2020 Predictions: Brains +

Today we’re talking brains, drugs, and sex. 


As humans, we’re always looking for the peak of the happiness curve. Over the past couple of years there has been a big shift in how consumers think about their health, especially how to optimize brain health. We’ve hacked productivity and energy levels with micro-dosing, sleeping less, cutting carbs, putting butter in our coffee… Here’s what’s hot for 2020.

Sober Curious

Distilled non-alcoholic spirits, CBD infused drinks, Dry January, and Sober September—it’s all happening. Americans have always dried out from time to time, but this time it’s loud and proud, especially with millenials (maybe it’s just because they’re loud about everything). Health, social, and economic reasons are all driving this trend. Will it last? If prohibition is any indicator, then the alcohol industry doesn’t need to fret (yet). 

Go Natural

From political fatigue and social media overload to all-around burnout, a storm of factors are pushing Americans to find some space from the day-to-day grind, seeking balance and respite away from screens, electric scooters, and the noise of their daily routine. Outdoor industries will benefit from this cultural (re)turn to nature and desire to get away from it all, whatever it is. In 2020, you’ll also see inspiration gleaned from the natural world influencing trends in graphic and interior design, with the industry focusing on more organic color palettes and materials.


The meditation train has only been gaining/gathering steam over the past few years. With the upcoming political junk show of 2020, we’ll need to utilize the practice of mindfulness to cling onto our remaining shreds of sanity. Look for more schools to integrate mindfulness into their social-emotional curriculum, and more companies to include meditation training or mindfulness programs in their healthcare and benefits.


The world’s largest drug companies are placing big bets on natural medicines. This is a strong market signal that suggests we’ll see wider adoption of natural medicine in the near future.


A total of eleven states plus DC have legalized recreational marijuana, with up to nine more considering recreational cannabis in 2020. Legal weed is here to stay, which raises important social justice questions. A disproportionate number of Black Americans are serving time for marijuania-related offenses. While legalization is an important step in reducing incarceration rates, the legal and lucrative hemp industry is overwhelmingly white. See the problem? We hope 2020 is the year that legal hemp companies do more to right this inequity. 

Holy Hemp

Hemp, hemp, and (shocker!) more hemp. Cannabinoids are finding a way into everything it seems (even my autocorrect!). CBD in particular is everyone’s new favorite ingredient. Look for it … everywhere. The industry is also experiencing boom/bust cycles, which is a sign that there’s something there, but the industry has a lot of growing up to do. Look for more business acumen to enter the space in 2020, with increased focus on genetics, growing practices, and organic offerings. 


With psilocybin newly decriminalized in Denver and Oakland, and on the ballot in other states, the use and chatter around mushrooms will continue to get louder. Michael Pollin’s 2018 How to Change Your Mind also marked a possible cultural shift for consumers.

Mushrooms aren’t just for your mind anymore. Other non psychotropic, but still awesome, varieties like reishi, shiitake, maitake, and turkey tails have long been prized for their immune boosting qualities. Over the past two years, they have popped up everywhere, from coffee to supplements. The newest application: vaginal health. Look for these powerful adaptogens in intimate care products next. Our newest venture, Lark, does just that.