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3 Ways the Women's Wellness Industry Is Changing

Businesses addressing all facets of women's health and wellness are taking off as more female founders confidently embark on new frontiers within the wellness landscape.

For too long, women-owned businesses have been dismissed, and wellness products aimed at a female audience have been considered too niche. The predominantly male gatekeepers to funding have lacked the understanding of market demand for such business models, as well as the personal experience of using the products.

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But those dynamics are changing. Businesses addressing all facets of women's health and wellness are taking off as more female founders confidently embark on new frontiers within the wellness landscape. This, according to Baird's 2022 Women's Health & Wellness Showcase.

Baird interviewed several trailblazing companies that are tackling unique issues that women face related to health, wellness, and all-around well-being. "Women-led businesses get disproportionately less funding than businesses that have a male colleague at the helm," says Lauren Leibrandt, Director of Baird Global Investment Banking.

Wellness and healthcare are male-focused spaces, she says, but that doesn't do much to serve the female half of the population. So, Leibrandt and her colleagues set out to speak with entrepreneurs in the wellness space to create an outlook for this fast-growing industry. Here are three ways the industry is changing for the best.

1. Taboos are being destigmatized.

One prime example is businesses that provide both products and education for menstrual health or services and solutions for women going through menopause. Leibrandt says they have traditionally gotten feedback from would-be funders indicating they're "really niche" categories.

"Millions and millions of women get their period every single month," she says. "You tell me how that's a niche or a small category."

Luckily, companies in this space are working to take women's health and wellness out of the "tiny boxes" they've been in for too long. The Baird report notes, "Previously stigmatized topics like fertility, menstrual health, menopause and postpartum are going mainstream and fueling the growth of the women's health market, which is projected to grow at 4.8 percent annually through 2030." Much of that growth is attributable to women's wellness brands pushing the boundaries of conversation in their platforms and advertising.

"We've seen a big shift in consumer categories over the past few years. Those brands are really thinking about what women need and what we're looking for, and they're designing products accordingly. The medical world and the cultural conversation need to catch up to this."
~ Eden Laurin, co-founder and CEO of Nyssa, a women-focused brand offering postpartum recovery, period care, and body awareness products

2. 'Clean' products are just the beginning.

From make-up to food and beyond, "clean" products have been advertised seemingly everywhere. Baird's research found that the category has become inundated; consumers want more, like high-performance, effective products that are good for themselves, their community, and their planet.

"Consumers are analyzing and reading labels on beauty products and wellness products very similarly to the way they do for food," Leibrandt explains. Customers expect companies to provide them with products that meet their values, and female-owned brands are rising to the occasion. And there are no signs of this trend slowing down.

"Consumers are beginning to understand ingredients, and they're increasingly going that extra mile to understand transparency, processing, and potency. You see that already happening with things like collagen and mushrooms."
~ Avalon Lukacs, founder and CEO of Aura Inner Beauty, a premium supplements provider

3. There is no more one size fits all.

While female consumers are searching for products that are good for themselves and the planet, they still want goods that are designed for their unique needs, too. "Wellness is for everybody; it's not just for people that have means," Leibrandt says.

Consumers at every level and every type of budget want goods that are designed by people who understand their specific wants and needs, and female-led companies are listening. Stratification of product offerings is increasing, even as companies aim to serve the broader female market. Designations for consumers of different ages and who are experiencing unique milestones are driving the success of brands in the female wellness space.

"As millennials grow into midlife, they're going to demand better healthcare, better products, and more open conversations," Sally Mueller, co-founder and CEO of Womaness was quoted saying in the report. "They are the generation that's been breaking all the taboos."

Others female entrepreneurs noted that women are "tired of being guinea pigs" and are looking for "access to solutions that really work."

"Today, it's really about creating solutions that someone can personalize to their needs and interests. Being able to track our bodies and cycles is powerful. Women need solutions that are more accessible, more approachable and honestly less expensive."
~ Therese Clark, founder and CEO of Lady Suite

There's space for growth and success in the women's wellness and health industry. Businesses addressing all facets of women's health and wellness are and will continue finding success as more female founders confidently embark on new frontiers within the wellness landscape.

Click here to read Baird's 2022 Women's Health & Wellness Showcase. Click here to learn more about Baird and their commitment to helping businesses grow.


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