Much in the way that fashion has gone through upheavals and paradigm shifts in the past decade — like Lululemon bringing athleisure to the masses or how the luxury market is now enamored with casual streetwear — so is beauty, increasingly blending into wellness and vice versa.
Wellness is not a vertical product category — as it stands, it can pervade almost every aspects of a person’s life. There’s workplace wellness, wellness apps, wellness festivals and wellness retreats from SoulCycle and wellness hotels from Equinox. In fact, beauty, personal care, and anti-aging products within the wellness sector grew over 4 percent to nearly $1.1 billion in 2017, according to the Global Wellness Institute; the beauty supplements category, specifically, is expected to rise to $6.8 billion globally by 2024, up from $3.5 billion in 2016, according to Statista.
It is no surprise then that the wellness beverage industry is trying to tap into the beauty-from-the-inside-out market. Brands like The Beauty Chef and Moon Juice, which launched in 2009 and 2011, respectively, promised to give customers an “inner glow,” through powdered supplements or concentrated liquids, but now Dirty Lemon and Kusmi Tea are prominent players in the beverage market. Newer brands like Recess and Halo Sport, which launched Thursday, are also tangentially marketing themselves as beauty-from-within beverages.
“People not only do cosmetic treatments, but beauty is an inside-out job now, so people do a lot more eating for glowing skin, [taking] ingestibles and supplements,” said Robin Shobin, co-founder of Halo Sport, and founder of the beauty and nutrition website Charlotte’s Book, which sees over 100,000 unique visitors a month.
As the founder of Charlotte’s Book, which is also a directory for wellness professionals, spas and cosmetic procedures, Shobin was exposed to educational content around how sugar, gut health and the microbiome contribute to how one looks from a network of physicians, trainers, dieticians and dermatologists. This knowledge, coupled with seeing that Charlotte’s Book readers were most interested in stories around anti-aging and how to make their skin look better prompted her to create Halo Sport alongside Anshuman Vohra, who previously founded and sold Bulldog Gin.
Over the next several months, Halo will be weaved into content in the wellness section of Charlotte’s Book, as well as the respective blogs and newsletters of people on Halo’s advisory board, made up of professional experts in the beauty and health space, like New York-based nutritionist Keri Glassman. The posts will cover how traditional sports beverages like Gatorade and Powerade do not contribute to your fitness goals and physical beauty, due to their sugar, artificial flavor and coloring content. The plan for Halo Sport distribution, in addition to its direct-to-consumer website, is selling the product not only at boutique fitness studios and gyms but also at athleisure stores, nutritionist and dietician offices, and even in workplace kitchens. This is to help broaden the idea that Halo is not just an athletic performance-based product, Vohra said.
“We intend to be the first lifestyle brand in the sports-hydration space — the athleisure of sports beverages,” he said.
Halo is just one example of a larger narrative around how people are changing their lifestyles in an age of beauty and wellness. Another is that alcohol sales dropped 15 percent between 2006 and 2015 in states with medical marijuana available, partially due to a myriad of reasons including overall health and mental well-being — it is notable that the CBD component of marijuana or hemp has become a staple in beauty products and wellness ingestibles over the past year, too. Dirty Lemon, Dram, Sprig and recently launched Recess are just a few examples of CBD infiltrating the beverage market and positioning themselves as wellness beauty brands.
“Our strategy is about focusing and establishing a use case for having Recess in people’s lives,” said Ben Witte, founder of Recess. “It’s a functional drink, like a sports drink or a [healthy] green juice.”
For Witte, the idea of what makes someone beautiful in the wellness era doesn’t just come from topical creams or physical attractiveness but from feeling good, happy and accepting of oneself. This inclusive idea of beauty is part of the narrative Recess is pushing. “Beauty is the energy you convey, and that comes from confidence. That itself comes from being grounded and centered,” he said.
So far, customers are interested in this story and, of course, product. Within a week of the brand’s launch online in late October, Recess had seen three-times over what it had projected for the month, said Witte, without disclosing revenue figures. Similar to Halo Sport, the plan is to expand Recess’ distribution to a variety of places, including Amazon and Jet.com, in addition to offices, travel hubs, cafes and casual restaurants, and grocery stores.