Why everyone is riding the Wave of Wellness, even Barbie

This week, a press release from toy company Mattel announced that the Barbie range is now welcoming a new addition to the collection; The Wellness Barbie. This follows a trend Mattel has been setting recently, modernising its famous toy to encompass more inclusive and realistic depictions of Barbie – even including Barbie dolls with disabilities and skin conditions.

Mattel’s next step into the world of wellness proves that what was once considered a small pocket of activity reserved for those who regularly do yoga, buy self-help books and do juice cleanses, is now a global movement and, more importantly, a hugely profitable market.

Why, more specifically, is Barbie into wellness?

The press release answered this very concisely; “The Barbie Wellness collection will introduce girls to the benefits of self-care through play…The collection teaches girls daily routines that promote emotional well-being and includes three key themes: meditation, physical well-being, and self-care; because Barbie knows to be one’s best is to give yourself the best care.”

So why is ‘Wellness’ the next big thing?

The answer is relatively simple. With constant stimuli around us – busy schedules, 24/7 digital contact, political turmoil, environmental crises and world disasters – people feel an overwhelming need to revert internally to look after themselves, make themselves feel better and look better.

So much so, that according to analytics firm GlobalData, the wellness industry, encompassing nutrition, fitness, cosmetics and more, is now worth up to £2.8 trillion worldwide. According to the Global Wellness Institute, the sector is growing rapidly. By 2022, British consumers are forecast to spend £487 per head annually on “wellness”.

But Barbie is just a toy. Isn’t it a bit of a strange jump?

Not at all. In fact, as a health, fitness and wellness agency, we would argue that if a brand wants to be taken seriously, it will incorporate an element of wellness into its offering. Similarly to sustainability, brands that are evolving and incorporating ways of giving back to the planet and ways of giving back to an individuals’ overall health, are the ones doing the best and have the most longevity.

Not just that, but it also shows the longevity of the wellness industry. By targeting children with the messaging of wellness, self-care and looking after yourself, Mattel is showing that wellness is a big movement but it’s also one that is here to stay for many generations.

Is wellness just a trend though?

Wellness and self-care is not a new phenomenon. Certainly, the news agenda is more eager to talk about it at the moment, (partly in thanks to good PR work…) but the subject has actually been having a steady increase in popularity over the last few years. Even psychologists are pointing out that it has no reason to slow down. According to Gracy Obuchowicz, a self-care facilitator, mentor and coach, this may be because, “People are really hungry for knowledge. We are beginning to recognize that paying attention to our needs can be used to promote a better understanding and well-being around us.”

If you’re considering incorporating wellness into your brand offering or finding your feet in the health and wellness industry, we specialise in strategy, marketing, advertising and PR in the sector and would be happy to help. Get in touch here: info@actionpr.co.uk 

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