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Contextualizing a defining global wellness market trend

Recently, McKinsey looked into the biggest trends in the $1.8 trillion global wellness market. We looked at their report through our sociocultural lens and contextualised one of their findings:

  • “Fitness has shifted from a casual interest to a priority for many consumers: around 50% of US gym-goers said that fitness is a core part of their identity. Especially among Gen Z’ers, 56%.” 
  • “Building strong communities and offering experiences such as retreats can help top players evolve their value proposition and manage customer acquisition costs.”

Why are experiences and community building important in fitness for Gen Z’ers? First of all, experiences can be captured and shared online, enabling them to express how they want to identify.

Moreover, experiences often involve being with others. Many successful fitness concepts, such as spinning classes or yoga classes with breathing exercises or chants, connect people by enabling them to synchronize their actions. Studies show that when in sync (singing, moving, etc.) our brain makes inferences that we are similar, leading us to feel closer to one another, fostering rapport, and increasing likeability.

Gen Z’ers long for social connection. Some even spend money on anti-loneliness clubs. Connecting them doesn’t always require conversations; achieving synchronization can establish a strong connection that ultimately fosters relationships.

Read on to discover more trends defining the $1.8 trillion global wellness market in 2024.

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Kim Pillen

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Kim Pillen


Before Kim Pillen started as a trend consultant at TrendsActive, she worked for four years as a creative strategist at Dept. For brands such as Philips,, Beiersdorf, JBL, and the Consumers’ Association, she built (online) campaign, brand, and social media strategies. After four years, she decided that she wanted to better understand people and society in order to advise brands more effectively. That’s how she ended up at TrendsActive. Here, she can do what she loves most: digging into people’s needs and then working with brands to see how and where they can be relevant and meaningful.

Douwe Knijff


Douwe is fascinated by how people work. With a background in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (Bachelor) and Psychology (Master) and an analytical mind he tries figure out how societal shifts manifest themselves through social culture and human behaviour.

Aljan De Boer

Keynote speaker

Aljan has been widely recognized as an inspiring professional speaker on the critical trends that will shape society in the decades to come. He works as the Head of Inspiration at TrendsActive, a trend consultancy from the Netherlands using social science to human-proof business decision for brands like

  • Disney
  • Vodafone
  • Hugo Boss
  • ASR
  • Rabobank

Next to his role at TrendsActive he is the Community Director at the Institute for Real Growth where he inspires and connects a global community of +400 CMOs.  

He has been on the board of the Dutch Platform of Innovative Marketing for almost a decade. Regular speaker and moderator for the Dutch Marketing Awards and 3 times winner of the best of MIE. 

Kees Elands

Founder & Strategist

Kees his purpose is to help ambitious leaders and brands to human-proof their business. In 2003 he founded TrendsActive, a trend consultancy enabling brands to become more human centric.

Kees consults global brands like

  • Disney
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • Asics
  • Discovery Channel
  • Swiss Life
  • Vodafone

and many more.

Next to being the founder of TrendsActive, he is also initiator of the first academic trend master for executives at the University of Utrecht and is initiator of various trend studies and white papers on subjects like trust, meaning, visual culture & generations.


Kees Elands

Founder & Strategist

Kees Elands

Founder & Strategist