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INSIGHTS SCOOP ++ Issue 02 | OCT 07

How Youth are Shaping the Movement for Health and Wellbeing in Asia-Pacific

Asia Scout Network’s Quarterly

Insights Scoop

Every 3 months, MindShare Asia-Pacific invites designated ‘scouts’ living in each major city in Asia to provide updates on youth culture and their own opinions on two preset topics, dropping their articles on our blog. At the end of each quarter, stories from our scouts are picked and pulled together by the MindShare Asia-Pacific Insights unit into a pan-regional, topical report, called the Asia Scout Network INSIGHTS SCOOP. We’re hoping this will be a tool to help us keep in touch with the urban and opinionated 18-34 year-old Asians, by showcasing the activities, products, events, fads, and ideas that either form part of their lifestyle or grab their attention. The bird’s-eye-view regional perspective is meant to serve as a springboard to jumpstart new communication ideas, sometimes by adapting concepts outside the borders of your respective countries to fit the local climate. The topic for this second issue is “Asian Wellness” which highlights the ways in which young people in Asia manifest their concern for health and wellbeing in their lifestyles. For the full version of the scouts’ articles, check out our blog on The underlined words and phrases are clickable links once viewed in PDF format. Good and bad comments, or just tips on trends, we’d love to hear from you...XXX



Ayumi Ai (Tokyo) Ginette Chittick (Singapore)

ACHARA Masoodi (Ju)

Kitty Jiang (Shanghai)

The Scout - Asia Pacific

Michelle Mossfield (Sydney) Stephanie Caunter (Kuala Lumpur)

JAMES Chadwick

Stirling Silliphant (Jakarta)

Head of Strategy

Tintin Cooper (Bangkok) Click here for profiles and pictures.

THANKS TO: Our reference blogs – CScout Trend Blog, Springwise, J-Cast Business News News, s, Wikipedi Wikipedia, Theme Magazine Magazin For more on health & wellbeing issues, see: - MTV Global Wellbeing Study 2006, revealing how India leads the ‘wellbeing index’. See related press release and interview on CNN - MindShare Thailand’s Health & Wellbeing report on global & local trends (internal only, by request)


Issue 02 : Asian Wellness Throughout May-July 2007, the city scouts were asked to

Look At: How the concern for the health and wellbeing is presenting itself in youth lifestyle. • What are the signs that point to the concern for wellness in your city? • How are you or your peers involved? • What are some interesting things that young people do for wellness?

For Example... Organic, Fortified, Good-For-You Food & Drinks Dietary Regimes Exercise Activities Stress Management Spiritual Enhancement Retail and Services (such as organic stores, spas, retreats) Changes in Lifestyle

Words from our guest scout: Ian Stewart

“I think the Wellness trend is the MEGA trend of the

SVP – Viacom Brand Solutions &

moment. It covers taking care of self and taking care of

MTV Networks International

the environment. I believe it’s a trend that could be with

Youth Trends Expert

us for decades to come, and will certainly lead to an overall slowing down in lifestyle, and a greater sense of simplicity. All trends are cyclical, so the interesting question is: what comes after wellness?”


The Headlines 01. Health In A Bottle, In A Minute 02. Health-ertainment 03. Extreme Wellness Asia 04. New Age Healing 05. Generation Balance 06. Consumption With A Conscience: ‘Eco-Chic’


01. Health In A Bottle, In A Minute Across the region, there is an explosion of ‘quick fix’ health and beauty solutions in the market. Whether a product or a service, items in this category promise the benefits of health and beauty delivered with almost-instant gratification and ultimate user convenience. They cater to those inspired by health and beauty but reluctant to sacrifice the lifestyle or the money.

SYDNEY | Michelle

Juice & Vegetable Pills Promoted as ‘the next best thing to fruit & vegetables’, Juice Plus+ is the flagship item of National Safety Associate’s (NSA) which claims to provide the nutritional essence of 17 different fruits, vegetables, and grains in convenient and inexpensive capsule form. See Juice Plus – Sydney’s next best thing to fruit & vegetables Image: Energy Center


Chinese Massage “Youth are living discord lifestyle, furthermore they have no time/or dislike to exercise more, which incurs subhealth condition. Hence Chinese massage become a good treatment for those busy and lazy people.” See Chinese Massage for the Busy and Lazy in Shanghai

Image: Zenclinic

KUALA LUMPUR | Stephanie

Services for the Busy Women Massage centers, spas, nail salons, and facial centers are attuning themselves to the needs of busy women with longer opening hours, express services, and one-stop-shop offerings. See KL’s Flexible Spa Spas

Image: Cloud9Living


BANGKOK | Tintin

KUALA LUMPUR | Stephanie

Beauty Quick Fixes

Weight Loss Equipment

“The range of products available in every Boots or Watson (retail stores) is slightly alarming. These include pills which guarantee to make you lose three pounds a day (!), your regular ‘slimming’ tea, which makes you feel nauseous so you actually don’t eat, and an electronic strap that electrocutes the fat around your gaping waistline whilst you pig out

“[OSIM] started with the U-Zap – a belt

in front of the telly. Even the number of gyms and slimming centers

that purportedly flattened your stomach

springing up everywhere is a sign of the craze.” See Can’t Eat This:

and tightened your waistline through the

Bangkok’s Quick Beauty Fix

vibrations it sent coursing through your body, all minus the personal effort normally required from diet and exercise..” See Shaping up, Slimming Down in KL

TOKYO | Ayumi

Japan’s Male Health & Beauty Fix

Nutritious Chocolate

The wellness pendulum swings towards the male segment in Japan. In Products for the Health Concerned Man, Ayumi highlights the products and services dedicated towards men’s health and aesthetics. In her article Japanese candies for the man, she highlights 2 popular products in the market:

Perfume Chewing Gum

Following the success of the chewing gum in June 07, Morinaga launched

Ayumi reports on the popular chewing gum that

“MACA Chocolate for Men” which

makes men emit the fragrance of roses. Introduced

claims to be rich in vitamins, minerals,

last year, sales have shot through the roof, and at

amino acid and other nutritious sub-

one point, forced to stop because of insufficient

stances that support good health from

supply. Read more: ‘Man Scent Chewing Gum’

inside the body. Read more: Morinaga introduces “MACA Chocolate”


02. Health-ertainment Asian youth are multi-taskers who want multi-purpose activities to fit their lifestyles. They’re eating and exercising for health + body image + socializing + being trendy + feeling sexy – all in one go. TOKYO | Ayumi


Billy Bootcamp DVD Training

Pole Dancing / Belly Dancing Once upon a time, anyone who wanted to tone their body turned to yoga or pilates. Then the popular ‘exercise’ became belly dancing and salsa. Now it’s ‘soul’ and pole dancing ... “...Only minority girls [in belly

Image: China Digital Times

Japanese have snapped up Billy

dancing class] were driven by their hobby. But majority agreed that they

Blank’s military-style exercise coach-

wanted to keep a good body shape. In terms of gym, they think it is too bor-

ing DVD’s in droves. Billy’s Boot

ing to exercise mechanically. Whereas, either Latin or Belly dance is able to

Camp program, which promises

beautify body shape by various movements in exotic music.” See Fashion-

weight loss within 7 days, appeals

able, Belly-Dancing, Young Shanghai Females

to the weight-conscious women and men who might also be looking to fight off the ‘metabolic syndrome’ afflicting millions of Japanese. “... media reports say around 500,000

KUALA LUMPUR | Stephanie

Fitness Center Takes on Dance Workouts

“Bear in mind the basic

sets have been sold... Fans say the

personal values that target

appeal of the workout is not only

groups hold. Fun-loving

in the fast-paced combinations of

people do not like to fol-

kicks, jabs and squats set to thumping music, but also Blanks himself,

low regimes, so solutions

known in the United States as trainer

targeting weight loss, for

to the stars.” - Reuters, June 07 See

“...the Fitness First chain of clubs has

example, have to enable

Billy’s Bootcamp! on Shop Japan TV

5 different types of dance aerobics

lifestyle rather than restrict

classes – body jam, cardio dance, funky line dance, and even belly dancing. Nike has also gotten into the act with their dance inspired series of events and workouts that they organize regularly in conjunction with Fitness First. See Dance your way Watch a video of a Japanese fan


to fitness in KL

it.” - Source: Filling The Gap. Roger Moore, Admap Oct 2006.

03. Extreme Wellness Asia An extension of the concept of ‘Health-ertainment’: Young people have integrated challenge and adventure, the key elements of youth lifestyle, into their wellness program. Extreme sports and other activites that stretch the limits of body and mind - hiking, trekking, jungle survival, rock climbing, surfing, biking, mountaineering - in both urban and natural settings, are attracting a growing number of youth followers. These serve as city ‘escapes’, giving them a moment to reset their lives.

KUALA LUMPUR | Stephanie

JAKARTA | Stirling

Indoor Rock Climbing

Outdoor Extreme Sports

The indoor rock climbing stadium

Jakarta’s surrounding countryside offer a multitude of opportunities to get

Camp 5 has a steady group of pas-

involved in the great outdoor challenge – hiking, mountain biking, surfing, rock

sionate followers who enjoy the

climbing, paragliding. See Get Out of Town! Beyond Jakarta’s city centre

sport’s challenge in a convenient, safe environment. See Rock climbing in KL

KUALA LUMPUR | Stephanie

Marathon Running The resurgence of the Penang Bridge International Marathon brought together 20,000 people to the finish line at 7 am one morning. “Aside from the obvious health benefits, many are drawn to the idea of being able to legally stroll along the longest bridge in South East Asia” See Running on the Penang Bridge

07 7


The Unbeaten Path It’s almost physical abuse, but young people are taking on the ‘tough journey’ to under-developed areas out of Shanghai because it has both physical and emotional rewards. See Toughing it out in Shanghai Shanghai

China Goes Extreme

The China Blog on CScout Trend Consultancy reports on how “rising incomes and a thirst for adventure drive a burgeoning adventure sports sector....recently the powers that be have put on a number of top events in [China], such as the Shanghai “X Games” and the 720 China Surf Open. The number of young Chinese getting into high-adrenaline pursuits such as rock climbing, bungee jumping, surfing and skateboarding has been increasing by about a factor of five each year in China since the mid- 1990s...” Some interesting case studies in the article: • Yangshuo: X-treme Vacation Capital of China • Yamgo: X-treme TV • Waterworld China: X-treme Leisure • Ballooning: X-treme Hot Air


04. New Age Healing The science of wellness expands from the field of bio-chemistry to include the principles of physics. New age methods of healing and wellbeing have adopted theories involving ions, radiation, waves, auras, mathematics, energy, and molecular structure, to attract young Asians. SYDNEY | Michelle

JAKARTA | Stirling

Colour and Maths for Therapy

Electromagnetic Aura Diagnosis “‘Aura Photography’ claims to capture the physical, emotional and spiritual properties of the subject, a literal portal to your soul.” The set-up may sound slighly dodgy but it has apparently already gained a ‘HERD’-level following in Jakarta. See Nice Aura, Shame About the Face: Aura Fotographi in

Image: Colour Therapy Healing


Colour Cotton Therapy is a book that contains “natural natural cotton fibre threads... gently joined at the beginning and end

TOKYO | Ayumi

of each colour ‘wheel’ to create a

Detox with Infrared Rays and Negative Ions

subtle but sacred and noble power powerful circle of energy. The cottons have evolved by matching the wavelength of our negative cellular structures with the right colour, and infused with the right geometry of mathematics. By joining these cottons together, creates a circle that has no beginning and no end. They are crossed, then folded into the shape of the Infinity sign, resembling a rose, opening the heart from

“Stone a new style of bath using warm stone instead of hot water has been introduced as a new way of detoxification especially among women...All you have to do is to lie down over those warm stones which are radiated far infrared rays and negative ions effectively activate the metabolism and help inner organs’ functions.” See Stone Bath in Tokyo

which healing and love flow.” See Sydney brings healing with Colour Cotton Therapy

“The New Physics of Healing”


In the West, this movement is probably best represented by Deepak Chopra, a medical doctor and writer who has advocate the study of quantum physics for holistic wellbeing. Although Deepak is an Indian native, early adopters of his teachings and the people who have popularized his theories are more concentrated in the Western world – North America and Western Europe – than in Asia... as yet. Read more on Deepak Chopra on Wikipedia.

05. Generation Balance A group of Asian consumers are making an effort to pursue the balanced and natural lifestyle. In contrast to the larger segment attracted to ‘quick-fix’ solutions, this group will likely take more drastic health initiatives, aimed at body and mind maintenance and spiritual happiness. They typically follow these concepts:

Natural Remedies: Nature-based alternative therapies have become the solution for young Asians looking for preventative measures. These are mostly drawn from local traditions and focus on detoxification, such as digestive health, blood circulation, and the internal organs.

BANGKOK | Tintin


Natural Remedy Center

‘Grandpa’s Tea’ In recent years pu’er tea has gone from relative obsurity to its current status as a luxury item both in China and abroad. A press release by a UK importer reported that “it was recently discovered many celebrities, including Victoria Beckham, drink

By positioning itself as a contem-

this tea for its anti-aging and weight

porary natural medicine center,

Young Chinese women have appar- reducing properties.” Aged pu’er tea ently turned to the expensive pu’er leads the rise of luxury goods prices

Balavi has pushed for ward the both preventative and curative. See

tea for natural health benefits. See in China at a 33.33% price rise over Shanghai’s Young Females Turn to the last year, according to Hurun’s

Bangkok’s Natural Remedy Cen-

“Grandpa’s Tea” for Health

movement for natural therapies,

China Luxury Living Index

tre More specifically, detox through colon cleansing has become widely

Some Shanghaiinese are even making

accepted and practiced. See Cof-

the effort to cook traditional Chinese

feeup-the-what?? Colon Cleansing

dishes believed to naturally enhance

in Bangkok

beauty. See Shanghai’s Natural Path to Feminine Beauty

JAKARTA | Stirling

Jamu and Other Traditions “...the vast majority of the population remain committed patients of jamu (potions made of roots, herbs, leaves, animal parts, and other assorted natural ingredients), acupressure, acupuncture, massage and spiritual mediation in the form of meditation, prayer and even appeals to supernatural intervention” See Indonesia’s Alternative Therapies


Image via

Holistic Health: To manage rising levels of stress, young people are going beyond physical health to focus on maintaining a happy mind and spirit, through ideas like relaxation, meditation, laughter, and general goodhumouredness.. SYDNEY | Michelle

MindBodySpirit Festival

Image: mbsfestival Confirming the establishment of this movement, Australia’s MindBodySpirit Festival is growing strong in its 19th year. See Mind Body Spirit Festival – Sydney

JAKARTA | Stirling

BANGKOK | Tintin

Marsio and Mardy Juwono

Sahaja Yoga Meditation

Indonesians shower their goodnatured Amazing Race Asia candidates, brothers Marsio and Mardy Juwono, with love and admirations. Although coming in 4th place in the race, the two chubby brothers have garnered fans in Indonesia and around the region for their even-tempered personas and fair tactics. See

The global network of Sahaja Yoga

Jakarta’s M&Ms: Neither Slim nor

Meditation which offers classes free-


of-charge has found its way to Bangkok and is gaining a small but passionate number of followers. See Sahaja Yoga in Bangkok


Organic Foods: This movement is widespread in Sydney, strengthened by Organic Food Markets and pushed to the mainstream through retail stores like Macro Whole Foods. Malaysia has Justlife - its own organic retail chain established since 1999, while Healthy Choice in Jakarta caters more to the upscale. See Macro -The Way To Go for Sydney-siders Organic Food Markets in Sydney KL’s Justlife - the organic lifestyle Jakarta’s Organa-rama

Macro Wholefoods Market Macro Wholefoods Market has recently been named one of the Ten to Watch retailers for the first time by international food and grocery expert IGD. :“Macro Wholefoods Market excels by communicating its business principles throughout its stores. It is bold enough to experiment with formats to better connect with customers, for example having in-store cafés, Wellbeing Centres located within its stores and even offering guided tours....Health, well-being and sustainability concerns are increasingly becoming mainstream and Macro Wholefoods Market is benefiting. This is evidenced by the number of new customers they are attracting who have never been to health stores before.” See FOODweek Online’s Macro Wholefoods one of ‘Ten to Watch’ global retailers

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06. Consumption with A Conscience: ‘Eco-Chic’ The idea of being ‘consumers with a conscience’ has established itself in Tokyo, Singapore, and Sydney, but still remains to be adopted by the mainstream in the remaining parts of Asia. The leading cause-of-the-moment is environmental or ‘eco-friendliness’, through concepts like bio-degradability, product recycling, and carbon footprints. SINGAPORE | Ginette

Swopping Used Clothes Inspired by a similar event in New York, Flea Fly Flo Fun invites fashionistas to trade clothes, emptying their closets, getting new things to wear, while reducing textile waste – all at once. See Swop your clothes! Flea Fly Flo Fun in Singapore

TOKYO | Ayumi

Fashionable Eco-Friendly Bags Tokyo’s hipsters take on the fight against global warming with their ‘eco-bags’ – fashionable grocery bags so you don’t have to go for either plastic or paper. These include the popular Roo-shopper’s, Laforet Harajuku’s give-aways of 6,000 customizable bags, and Benetton’s bags with bright color palettes. See “Stop Global Warming” - Tokyo’s Eco Bag movement

TOKYO | Ayumi

Live Earth Concerts 7.7.7 was the date for the series of “Concerts for A Climate in Crisis”. More than 150 artists participated in the series of concerts held across 9 cities, including Tokyo, in the world within one day. See Tokyo’s Live Earth Concerts


Live Earth Telecasts Singapore followed the event closely with a telecast at The One Fullerton.

I’m NOT a plastic bag Designer Anya Hindmarch leads the eco-bag movement with her ‘I’m NOT A Plastic bag’ totes. From her website’s FAQ: “Due to the unprecedented demand for I’m Not A Plastic Bag in South East Asia and our concerns for our customers safety we have decided to cancel the launches at the following stores: Anya Hindmarch Beijing, On Pedder in Shanghai

See Live Earth beamed out to One Fullerton, Singapore Live Earth concerts were broadcast live online exclusively via MSN through The site currently still features updates on the ‘green’ movement.

and On Pedder in Jakarta.” The bags, which have been carried by Jessica Biel and Keira Knightley, are known to have sold out within hours, and more than 1,000 are currently on eBay with resale prices hitting as high as $650.


Urban Farming Springwise, Trendwatching’s sister site for creative entrepreneurial ideas, reported on ‘Urban Farming’ activities (city dwellers becoming minifarmers) and products created to supported that: Topsy Turvy Upside Down Tomato Planter, Garden In A Bag, AeroGarden. Read more on Springwise Along similar lines, Theme Magazine, the webmagazine for contemporary Asian culture reported on how two creative minds started ‘guerilla gardening’ in Tokyo – growing vegetables for consumption on any fertile, Image via Springwise

abandoned spot in the city. Read more on Theme Magazine’s Namaiki’s Green Graffitti

Shades of Green in the Cinema Movies has taken on themes of environmental concerns, receiving both critical acclaim and mainstream popularity. These shades of green in the cinema are and will be major factors in pushing forward the green movement in Asia. • An Inconvenient Truth • Happy Feet

Early 2008, the people behind An Inconvenient Truth

• Ice Age 2: The Meltdown

and March of the Penguins are expected to release

• March of the Penguins.

Arctic Tales, another ice-cap documentary that follows a walrus and a polar bear from birth to adoles-

The most recent is The 11th Hour, a feature film

cence to maturity and parenthood in the frozen Arctic

documentary created, narrated, and produced by

wilderness, narrated by Queen Latifah.

Leonardo Dicaprio on the state of the environment, released in August 2007.

If movies are a way of predicting popular culture, then the green movement is definitely on the path towards mainstream acceptance.


© MindShare Asia-Pacific. 2007. All rights reserved. No part of the publication may be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the publisher. For private circulation only. For more information: Achara Masoodi,

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