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How New Year’s resolutions boost the wellness business

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A customer wears a face mask as they lift weights while working out inside a Planet Fitness Inc. gym as the location reopens after being closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, on March 16, 2021 in Inglewood, California.

Companies peddling wellness can experience a boost in sales after the holiday season as people implement their New Year's resolutions. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

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At the start of the year, when many of us are focused on self-improvement, certain products can start to look like shortcuts. This reporter even received a health and wellness buying guide in the mail in December.

“So literally I could just buy health and wellness,” explained Christine Whalen, a professor of consumer science at the University of Wisconsin. “And that sounds very enticing.”

According to Wahlen, the wellness industry can usually count on a big sales bump after the holidays.

“That is very true,” said Sunil Kholi, CEO of Health Plus Incorporated, which makes dietary supplements. “We always see that happening. Actually it starts a day or two after Christmas.”

Kholi said last January sales were pretty weak, but they picked up this year even with many consumers cutting back on discretionary spending.

Ritual Zero Proof, which makes alcohol-free spirits, also saw strong sales despite rising prices, according to founder Marcus Sakey.

“No, we haven’t seen any impact of inflation,” Sakey said. “In fact, January hasn’t been business as usual, it’s business as hockey stick explosion.”

And it’s not just dry January — spending on health and wellness has boomed during the pandemic. According to Whalen at the University of Wisconsin, not all of that spending has been well-researched.

“I am really a proponent of self-betterment and I certainly love a good spa treatment as much as the next girl,” Wahlen said. “But you gotta show me the data.”

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