‘2020’ is here and it certainly has a futuristic ring to it. While we don’t have flying cars or teleportation (wouldn’t that be fun?!) we are thrilled to welcome in some exciting key trends in the health and wellness industry, in no particular order.

1.Planet priority

More brands will shift to environmentally considered packaging, from glass to refillable, as well as biodegradable and home compostable options.

Sustainability is in and single use is out. As people become increasingly conscious of how their purchases impact the planet, they actively identify simple changes to reduce their carbon footprint. Here’s a scary fact: the world produces 260 million tonnes of plastic each year. As much of that plastic is disposable or single use, it’s hardly surprising that plastic pollution has become a pressing environmental issue. More products will start to offer a better packaging option, from glass to refillable, as well as compostable options that don’t need commercial composting facilities.

What you can do: Ditch the bathroom plastic

Local brand Ethique (French for ethical) is on a mission to rid the world of plastic waste. Their beautiful, handcrafted solid bars for face, body and hair (as well as products for babies and four-legged friends) are highly concentrated and water-free. In fact, one shampoo bar is the equivalent to three bottles of shampoo, while the solid conditioner equates to five plastic bottles. To date, Ethique has saved over six million plastic bottles from winding up in a landfill.

2. Zero Waste Periods

Huge growth in zero-waste menstrual items such as flexible cups, reusable pads and highly absorbent underwear.

The average woman uses roughly 11,000 tampons in her lifetime, and they take centuries to degrade. What’s more, the manufacture of these products is both water and chemical intensive. As more women look to ditch old-skool menstruation products in favour of more sustainable options this sector of the market is set to grow.

What you can do: Switch to period panties

Founded by two Kiwi mums that knew there had to be a better option than clogging up landfill with bulky menstrual products,AWWA is leading the way with their supremely comfortable, ethically made period panties. Using a special super-effective absorbency layer, AWWA washable period undies can absorb two regular tampons or pads worth of flow, so it’s not only less 'single use' waste, it’s also less monthly cost. Win win!

3.Clean Beauty

Consumers will see past ‘greenwashing’ and demand more non-toxic and non-synthetic ingredients in their skin care and beauty products.

Store shelves are swamped with brands claiming to be ‘natural’ and unfortunately, many of them don’t live up to the hype in terms of ingredients, quality or effectiveness. However, as the beauty industry’s big players see the potential of investing in truly ‘clean’ personal care products, quality will improve, and the consumer offering will expand.

What you can do: Use a truly clean beauty brand

One clean beauty brand that I really admire is Dr. Hauschka. They’ve been at the forefront of clean beauty since the 1930s and their products are pure luxury. Not to mention, the certified organic plant, oil and wax ingredients are almost exclusively derived from biodynamic farms and under fair trade conditions. Environmental ethics and conservation are at the heart of their operations too. They operate using 100% certified green electricity, provide company bicycles and a carpooling platform as well as pay employees’ public transport fares.

4. Plant based

As concern for global warming of the planet increases, people are reducing or eliminating their meat intake by adopting more meat-free or plant-based meal options.

Protein is still in high demand and there are some high quality, easily digestible protein powders in delicious flavour combinations like peanut butter or salted caramel available. Having a plant-based approach to your diet doesn’t mean meat is off the menu, it means that you are increasing the number and variety of vegetables on your plate. Wholefood options are best. Strange combinations of ingredients that make up a vegetarian ‘chicken’ nugget makes me question not only the health benefits but also the carbon required to produce a highly processed food item.

What you can do: Boost your wellbeing nutritional powders

Vegan wholefood nutrition brand VITUS offers a range of nutrient rich products you can pop into a smoothie or a glass of water to add plant-based power to your day. Vitus products are 100% vegan verified and don’t contain any unnatural additives or preservatives.

5.Brain health

Functioning at base level is no longer enough, people want peak performance of cognition, memory, concentration and focus, at school, work, and as they age.

Brain health has shown huge growth in recent times, and this year I expect to see another surge of interest in this area as people consider the precious gift our brain is. It is really exciting to see the type of ingredients coming out for brain health. Many of these new products (called ‘nootropics’) feature herbal medicines and key antioxidants produced in New Zealand, so it’s a good opportunity for local businesses too.

What you can do: Increase your focus

Arepa is a New Zealand brand that offers a range of top-quality nootropic drinks and supplements to help support a healthy brain. In fact, Arepa have even completed Clinical Trials to assess the cognitive performance and brain activity after drinking Arepa. Arepa contains NZ Blackcurrant and NZ Pine bark as well as L-theanine, an excellent extract from Green tea that helps to calm the mind and rein in focus. Recently reformulated to be low sugar and in a glass bottle, I am a big fan of the brand’s delicious drinks.

6.Edible beauty

Improving the appearance from the inside out with nutritious superfoods, collagen, as well as vitamins and minerals

A nutritious diet plays a big part in how we feel and how we look. I predict the consumer interest in collagen will continue to rise and we will see even more ways to take this supplement, as well as more trademarked ingredients that are suitable for vegans and vegetarians appearing on the scene. Remember, water is one of our greatest allies for healthy, clear skin, so to boost the impact that these amazing supplements have, be sure to get those eight cups a day in you.

What you can do: Eat your way to glowing skin

Nutra Organics are a gorgeous family-owned business, just like us! From vegan protein, collagen and gelatin, superfood blends, lattés and more, their high-quality range of edible powders mix well, taste great, and support health (and beauty!) from the inside out.

7.Moringa

Move over wheatgrass, Moringa is the next wonder green to take the superfood world by storm. Moringa is native to India but grows throughout many tropical areas and is sustainably grown and harvested. Moringa offers great support to any diet but is particularly useful as an addition to the vegan or vegetarian diet as it provides essential amino acids.

BioBalance were early adopters of the amazing Moringa plant and offer a certified organic powder which can easily be added to smoothies or juice. It gets rave reviews from many people – including me – as a fantastic daily energy booster. I also appreciate that BioBalance are BCorp certified, showing they are committed to using their business as a force for good in the world.

8.Mindfulness

Most people live with some level of on-going stressors in our lives and increasingly, they will use mindfulness as a tool to seek peace amidst the chaos.

Stress is so chronic in modern lifestyles, that its mention doesn’t raise an eyebrow anymore. Mindfulness is as simple as taking a moment in a busy day to be present. Simple it may be, but it’s certainly powerful. Studies show that the mindfulness movement can bring very tangible benefits to the mind, brain, and body, and with so many people adopting mindfulness techniques (and feeling better for it!), a huge range of products from apps to ‘sitting cushions’, to yoga products, essential oils, and more are available to support us as we try to be more present in our day.

What you can do: Enhance your mindful practice

Absolute Essential offers a range of oils suitable to bring out the best in every moment. With high quality functional oils, and a strong affinity for clean products, this New Zealand brand is a leader in their field for supporting wellbeing. I particularly like the warm aroma of their Tranquility and Meditation Oil, which has specific relaxant, calming and cleansing properties to help soothe stress and encourage calm in a busy day.

9.Gender Neutral Brands

Skin care and cosmetics that are marketed just for women is a thing of the past!

As gender lines blur, Gen Z and Gen Alpha generations can find more freedom in expressing themselves with products that were once deemed ‘just for females’. And why shouldn’t they? If products are available to support your freedom to be your most empowered self, then use them.

We live in a world where information is everywhere and technology is making things more accessible, helping health and wellness become more available to a wider group of people. This concept of inclusive wellness, where no one is excluded from the possibility of health, no matter their age, gender, or financial situation, will grow to incorporate more people. This is something to be celebrated. Health empowerment belongs to all of us.