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New report identifies five growth areas, including the metaverse and personalisation

Mindbody and Class Pass have released the 2022 mid-year wellness trends report
It focuses on five trends and predictions based on research and findings from wellness brands
Demand for wellness, in-person experiences, the metaverse, personalisation and positive company culture are the top trends
Report confirmed concept of wellness now extends far beyond weight loss and aesthetics
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Mindbody and Class Pass have released their 2022 Mid-Year Wellness Trends Report which reveals their predictions following two years of pandemic upheaval.

By combining research with findings from leading wellness brands, the report identifies five key trends: the embracing of in-person experiences; growth of gamification and the metaverse; importance of personalisation; positive company culture (addressing skills shortages); and increased demand for wellness experiences.

The embracing of in-person experiences

“IRL (in real life) is here to stay”, say the authors. According to Class Pass, February 2022 saw the most reservations since February 2020 with 10 per cent higher booking rates than before the pandemic.

“Our data also reveals that 82 per cent of Mindbody app users are using the platform exclusively for in-person bookings, while just 14 per cent are seeking virtual offerings,” it continued.

According to the research, this strong return to in-person experiences presents growth opportunities. “Almost a third of our fitness customers plan to expand their business into more locations by December 2022,” it stated. “Additionally, those who have accepted funding through the Mindbody Capital offering report most commonly using the funds for payroll and hiring, new equipment, and expansion-related expenses.”

Growth of gamification and the metaverse

As adoption of AR and VR spreads throughout the industry an “immersive gamification” of the industry is underway, expanding the use of the metaverse”. This trend is predicted to continue, with 23 per cent of American consumers already exercising at home with a virtual reality app. “Additionally, 32 per cent are excited about AI’s ability to look at fitness personal data via apps or other technology and provide personalised suggestions,” stated the report.

Many at-home users are incorporating AR and VR workouts into their week because gamification makes it more fun. It allows potential future club members to “up their fitness level before joining a gym”.

The importance of personalisation

A recent McKinsey report revealed that 71 per cent of customers expect personalised interactions with companies and that 76 per cent get frustrated when this doesn’t happen. McKinsey also found that people are more willing to share their data than ever before.

Mindbody comments that personalisation is nothing new to wellness brands and notes that personalisation will continue to be a necessary priority for fitness and wellness operators.

While customers are more relaxed about data privacy, it is still very much a concern, so they should always have the choice to opt in or out.

Positive company culture

A study from the International Franchise Association and Frandata found that 90 per cent of respondents reported franchisees are having trouble finding “skilled workers, unskilled workers, or both”.

The Mindbody report asserts that flexibility and company culture – including jobs with wellness perks and benefits – will be increasingly important. Appreciation, training and individual empowerment are all described as being ways employers can boost staff retention. The report adds that “88 per cent of professionals say they're more likely to recommend a workplace that supports their wellbeing.”

Increased demand for wellness experiences

Mindbody confirms that the concept of wellness now encompasses an array of elements that extend far beyond weight loss and aesthetics.

“These days, wellness means reducing stress, feeling confident, and finding a sense of community and belonging,” reads the report. “It spans mental, physical, and spiritual dimensions – and, according to recent Mindbody research, consumers in the US, UK, and Australia are all prioritising mental wellness above all other facets of wellness.” Before the pandemic people exercised to lose weight and today it is to “reduce stress and feel better mentally”.

According to Mindbody data, 86 per cent of the company’s app consumers exercise three times a week or more and the number of people who walk outdoors has risen from 33 per cent in 2021 to 71 per cent in 2022. Weight training, yoga, hiking and HIIT are the most popular forms of activity.

The report concludes: “There is an opportunity in the market for businesses to expand their offerings to accommodate this consumer shift and offer all-around wellness experiences.”

The Mindbody and Class Pass 2022 mid-year wellness trends report can be accessed here.

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Mindbody and Class Pass have released their 2022 Mid-Year Wellness Trends Report which reveals their predictions following two years of pandemic upheaval.
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