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What are some of the biggest wellness sub-categories?

Today, wellness comprises many sub-sectors, from digital fitness and functional food to financial wellness and clean beauty. Let's explore.

Throughout the last decade, the concept of wellness has exploded – giving birth to a multi-trillion-dollar industry in its own right.

What was once identified more broadly as a movement associated with yoga, fitness, and healthy eating has evolved into a complex ecosystem of overlapping and converging categories that are being reimagined and repackaged through a wellness lens?

Wellness sub-categories

Today, wellness comprises many sub-sectors, from digital fitness, sleep, and functional food to financial wellness, athleisure, and clean beauty –– each category ripe with disruptive start-ups and established businesses alike.

To help map out the industry further, let’s explore some of these sub-categories and the types of brands operating within them.

Fitness and Mind-Body

Boutique Fitness

Revolutionising the fitness market via its consumer-first and differentiated approach, boutique fitness first emerged as a way to offer people a more personalised, intimate and experiential-driven approach to working out. Over recent years, it has begun to integrate cutting-edge tech and emerging consumer trends to remain relevant.

Digital Fitness

Today, apps and other digital fitness platforms that enable consumers to work out where they want, when they want, are serving millions of people around the world. Their convenience, accessibility, and ability to break down some of the barriers to entry associated with exercise has seen them skyrocket in popularity –– fears and restrictions associated with the Coronavirus pandemic have further propelled them to the forefront of the fitness category.

Other related sub-categories: athleisure, yoga, connected fitness, recovery, business tools and aggregators, premium gyms, sleep.

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Personal Care, Beauty and Anti-Aging

Clean Beauty & Body

With millennials and Gen Z continue to lead the shift towards more responsible and ‘better for you’ consumption –– both in terms of what they’re putting in and on their bodies –– clean beauty and body brands prioritising natural ingredients and transparency over fads or quick fixes have carved out a booming sub-category for themselves.

Sexual Wellness & Personal Care

The brands that fall within these sub-categories are filling a gap for more accessible, affordable routes to entry and the normalisation of previously taboo topics associated with sexual wellness, feminine care, and men’s wellness.

By using slick packaging, unconventional messaging, and simplified processes, they’re tapping into the psyche of Gen Z and millennials.

Other related sub-categories: sustainable & eco-friendly beauty and body, CBD-infused beauty and body, men’s wellness.

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Healthy Eating, Nutrition, and Weight Loss


Filling a gap in the market for consumers searching for alternatives to existing animal-based products due to their associated health and environmental benefits, plant-based products have seen a huge uptick in popularity over the past few years. The global plant-based food category is predicted to hit $85 billion by 2030, according to UBS [1], while sales of fresh plant-based meat alternatives almost doubled every month in 2020 [2].

Meal Delivery Boxes

A revolution in convenience and instant gratification, the booming meal delivery category has exploded with options catering to a generation too time-starved or burnt-out to cook from scratch. Whether powered by plants, organic farm-frozen, or pre-portioned to support specific lifestyle goals, brands are carving out a niche by understanding the motivations of their customers and communicating their value.

Other related sub-categories: cafes and restaurants, functional nutrition, CBD-infused, zero or low alcohol, gut health, kids’ wellness

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Preventative and Personalised Medicine and Public Health

Women’s Health

A new generation of products and services are giving women direct access to credible and convenient healthcare solutions that tackle everything from infertility to menopause. By simplifying processes and delivering a more welcoming, inclusive experience, these providers are creating a new category of care.

At-Home Testing

By catering to individuals who want to take charge of their health and make proactive changes in line with ‘prevention rather than cure’, at-home health and wellness testing concepts are experiencing rapid growth. Most commonly analysing blood, DNA or the microbiome, these services aim to provide individuals with the insights and recommendations needed to make better lifestyle choices.

Other related sub-categories: functional health, telemedicine, digital therapy

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Empowered health, which includes women's health, functional health, and at-home testing

Please note, these sub-categories only represent a snapshot of the entire wellness industry. As the industry continues to evolve, new categories will form and cement themselves as separate industries in their own right.


[1] UBS Predicts Plant-based Meat Sales Could Grow by More Than 25% a year to $85 billion by 2030

[2] Is Coronavirus Accelerating the Growth of Plant-based Meat?

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