More than 170 mio people around the world regularly exercise and join fitness clubs. Russia is no exception – according to the VCIOM national pollster, 60% of Russians go to the gym. Sport-related startups and clothing manufacturers are the most obvious businesses that benefit from this trend. The fitness industry is growing very confidently – according to IHRSA reports, it was estimated at more than $94 bln at the end of 2018. However, the healthy lifestyle hype has prompted other companies, completely unrelated to the industry, to invent new ways of making money. Below are the most unexpected of them according to the CB Insights analytical company.
Exercising in your car
Automakers have eagerly joined the ranks of those making money on healthy lifestyles. Artificial intelligence can turn the interior of a car into a SPA center. But it is with the advent of UAVs that passengers will see a real breakthrough – cars will be finally turned into health capsules with their owners relaxing and improving their health during the trip. The first steps are being taken even today.
The Kia auto concern presented an experimental concept car at the CES 2019 exhibition in the US that can evaluate the passenger’s emotional state and try to improve their mood if needed using lighting control and air freshener flavors. Hyundai debuted with a similar concept at CES in 2017. The automaker has presented a solution to reduce stress from driving by monitoring the driver’s physical and emotional state and trying to change it by adjusting the seat, lighting, temperature and sound in the car.
Mercedes-Benz is also working on its concept of on-the-road SPA. Experimental prototypes can switch between air freshener fragrances and use music to prevent drivers from dozing off. Drivers can synchronize their fitness trackers with Mercedes Me software that adjusts the car’s internal environment based on the driver’s level of stress and other physiological parameters. After leaving the car, drivers get personalized health tips.
Even airports, airline companies and cruise ships are making money off the healthy lifestyle frenzy. This is not surprising because travelers who care about their own wellbeing spend about 130% more on vacation. For example, United Airlines and JetBlue are offering their own meditation and wellness apps as part of their onboard entertainment. American Airlines is cooperating with the Casper mattress company to create comfortable sleeping conditions during flights by providing lower back pillows, pajamas and slippers.
Airports are providing increasingly more opportunities for recuperating after a flight. There are wellness and SPA centers in some US airports where passengers can relax and recharge. ROAM Fitness and FlyFit Global projects offer workouts right after security screening. Sleep pods (such as GoSleep) are also becoming more common in airports.
Of course, fitness cruises are becoming very popular. Major cruise lines in the US are already partnering with Canyon Ranch, a famous SPA resort operator. Cruise ship passengers can benefit from fitness sessions, workshops, presentations and SPA treatments. Blue World Voyages, a new cruise line specializing in healthy vacation at sea, offers yoga sessions, SPA and healthy eating plans.
Cultured meat and marijuana
There is an increasing number of fitness and healthy lifestyle enthusiasts all over the globe who are giving up animal protein and switching to substitutes. Cultured meat manufactures have taken advantage of the situation: according to Euromonitor International, the US market alone is estimated at $1.44 bn and expected to reach $2.5 bn by 2023. In vitro meat has ceased to be something exotic and is now included in menus of fast food restaurants, which healthy living enthusiasts can now visit as well. Burger King, in partnership with Impossible Foods, presented its Impossible Whopper, a burger made from soy and potato proteins. The Subway chain partnered with Beyond Meat to test vegetable products at 685 restaurants in the US and Canada. KFC has tested out a vegan chicken-burger sandwich, and McDonalds is now selling a began burger in Germany.
Hotel chains are showing interest in the growing marijuana market and offer both foods and skin care products in the countries where the use of marijuana is legal. For instance, the James New York – NoMad luxury boutique hotel offers its clients a menu that has cannabis-containing foods, including ice cream, desserts and potato snacks, as well as cannabis-containing beauty and skin care products, such as lotions and face scrubs.
By Olga Blinova