By Rieva Lesonsky

Mintel recently announced its four key trends set to impact North American consumer markets over the coming year. It believes Americans and Canadians are facing uncertainty these days, and as a result consumers will be “attuned to consumer trends across transparency, value, self-care and automation.”

Health and beauty trends are always important to North American consumers, and this year is no different. Self-care and preventative health are essential concerns for consumers, across all demographics, says Mintel.

Stacy Bingle, Consumer Trends Consultant at Mintel, says that while “Interest in self-care and preventative health has been building for decades…a combination of strong forces is bringing these topics into the spotlight in 2018.” In other words, “fake news, global terror threats and sociopolitical unease” are making us nervous. In fact, a psychologist friend of mine says her business has never been better.

So, how are people coping? By taking control of their health. Mintel research shows 41% of Americans and 39% of Canadians say they feel less stressed out because they’re managing their health. Many consumers have already “incorporated proactive wellness methods into their daily routines.”

Bingle says, “The opportunity is ripe… [for businesses] to develop their support roles for the growing number of consumers seeking to better themselves and get ahead of health concerns.” Part of those solutions, says Bingle, include helping consumers create “more personalized pathways to health” in 2018. A myriad of health issues, including, says Bingle, “teens and young adults facing new issues resulting from a lifetime in front of screens and the world’s opioid crisis will demand even more holistic pathways to wellness.”

There are quite a few products available on to help consumers destress, such as a heated neck pad (I wish I had on right now), massage slippers, essential oils, and relaxation candles, or get  fit, like these jump ropes.

You can download a free copy of Mintel’s North America Consumer Trends 2018 report here.