February 7, 2023

SAN ANSELMO, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 06: Cari Gundee rides her Peloton exercise bike at her home on April … [+] 06, 2020 in San Anselmo, California. More people are turning to Peloton due to shelter-in-place orders because of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Peloton stock has continued to rise over recent weeks even as most of the stock market has plummeted. However, Peloton announced today that they will temporarily pause all live classes until the end of April because an employee tested positive for COVID-19. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
When the pandemic closed gyms across the country, popularity for at-home, connected fitness brands like Peloton, Beachbody, Bowflex and Echelon skyrocketed. 
Now, these brands are struggling to regain peak interest from consumers, while newer, up-and-coming companies are capturing the attention of Americans. 
I analyzed search interest data over a two year period (from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021) using Google Trends. Google Trends ranks “interest over time” on a scale of 100. 100 represents the peak popularity for a term, with a value of 50 meaning the term is half as popular. For this analysis, I found the peak periods when a brand’s search term reached 100.
What the data suggests is that peak search interest for most at-home fitness brands during this period occurred at the end of 2020, beginning of 2021 and at the height of the pandemic (from March to May 2020). 
Over the two year period, interest in Peloton peaked from December 27, 2020 to January 2, 2021. The second highest search interest score for Peloton in 2021 happened from May 2 to May 8, when the brand reached a search interest score of 90. The brand has not reached a score above 90 since this date. 
Search interest for Peloton’s competitors in the at-home cycling segment, Echelon and Myx Fitness also peaked from December 27, 2020 to January 2, 2021.
Bowflex, owned by fitness giant Nautilus, had its peak search interest occur from March 22 to March 28, 2020. This is while Beachbody peaked from April 26 to May 2, 2020.
Interest in NordicTrack and ProForm, two fitness brands owned by Icon Health and Fitness, also peaked at the end of 2020, going into 2021. 
Mirror, the at-home fitness brand owned by Lululemon Athletica, had two peaks during the analyzed period. One occurred pre-pandemic, from February 23 to 29, 2020. The other occurred from November 29 to December 5, 2020. 
Tempo had its search interest peak from July 26 to August 1, 2020. FightCamp peaked from December 27, 2020 to January 2, 2021. 
CAMBRIDGE, MA – MAY 8: Aquil Abdullah, a 2004 Olympian rower, rows along the Charles River for a … [+] live broadcast for Hydrow rowers around the world for workouts in Cambridge, MA on May 8, 2020. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
However, three fitness brands included in this analysis defied these trends and showed growth in consumer interest going into the new year.
Tonal, a connected digital weight system, reached its peak search interest from November 21 to 27, 2021. Tonal launched an ad campaign in October 2021 featuring NBA superstar LeBron James, which likely grew brand awareness through the fall and winter months. 
Hydrow, a connected rower system, also reached peak search interest from November 28 to December 4, 2021. A recent Digiday article touted Hydrow’s shifting marketing strategy, which has likely helped accelerate consumer interest. 
Another connected rower system, Ergatta, reached peak search interest from December 19 to 25, 2021. In November 2021, the company launched an ad campaign featuring civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick. 
The question that remains: As Americans head into the new year, will interest in at-home, connected fitness return amid spread of the omicron variant?


Leave a Reply