One in four adults in the developed world suffers from anxiety. Yet, under half receive treatment, according to the World Health Organization. At the same time, consumption of self-medicating stress-relief products, such as cigarettes and alcohol, is declining. The future of socialising will be redrawn. Responsible stimulation and mental wellbeing will be the new normal as consumers seek their “holistic happy.”
Minding Myself is a powerful long-term trend, bringing the mind and mental wellbeing to the forefront of consumer concerns.
Anxiety-relief as a consumer need state
Products positioned for mood enhancement, relaxation, stress- and anxiety-relief and boosting brain function are increasingly prevalent across a range of industries from soft drinks to cosmetics. Legal cannabis is at the forefront of catering to the broad spectrum of mental wellbeing, specifically mood enhancement, using different strains of one ingredient.
Arguably, this dynamic and disruptive industry led the way for other consumer products to position themselves in a similar outcome-based manner. This could be the inclusion of functional botanicals in food and beverage products, such as turmeric, mushrooms, ashwagandha and matcha, or hormone stimulants in neurocosmetics or nature-mimicking scents in beauty products.
Mental wellbeing will shape the future of socialising
In the past, businesses traditionally positioned their brands for consumption at certain times of the day. Now, more products are showcasing how they address a specific consumer need state instead. Alcoholic and soft drinks are prime examples of this crossover seen in the rise of non-alcoholic spirits and hard seltzers. Not to mention, everything wants to be an energy or relaxation drink.
Social isolation in the modern world is growing due to evolving family structures, loss of public space, longer working hours and social media. This is further fuelling anxiety and reducing or ceasing consumption of tobacco and alcohol in social environments.
Players have an opportunity to offer adult consumers responsible stimulation using natural ingredients to deliver a buzz, as well as through the use of molecular alternatives. Further on the trajectory is the potential for controlled micro-dosing, via novel delivery mechanism such as vapour, of entheogens such as LSD, psilocybin and ayahuasca.
The future of stimulants is holistic
Contrary to previous decades, savvy consumers are seeking a more diversified, subtle and targeted approach to the age-old problem of mental wellbeing.
While previously overlooked, active and functional ingredients can enhance the sophistication of an individual’s response to the pressures and complexities of modern life. Through the proliferation of need states, companies are also engaging with consumers in a more direct and meaningful way, providing implicit reassurance that they are willing to travel on this journey with them.
The ultimate goal will be to develop holistic and responsible mental rebalancing solutions that are hyper-customisable and personalised.
To learn more about how the industry is responding and our expert view, download the Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2020.