The International Spa Association (ISPA) in the August 2016 Consumer Snapshot report discussed the most pursued consumer in the spa industry – Millennials. Millennials comprise 26% of the population, and their buying power equates to almost $1B annually. Understanding the mindset of this new consumer is essential for the spa and wellness industry.

The same ISPA study indicated that women continue to comprise the bulk of Millennials spa-goers, who are seeking more personalized experiences. The study also noted most Millennials visit spas less than five times per year. The major reason for the minimal usage was cost, time, and a lack of familiarity with the spa environment.

With Millennials looking for more experiential services and products, it forces spas, and manufacturers to seek ways to provide customization to this cohort.  Abigail Harris, a Millennial and spa enthusiasts, supported the results of the study, stating she “seeks experiences and creating memories instead of collecting things.” In response to demand, the number of companies providing customizable products has grown over the past few years. The ability to create and adapt products to a client’s particular needs has options available in skincare, makeup, bath salts, body oils as well as perfume lines.

Skincare company such as Kiehl’s enables customers to come into (their NYC) location, meet with a skin care provider and determine the clients’ skin type, skin care needs, that information along with the customer’s preferences is used to create customized skin care products which clients can take home and begin using the same day. An important aspect as Millennials want it quick, fast, and now.

Salt of the Earth (@saltspa) a Utah base product line, uses trace minerals from the Great Lakes within each of the products in the expansive line. Salt of the Earth’s all-natural products including body scrubs, creams, muds and detoxifying mineral soaks are handcrafted and customizable with the use of their Blend Bar and Blend Box.  Spa and Wellness centers are able to blend individual mixes in front of the clients for use in treatments at the location or to use at home.

Body Bliss, the AZ-based company, also provides Spas the option of customizing body creams and even body oils. With an Ipad program, clients are able to pick a combination of oils based on aromatherapy, numerology, as well as, personal preference using the Aromatherapy design bars.

Regarding customizing spa services, Mandarin Oriental’s Time Rituals allows spa-goers the option to book time rather than services. The application of the time concept might be more of a challenge in smaller locations. It is an idea worth exploring as Millennials want to create packages outside of the standard mani/pedi, massage and facial.

These and many other companies give spas and wellness locations the opportunity for Millennials to create one of a kind treatments and products to be used during the service and later at home. It creates a win, win, win for manufacturers, spa locations, and most importantly the Millennial spa-goer.

Sherrie Tennessee, CHE, Doctoral Candidate

Director of Education, SpaSOS

Author, How to Open a Day Spa:31-Day Guide


TW:  @the_spasos

Instagram: @thespasos

Skype: Sherrie.Tennessee