health section, I pulled out Healing Cafés here. This speaks to an increased awareness of mental health, recognizing the mass experience/prevalence, the under-supply of professional therapists, and the opportunity to leverage the available supply of public spaces for “recharging and rebalancing in hectic cities,” JWT observes. I’ve experienced an example of this in London at the Frazzled Café which is sponsored by Marks & Spencer, the retailer, and inspired and founded by Ruby Wax. Ruby is a British performer, writer, and all-around lovely human. The Frazzled Café convenes bi-weekly meet-ups in Marks & Spencer Cafés for people throughout the UK, conceived as places where “it’s OK to no be OK.”

In the U.S., HealHaus in Brooklyn offers such a respite. “At HealHaus, we question how we work through the harder topics, not just the easy ones,” the studio’s founder told JWT.

The concept of Healing Cafés is most popular in Asia, where living in very crowded cities is a norm for many people. 

Health Homekits Upgraded is another Health trend to note in the JWT report. This addresses the growing DIY healthcare/self-care concept powered by personalized medicine and technology that helps to scale it. As an example of the trend, JWT talks about tech-enabled fertility programs in the hands of consumers. People order tests online, complete their “homework,” and return samples back to labs. After data are crunched through AI systems and reviewed by medical professionals, the companies develop personalized treatment plans and recommendations. The write-up mentions Thorne Research and Modern Fertility, along with Biem further expanding the market for sexual health testing. “We want to empower people, make them proud of getting tested, and make that become the norm,” Beam founder Bryan Stacy explained to JWT.

JWT also recognizes consumers’ growing embrace of food-as-medicine in the trend Nutritional Snapping. “These apps illustrate the potential for tech to simplify consumers’ paths to optimal well-being,” JWT summarizes. The barrier to food tracking has been lack of simple ways to do it. Increasingly, photographing food and scanning labels is getting easier and more effective to do. JWT features the Pinto app: this tool is built on about 100,000 food products that represent 85% of the top-sellers in the U.S. The platform enables users to identify their preferred eating style (or “food tribe”) — say vegan, paleo, diabetic — and scan products’ nutrition labels to generate a personalized version based on eating style and preferences. For example, a person managing heart disease can identify whether a particular product is high in fat or salt.

The remaining seven Health trends are:

  • Empowering adolescence
  • Rebooting men’s wellness
  • Circadian rhythms
  • Community spas
  • Silence
  • Asia wellbeing wave
  • China health tech.

And you’ll find even more health-related trends blurred throughout the report, such as energy-positive hospitality (part of medical tourism), fitness interfaces, vegan luxury, diagnostic travel, and elemental health experiences, among others. Review the report and you’ll be sure to have some lightbulb moments through your own work and life lenses.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  In the Tech & Innovation list of ten trends, you’ll find Humanizing Tech. JWT describes this trend as tech brands, “trying to blend in, carving out space in our homes and on our bodies to integrate into everyday life.”

Ultimately, nearly every trend on the JWT Future 100 has a technology-underpinning. Tech can scale services, knowledge, and empowerment, especially for health — the most humanizing sector of all industries (or should be, anyway).

Kudos and thanks to the JWT Innovation Group for giving me another great year of thinker-toys to inspire my own work and world.

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