The start of the year is a year of reckoning—a time to look at the biggest trends in some of our favorite industries. Explore the rise and shift of these exciting concepts, and the brands that champion each.
Words by Jonty Cruz and Reena Mesias
Graphic by Therese Luna
“Healthy” isn’t exactly the first word that comes to mind when you think of KFC, but the reason hundreds of customers lined up at a branch in Atlanta was to try the global franchise’s first foray into meatless chicken. The Beyond Fried Chicken, as it is called, was co-created by Beyond Meat of the Beyond Burger fame, and was sold out in about five hours, proving to doubters that there is a market, even among non-vegetarians, for meat-free options of our fast food favourites.
Burger King also successfully rolled out the Impossible Whopper, its collaboration with Impossible Foods, a fairly new company that started in 2011 and focuses on creating plant-based alternatives to meat products. No word if other countries will follow suit. Regardless, it’s good to see independent groups stepping up like vegan-vegetarian gem Cosmic in Manila.
In these days when experiences are the most sought-after commodity, the idea of ownership has been taken over by inclusivity. Customers are flocking the rental economy for everyday necessities. Fewer people are buying their own cars in favor of using ride-sharing apps. More are opening their homes to customers via Airbnb. Be it a direct outcome of the financial crisis of the last decade or just the growing trend of conscious consumption, the rental market has become more appealing for most. It’s potentially viable for businesses as well.
Perhaps the biggest draw to participate in the rental industry is less overhead and a lot more financial and structural flexibility. Even fashion-related brands like Rent the Runway and Vestido are getting into the business model where you’re allowed to rent and return designer dresses. Given that the gig-economy is showing no signs of slowing down soon, huge and long-term investments that were once sought-after status symbols have been replaced by these new models that emphasize accessibility.
There’s more to sustainable fashion than just buying an ethically-made product. The secondhand market has seen growth as the movement against single-use everything and lessening consumption altogether is hitting all industries and extending the life of products beyond an individual’s need. Take Worn Wear by Patagonia, a vertical from the social fashion label that “provides significant resources for responsible care, repair, reuse and resale, and recycling at the end of a garment’s life.” Worn Wear tells you what you can do with your old puffy jacket instead of throwing it away. As read in their mission statement: “Drop it in the mail, not the landfill.”
With so many fast-fashion brands folding or going bankrupt due to a rapidly declining market and an excess of supply, innovations like Worn Wear, social commerce marketplace Poshmark where people can buy and sell new or used clothing, It’s Vintage and its knack for handpicking the best of the best vintage items from all over the globe, and luxury consignment favorite’s The RealReal are some ways fashion can still thrive successfully and responsibly.
Before things get out of hand, let us iterate that CBD, or cannabidiol, is not the same as marijuana. Simply put and to appease any concerns, CBD is more of a medicinal additive rather than that little extra “something something.” It’s perhaps the biggest trend this side of pumpkin spice, with beauty brands and F&B establishments embracing all things CBD, and various industries finding ways to incorporate it into their products.
According to an article by Harvard Health Publishing, studies have shown CBD’s main benefits include reducing anxiety and helping “patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia.” While the impact of CBD still depends on customer usage and experience, it’s safe to say that CBD branding is what’s driving interest. From Gossamer’s unique formulations to help you rest to Recess’ blackberry chai drinks and Not Pot’s gummies, the mass appeal is very much in the novelty.
When it comes to healthcare, access is one of its biggest hurdles, given the increasing price of medicine and consultations. But there is hope as technology and startups come up with new ways to deliver the care and treatment we all deserve and using the accessibility of the web to provide proper and professional assessments and recommendations.
International companies like Babylon are committed to bringing affordable medicine to “every person on earth” with connections and providers across major regions from the United States, the Middle East, to China. It’s a growing market that aims to solve all ails and the money backs it up. Take Roman, for example, a 2017 startup that began providing erectile dysfunction medicine and now projects itself to grow into a bonafide health-care technology company with millions of funding already reached. Locally, Aide, an app that connects users to home care experts, received a major investment from Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc. late last year.
Although typically unique to individuals rather than the millennial generation, a truth is that the majority of the latter isn’t rushing into anything. You’ll see it in the decline of marriage, homeownership, and fertility rates. On the other spectrum, you’ll see the rise of the “fur babies.”
This humanization of pets—and we agree that, for the most part, there is nothing wrong with it—has bolstered the growth of the pet food industry, particularly the high-quality, premium pet foods like Ollie and Pet Plate. According to consumer insight company Nielsen’s report, “pet owners are becoming less concerned about the cost of pet food, but more interested in the quality.” This concern extends to the willingness to spend on luxury services like pet hotels and diet subscription services. And why not? After all, our children deserve the best.
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