We’re always watching for new trends in the spa and wellness industry. So, we were excited to see the list of new trends as predicted by respondents to ISPA’s most recent US Spa Industry Study.

For the 2017 report, survey respondents were asked what they believe will be the next big new trend that will shape the spa industry over the next year.

Topping the list is “Wellness, health, and fitness.” This hardly qualifies as “new,” but was the most commonly cited trend affecting the spa industry, cited by a third – 32% – of total respondents, 42% of respondents in the resort/hotel sector and 25% of those in day spas.

The rest of the trends were as follows:

  • The use of organic and natural products – 12 %
  • Increasing use of alternative treatments and therapies, such as Ayurvedic therapies, reiki, energy work and salt therapy – 11%
  • Stress management, including practices such as mindfulness and meditation, and “the incorporation of approaches such as lifestyle coaching into the work of the spa”– 8%
  • Trends around making use of technology and adapting to e-commerce … “creating new business demands such as online booking, increasing their use of social media and online promotion and marketing” – 8%
  • Customization and personalization of services to the individual needs of clients – 7%
  • Skincare related trends including “Advanced/results oriented skincare treatment” – 7%
  • Medical and healthcare trends, “often linked to increased demand for medical spa treatments or services” – 6%

This is mostly in line with what we continue to see emerging on the spa and wellness menus of our clients around the world, as well as with predictions from people whose business it is to predict the future.

Regarding “wellness, health, and fitness,” the public is increasingly interested in taking control of their own health and wellness, and that interest is going to grow as technological and scientific advances continue to emerge. Monitoring one’s wellness and fitness with wearables that track biomarkers, for examples is just one of the areas in which amazing things are happening. We’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg there.

And consumer genomics is another realm of wildly exciting possibilities. In a recent interview with Spa Executive magazine, futurist James Canton described a potential future spa scenario this way:

“You have a spa treatment, a Botox treatment, you get rid of your wrinkles, a little lipo, a breast augmentation, maybe take care of those cancer cells, you get a great massage, a rigorous workout, a few cybernetic enhancements for that hip that’s not been doing so good. They upload some new stuff for you. The inborn nano-device inside of you identifies certain genes that are going to express certain diseases, and we neutralize them. Early Alzheimer’s might be edited out.”

Meanwhile, I think that more than 8% of spas should be paying close attention to technological advances as a top trend. The survey found that this was linked to a growing millennial market, and we should know by now as this demographic ages and becomes more affluent, and its purchasing power increases, staying on top of tech advances like online booking, virtual communication, and social media marketing will be required to stay in the game.

But you do know this, even if you don’t think it’s a “top trend.” The survey actually found that one in four spas (24%) is planning to introduce new spa management software in the coming year, up from 19% in the 2016 Industry Study.

I for one am looking forward to seeing how these predictions play out, and what else is coming down the pipeline in 2018.

The next year is going to be a great one.