Friday & Fall Fashion Flavor

Screen shot 2013-02-08 at 1.13.49 PMCRUNCHY NUGGETS: It’s Friday…so how are ‘ya feeling?  Good? Happy the week is over?  Of course you are. Which quickly segues into the first nugget of the day…

TGIF for Real Estate — I just read in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal that the very best day to list a house for sale is Friday.  Why?  Oh, thanks for asking, you’re the best.  Because people feel most energized and happiest at the end of a work week.  So much so that houses sell faster and for a significantly greater amount (up to 99.1% of the asking price as per the average in 2012) when they are listed and debut on a Friday.  Tuesday is the second most advantageous day, as that’s when people start making most plans.  Interesting, right?!   Still feeling good?  Great!  Let’s move on way into this coming Fall…

Fall Fashion Colors — With Fashion Week for Fall underway, Pantone has shared their palette of colors to look for this coming Fall.  Of course, this year’s color of the year — Emerald — is the lead.  And other shades to look for include: Mykonos Blue, Linden Green, Acai, Samba, Koi, Deep Lichen Green, Vivacious, Turbulence, and Carafe.  Now I apologize as just naming them isn’t quite clear (what, you don’t know what “vivacious” looks like?!”), so you should check them out here: http://www.pantone.com/pages/fcr.aspx?pg=21057&ca=4&utm_medium=email&utm_source=eb20130207  Why you need to care — other than for the fashionistas and the trendy — is because it’s Pantone.  They set the mood and influence more than just fashion.  So expect to see these very rich and organic tones in other things like home decor and automotive and retail and other design driven things.

We’re in the midst of quite a big snow storm.  Hope all is well by you and your weekend is like Pantone Koi: rich and vibrant. #marketingtrends #trends #pantone #fallfashion #consumerinsights #consumerbehavior

What’s Next

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 1.50.58 PMCRUNCHY NUGGETS:  “It’s the most, wonder-ful time, of the year…”  I love when predictions and trends you can expect to see are shared at the close of the year.  They’re fun and although they seem forward-thinking, really, they’re a reflection of how people are behaving, what they’re buying, the overall cultural mood, if you will.  That said, here are a few nibbly bites from different sources, giving POVs on what to expect in 2013.  Let’s first start with color…

See Green — Last week Pantone announced their selection for the 2013 color of the year.  As you may know, once you hear this you’ll certainly expect to see this color in the months ahead showing up in everything from fashion, to cars, to beauty, to home decor.  Their choice: Pantone color #17-5641: aka Emerald Green.  The color selection feels very optimistic as it conveys prosperity, growth, beauty, and renewal.  It’s also meant to deliver healing and unity, along with balance and harmony.  Let’s hope this color brings what it promises, right?!  OK, onto flavors (you know how much I love food and flavor trends)…

On Dukkah! On Cajeta! On Katsu (and Blitzen)! — So silly, no those are not new reindeer names tee hee!  Rather, spice maker McCormick just released their 2013 Flavor Forecast.  Among the trends in flavors expect to see/taste…Dukkah — it’s a Middle Eastern spice blend made with toasted nuts, cumin, coriander and sesame seeds, that is said to be “rich and savory.”  Also look for…Cajeta, a milk caramel from Mexico.  As well as…Katsu — a thick, tangy Japanese sauce.  OK then, I’ll give those a try eventually.  And finally, when two things collide that I love…

When Trends Meet Infographics — If you don’t already subscribe to Trendwatching.com, you should.  They deliver a monthly capture of a current global trend, and then roll them all up into one nice source.  Recently, they released their what-to-expect-for-2013 report.  But they also sum it up in an infographic. Nice!  Give it a read here: http://www.trendwatching.com/trends/infographics/10trends2013/  And be sure to read the details in the report itself. Again, good to have a bigger, broader global view.

As I collect more, I’ll definitely share — even if it’s just links, ‘k?  TASTY TRENDS:  In the Mood; Here and Now; Food and Flavorful Fun

More Do-Good

FRESH IDEA:  I love this idea.  And I love that it makes doing something good that much easier.  Trend-new technologies-crunchy-goodness-sharing site PSFK just wrote about this…it’s the partnership between UNICEF and Microsoft Tag’s technology.  As an alternative to digging into your wallet or pocket or purse this Halloween to give money to UNICEF, you can simply scan a QR code on the money collection box.  In doing so, $10 gets added to your cell phone bill, and given to UNICEF as a donation.  So no need to figure out the donation amount.  It’s a straight, low-price point level that’s super simple.  And it’s encouraging consumers to accept and adopt QR codes in an everyday moment.  Where this up-levels technology used by cause organizations, is in the experience.  So unlike a text to donate opportunity, here the organization can also serve-up additional content or collect information.  And the QR code aka tag can be put onto anything:  POP, product packaging, etc.

Here’s the PSFK article if you wish to check it out: http://www.psfk.com/2011/10/triple-pundit-trick-or-tag-for-unicef.html

Love it!  Hey, hope you have a good weekend, ‘k?  TASTY TREND:  Experiential Traditional; Here and Now

New Product Trend News

FRESH IDEAS:  Well hello there my trend-loving friend!  I read an article in this morning’s USA Today, sharing new product innovation trends for 2011.  Here’s what you can expect to see hitting the shelves thanks to forward-thinking — and R&D spending — CPG companies.  I’ve included the very clear, nice examples shared by USA Today, too.

Simplify my life — Product enhancements that take an extra step in making the consumption of the product simpler.  The example noted is ConAgra’s Orville Redenbacher microwave popcorn bag re-designed to be a pop-open bowl.

Look younger, cheaper — Trying to capture a market who wants the benefits of high-end beauty, but hasn’t yet been given enough value to trade-up.  The new product shared is Olay’s $30 Professional Advanced Cleansing System — a comparable alternative to $200 rotating scrub brush systems.

Fast scratch — I would have named this semi-homemade, but I think that’s a Sandra Lee-coveted-thing.  This trend is about products that are further along in the prepared process to help make at-home-cooking faster/easier.  The example shared is Philadelphia Cream Cheese’s Cooking Creams, which have already seasoned flavors that you simply add to recipes.

Pro hair for pennies — In this case the example is very specific.  Apparently, pros have been using dry shampoo to help coiff celebs between shampoos, and to keep their hair healthier.  And so dry shampoo is now available for the masses.  (Side note from my Girl Scout days, but wasn’t that once a camping thing??  Who knew it was so glam and not just about getting rid of campfire smell.)

Almost homemade — I think I would’ve combined this with “Fast scratch,” but I guess they needed an even 10 for the trends list.  Anyway…Tostitos is the example, introducing Dip Creations.  The Dip Creations are the spices.  You add the fresh stuff to make the dip, e.g., avocado, lime.  Sounds easy and tasty!

Flexitarians R Us — This is the notion of incorporating healthier-for-you vegetarian habits into a weekly eating routine, rather than choosing all or nothing.  Specifically, going meatless for a day (e.g., Meatless Mondays).  MorningStar Farms, for example, is leading the charge, offering “flexitarian” options that are tasty (e.g., completely soy based bacon, egg, cheese, sausage, biscuit breakfast sandwiches).

Instant white choppers — According to P&G, the biggest barrier to using teeth whitening products is time.  So be on the lookout for 2-hour strips.  (OK, another side note:  Two hours seems kinda gross to sit around with something peroxide-ish in your mouth versus a few minutes over a longer stretch of days.  But I guess if you’re in a hurry…)

Sweet on potatoes — A personal favorite of mine, so I’m happy to see this on this list!  Look for sweet potato puffs from ConAgra in 2011.

Cracker chips — Better for you snacks that are part cracker, part chip.  The example noted is from Pepperidge Farms:  making a form of Goldfish for grown-ups. I’ve personally seen this trend in a Special K Cracker Chip currently on shelves.  (OK, another side note:  The Special K Cracker Chips are basically Pop Chips.  So stick with Pop Chips, peeps — more flavors, much more tasty.)

And lastly, Feel the Clean — Brushing your teeth will be getting a whole lot more experiential.  And seemingly, words are colliding to get you there…Colgate MaxClean SmartFoam (BrandNames *sheesh*) is being launching to tingle and foam your mouth and its senses into feeling cleaner.

Here is the article’s URL if you need to crunch it anymore: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/2011-01-24-trends201124_CV_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip

Wow, that’s quite a list!  I have nothing else to share, seeing as I sprinkled my two cents throughout — other than saying that I think I’m going to call myself a “flexitarian” from now on.  That’s me:  Flexitarian Fritts!  TASTY TREND:  Make my life easier, better

Tasty Trends

CRUNCHY NUGGETS: The Food Channel (not to be mistaken with the Food Network nor FoodTV.com), along with Mintel and CultureWaves, have shared their take on the top 10 food trends to watch in 2011.  These trends actually reflect more of what we’ve seen:  influences from the economy; an aging population’s demands; the battle against childhood obesity; reactions to high profile food ingredient controls and reductions (think: less salt in 2010); as well as the local, slow movements.  You remember all that, right?!  Of course you do.  Hey, grab a snack and take a read:

• The Canning Comeback – Get your fancy labels ready and make room on your shelves!  Fruits and veggies will be preserved at home for both economic and health reasons.
• Men in Aprons – More men have been taking on the at-home role, given the economy and the job market.  This has meant more men taking the lead around food and food shopping.
• Local Somewhere – The slow/local movement continues in 2011, with consumers demanding foods that were produced someplace they can actually trace it back to.
• Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – A backlash of no salt, lots of ingredient disclosure, lots of attention around where, when, and how foods were made.  In other words, I don’t care – I just want to eat it.
• Appetite for Food Apps – Smartphone growth is fueling a taste for food-related apps of all kinds, including deals, savings, tips, and tricks.
• Small is the New Big Business – Corporations are thinking like small businesses — working hard to convince consumers that just because it “came from a big building” doesn’t mean the food is lower quality.
• Fresh Every Day – Consumers will continue to shop more frequently, more locally (e.g., butcher, baker) to purchase the freshest of selections.
• Chefs in Schools – The concern over childhood obesity will drive higher quality staff into schools and cafeterias to ensure fresh, nutritious options.  Think Jamie Oliver on a bigger scale.
• Discomfort Foods – Consumers’ more adventurous side will come out more in 2011, trying strange, new, and different flavors and foods.  And lastly…
• Eating for Sex and Other Things – As the population ages, consumers want healthy foods that provide wellness functions.  And in 2011, expect the “functions” to include promises around libido.

Um, OK.  So…on that note!  Interesting, right?!?  Here is the link to Food Channel if you’d like to watch the article’s video on their home page:  http://www.foodchannel.com/

Like I said, not terribly surprising, a lot more of the same, with a few, new twists.  It will be interesting to see how brands react and what they can offer to meet these needs.  TASTY TREND:  Food and Flavor Trends

Takeaways

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  As my loyal readers know, I believe that trends aren’t fads.  Rather, they’re slow builds and shifts in consumer behavior.  So it makes a whole lotta sense to read about the projected growth of Food Trucks relative to what’s been said about them, what’s now being said about them, and what’s come into mainstream.

To take a step back…We’re talking about what I’ve always heard (prior to last year) called “roach coaches.”  But when you reflect back and how these mobile dining experiences were making news last year, you’ll find food trucks as:  early leaders in Twitter (using tweets to note their varying stops to loyal followers);  offering new, fresh fare — from cupcakes to organic offerings; delivering food in interesting ways such as green/eco-friendly vehicles, or double decker buses that facilitate a sit-down experience (both covered in this very blog last year).  And then truck-on ahead to this year…as noted in the image…Food Trucks have their own reality show with Tyler Florence’s “Food Truck Race” on Food Network.  And then come up to now…Where the LA Times has Aaron Noveshen, a restaurant industry consultant, predicting that 10% of the top 200 chains will have trucks on the road within the next two years.  Indeed, trucks are being made right now for Sizzler USA, Fatburger, Johnny Rockets, and even Subway.  Trucks, for these mainstream food brands, provide a “pop up” experience, if you will, that complements the dine-in experience.

So my crunchy friends, what does this say about consumer behavior?  Oh thanks for asking!  Consumers LOVE convenience.  And there will be demand if the offerings are right.  Not just roach coach fare…but tasty, quality food choices, served up in their own neighborhoods.  If you want to get all forward thinking, this “let us come to you” food trend is ripe for mobile, geolocation technology applications and marketing, right?!  For example…pretend I’m all Jared-like and a huge Subway fan.  So I choose to have a Subway app on my phone that let’s me know when the Subway truck will be by my office at lunch.  And it will offer up a deal of the day to get me to go and buy my favorite footlong.  The here-and-now beauty of geolocation is a makes-sense fit for Food Trucks.  But again…circling back to my original point:  food to go is here to stay.

Here is the LA Times article if you need/want: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-food-trucks-20100909,0,579393.story

I guess I gotta nix the term “roach coach” from my vocab.  And if only a cupcake or maybe a freshly baked cookie truck could stop at my office…ah…a girl can dream.  TASTY TREND:  Here-And-Now

Target Partnership

FRESH IDEA:  Before we begin today’s post, I encourage you to follow me.  This is a story in two parts that come together for today’s update.  OK?  Thanks, you’re so good to me!  So in this very blog last year (September 24th post, to be exact), we chatted about Starbucks mobile payment option.  Go to the iPhone app store, download the Starbucks payment app, sync your Starbucks card (as in the card that carries a balance to use for payments), and in a very limited number of Starbucks stores you can use your phone in lieu of swiping your card.  Flash forward to February 10th’s post where Target has announced that their gift cards have gone mobile.  Instead of just having a plastic card to make transactions, you can also load this data onto your phone and use it to make payments at check-out, debiting the card with a bar code on the phone screen that gets scanned.  OK…So that’s two posts, two different retailers/brands.  Both using mobile payments.

Alas…Starbucks has just announced that they’ve partnered with…yes…Target…to accept mobile payments at Target Starbucks locations.  Good for Starbucks, as it takes their app and makes it useful to a bigger, national audience. Good for Target as it gives them more differentiation, more reasons to enjoy the shopping experience.  And interesting –and important– to note for anyone who buys or sells goods or deals with retailers, as this initiative continues to push forward mobile payments into the mainstream and part of everyday living.

I hope I didn’t lose you with my two stories coming together into one – ?!  No?!  Great, you rock.  TASTY TREND:  Retailers Rule; New Money