Pivot to video
In the media world, the pivot to video saw publishers cut writers in favor of short-form video content. As a growing number of fitness providers move toward streaming and on-demand content, there’s a pivot to video-like moment
taking place. For established providers, this is less of a ‘pot committed’ strategy and more of an attempt at diversification. MINDBODY
is a prime example.
Following word that Vista Equity Partners will acquire the company for $1.9B
, MINDBODY’s CEO Rick Stollmeyer said
, “You can expect us to be playing in that space, because we think that the on-demand and streaming video revolution hitting the fitness space is a big breakthrough.” Whether or not MINDBODY will be producing and distributing its own content (like DailyBurn) or creating a platform where studios/instructors can upload content (like YouTube) is yet to be seen.
The rise of Big Vegan
In the long read of the week, Bloomberg
took a deep dive into the characters, conflicts, and piles of cash fueling the “vegan revolution”. Between 2017 and the middle of 2018, overall sales of vegan items in the US grew by 20%, reaching $3.3B. With new animal-free upstarts landing millions in funding on a regular basis, we’re left wondering, who’s calling the shots? Enter: Chris Kerr
, the co-founder and chief investment officer of New Crop Capital
, a venture firm that has backed 30-plus vegan food companies, including Good Catch Foods
, Purple Carrot
, and Beyond Meat
While Kerr floors the gas pedal, some purests are pumping the breaks. In an effort to reach mass-market scale, vegan food companies are being financed and operationalized by Big Food — a fact that’s hard to swallow for true plant-based believers. Plus, there are concerns that many of the hottest animal-free alternatives, like the Impossible Burger, aren’t any healthier than the original. Bottom line: the plant-based business is booming
, but the goal of overhauling the global food system is a long way off.
Across the pond
In hopes of expanding into Europe, a growing number of US-based fitness franchises are testing the waters in the UK. With a head start that includes 150 sites, Anytime Fitness
announced plans to open 400 studios in the UK by 2020. Orangetheory Fitness
intends to ramp up its presence significantly, going from three sites to 110 with the help of two master franchise agreements. Following up on the fall launch of its London studio, boutique cycling concept CycleBar
is looking to add 30 more studios in the UK
within five years.
Meanwhile, the 2018 London Boutique Studio Report
shows that the sector has grown 281% over the last five years. Between January and October 2018, 61 studios opened (up from 46 in 2017). All told, an estimated 15,806 boutique classes are currently offered across 278 sites in London each week.
Last week's email, What's Next in Wellness
, featured the Fitt Insider Outlook for 2019
. The piece sparked great conversations with subscribers who have reached out to share their feedback. If you missed it the first time around, we hope you take a few minutes to check it out.