Brush, Rinse, Recycle

FRESH IDEA:  I am a huge fan of Trader Joe’s.  I shop there partly out of destination (“I need this…”), partly out of treasure hunting (“I never knew that I needed this…but wow, I’ve gotta try it!”).  Yesterday’s find was part need, part  treasure.  It was certainly something I had never seen before in an everyday item, as it was a toothbrush (for my child, a need).  But this one has been made out of recycled yogurt cups.  And if that wasn’t enough…the package doubles as a mailer.  After three months, when you’re done and ready to replace, pop the brush into the pre-paid mailer so it can be recycled again!  The toothbrush was made by Preserve.  Their tagline is “Nothing wasted. Everything gained” as ALL of their products are made from recycled plastics, including plastic tableware, kitchen tools, and other personal care items such as razors.  If you forget to save the mailer/package, you can also take it to a “Gimme 5” bin at a Whole Foods store. The #5 refers to the type of plastic — think yogurt and hummus tubs, as well as this toothbrush — that often cannot be recycled by your typical curbside, local process.  You can find more about their company and products here: http://www.preserveproducts.com/  For me, it was a really cool packaging concept — the “made from” call out alone had caught my attention; but then the mailer made it super crunchy and I just had to share!  Could you imagine EVERY package with its own self-contained, recycle option?!   Hey I hope your weekend is like a new toothbrush: fresh and healthy, enjoy.  TASTY TREND:  Gone Green

Pacesetters from 2010

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  Well…I’m heading off for a little vacation time – and – I follow it up with a week away on business.  Whoa nelly, I’m tired already!  In the interest of keeping you nugget-filled, I’ve pulled out a bunch-o-crunch from the newly-released “New Product Pacesetters” report.  For those of you unfamiliar with this annual update, it comes from research firm Symphony IRI Group and their Times and Trends reports.  This particular report looks back at the Food & Beverage and Non-Food new product launches that performed the strongest (i.e., sales) in the prior year.  It then pulls from this information a snapshot of consumer behavior trends –basically thinking that what consumers are buying most is a reflection and what they want/need most.  And these newly launched products are fulfilling these needs.  OK, so that said…here’s what did well in 2010 and what this means.

Food & Beverage Launches

1.POWERADE ION4 – Shelf Stable Sports Drink
2.Chobani Greek Yogurt – Yogurt high in protein, low in fat
3.Wonderful Pistachios – Wholesome snack nuts
4.glacéau vitamin water zero – Bottled flavored water
5.Nature’s Pride – Bread and rolls “pure ingredients”
6.Trop50 – Lower calorie OJ
7.Thomas’ Better Start – English muffins
8.Green Mountain Coffee K-Cups – Single-serve coffee
9.Budweiser Select 55 – Reduced calorie beer
10.Trident Layers – Multi-flavor gum

Looking at this list you can glean that consumers want:  healthy – lower calorie beverages, nutritious snacks and basics; convenience – shelf-stable and single-serve options; as well as flavor.  On a side note:  The fast-growing category of Greek Yogurts is part of a larger category of Breakfast Solutions (I guess you have to put it somewhere, right?!).  And Breakfast Solutions, by far, was the most actively growing usage occasion category (versus snacks, meals, candies, etc.) than any other.  This, too, speaks to convenience.

Non-Food

1.Crest 3D White – A single system to clean, whiten, and protect teeth
2.Prevacid24HR – Rx to OTC switcher for heartburn relief
3.Plan B One-Step – Emergency contraceptive
4.Next Choice – Also an emergency contraceptive
5.Huggies Pull-Ups Learning Designs – Diapers
6.Dove Men+Care – Personal care line for men
7.Olay Professional Pro-X – Pro-level skin care
8.Scope Outlast System – Another full system for cleaning and caring for teeth
9.Dove Body Wash with NutriumMoisture – Skin care with extra nutrients
10.LISTERINE/REACH TOTAL CARE – Again, another full system for teeth

This list, too, speaks-to convenience — but more of the “give me a professional-level/prescription level product that can easily use at home.” Single product-single benefit just doesn’t make it…new products need to multi-task and provide true value for the money for today’s consumers.

What’s also interesting to note is that 52% of consumers say that brand trust heavily influences their purchase decisions.  So it’s no wonder that existing brand extensions accounted for 88% of new food and beverage and 92% of non-foods products introduced in 2010.

This report also shares a list of “Rising Star” products that also performed very strongly in their debut — but don’t “count” as they haven’t been out for a full year.  IRI also sums up with trends based on all of this crunchy goodness.  And in the interest of keeping things crunchy, I’ll share this with you upon my return.  But if you seriously can’t wait, here is the link to the full report.  It’s free to download and I highly recommend doing so: http://symphonyiri.com/Insights/tabid/88/Default.aspx  By the way, having seen this list last year and this year, I must say that consumer behaviors don’t change too, too much.  The shifts in needs and wants truly are very small year to year.  Which only supports my own belief that trends are not fads, and are bigger pictures of consumer behavior that shifts only slightly as new news and products come about.

Well…Hope you have a good two weeks and please feel free to share anything you spot in your travels.  I absolutely plan on nugget-finding and sharing throughout my days.  So I’ll see you back here by April 18th (potentially sooner…girl may get a lil’ downtime and have a need to blog).  Enjoy!  TASTY TRENDS:  New News; Consumers Wants & Needs

Trial Triggers

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  Sampling is an excellent means of gaining trial.  You know that.  I know that.  And just the other day as I chased down a free sample offered to me through a push email, I discovered a new “Spot” for sampling.  It’s on Target’s web site. “The Sample Spot” is a dedicated section of Target.com just for brand sampling.  Of course, I did a lil’ detective work to see if I could find out the when/why/what of it…and it’s seemingly very quiet.  But personally, what I find most interesting about it is that it’s a retailer leading the charge — not a brand with a campaign.  Gotta love a lil’ profit center for a retailer, right?!

And on that sampling note…Have you seen P&G’s “Have You Tried It Yet?” campaign?  True to P&G form, they’ve taken their newest, most innovative brands and product offerings (18 of ’em all co-oped together) and are running a huge trial/sampling push.  You can visit their pop-up experiential effort in NYC until October 31st for samples and demos.  Or, you can’t make it to the city you can grab coupons at PGtryit.com.  Now what makes this effort so very interesting is that this web site isn’t just about scoring savings and freebies, but also rating and reviewing these products.  It takes real-world POVs and leverages them to their best advantage to get newbies to try and buy.  Note that they used Expo TV to pull video testimonials together.  And also note that they missed an opportunity by NOT including any sort of share feature.  Would have been nice to pull the conversation from the site to other social channels.

Hey, look at that…You got two nuggety stories in today’s post!  So value-added!  TASTY TREND:  Freeconomy

Maintaining Balance

CRUNCHY NUGGET:  “Make a T with your arms…now lift up your leg.  I’m going to push down on your arm to see what happens…Now try it with the band in your hand.”  This is the scenario that I participated in recently in my agency’s kitchen just the other morning.  It was to demonstrate the power of a Power Balance Band.  Until that demo, I had never heard of these things.  At least not in its “modern day” forms.  Essentially, a Power Balance Band is a rubber bracelet with magnets and a hologram.  All are said to work with the body’s natural energy field to ensure good stability and balance.  Athletes are endorsing the bands, including Shaq .  And celebs have been spotted in them this summer — P Diddy, Demi Moore, David Beckham, e.g.  Oh…and the band itself costs around $30.

Now whether you’re a believer or not, bigger picture trend-wise, these bands address consumers’ need to feel good (health and wellness).  And interestingly, not delivered in a food or a beverage.  Rather…functional fashion, if you will.  Sorta like the get-skinny-rocker-sneakers.  These bands also demonstrate the power of word of mouth.  The gentleman colleague who shared his band for my personal demo said that his entire basketball team was wearing them during games — and he didn’t believe it until he tried it thanks to their prompts.

An adult “silly band” you say?  Maybe.  But the demo was interesting.  Only, I have no need for athletic performance/game help.  I’ll just continue being a lil’ off balance *wink*!  Have a good weekend!  TASTY TREND:  Functional Fashion; Health and Wellness

Haute Tatts

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  Anyone who’s ever attended a kids party or had the pleasure of seeing a child post- kids party is certainly familiar with temporary tattoos.  I, myself, have been charged with kid-application.  So wow!  Quite the unexpected email I received from Chanel (yes, as in Coco and No. 5 high-end designer), telling me about their temporary “skin art” or, to get all fahn-cay:  “Les trompe-l’oeil de Chanel.”  Oo la la tattoo!

For $75 (yes, I said $75), you can buy a set of fifty-five, limited-image, temporary tattoos, as designed by Chanel’s Global Creative Director of Makeup, Peter Philips.  Clearly, I am not one to jet-set and sit aside the runway as these unique designs debuted earlier this year at the Spring-Summer 2010 fashion show in Paris.  Style influencer Sarah Jessica Parker was shown with a temp-tatt Chanel bracelet among her real bracelets at the Oscars back in March.

Now…is this a trend?  Or is this just a Chanel one-off?  Well, you know I love a good Nancy-Drew-like search and, indeed, Chanel isn’t the only high-end designer offering “skin art.”  Marc Jacobs, lead designer for Louis Vuitton, invited NY-based art teacher Scott Campbell to design temp tatts for the Louis Vuitton 2011 Spring Men’s show held in late July this year.  The designs were bold, with the iconic LV and other symbols noted on their bags covering the model’s neck and upper chest.  No mention was made as to their availability for purchase.  However…at the more affordable end…

Just yesterday, colorful and whimsical designer Betsey Johnson, also, announced a line of temp tatts she’s created.  Meant to look like her jewelry line (think skulls, thorns, snakes, but in a colorful approachable way), tattoo sets come on 5 sheets with 96 tattoos total and will cost you $25.  They’ll be available at retail and online at her website later this month.

Looking at these temporary tattoos from a bigger picture, consumer behavior level, I would say that people like customization.  They LOVE self-expression.  And what better way to give a “new personality” a try than with something that’s scrub-off-able?!  That, and designers understand just how much tattoos have truly become status “accessories.”  It’s also an interesting means to drive brand loyalty and advocacy with something that affixes to the body.

Admittedly, I am completely tattoo-less — seriously, not a one.  I think I was at the very edge/end of the tattoos-are-just-for-WWII-vets era.  That, and I’m not big on pain.  So the idea of trying something temporary for fun sounds kind cool.  Although $75 for something that I’ll scrub off…or sporting a skull and thorns…hmmm, not so much me.  But hey, hope your nice-n-long weekend provides you with permanently inked joy!  TASTY TREND:  Express Yourself; Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Hands Off Launches

FRESH IDEAS:  Two new products have recently launched, and germ-a-phobes everywhere are celebrating.  It seems that trends in Health and Wellness and keeping sickness at bay are alive and well (pun intended).  Both products prevent germy, dirty hands from spreading the love.  Continue to stay far away from me and check these out…

Lysol No-Touch Hand Soap System – As shown in the image, this product works on batteries and senses your hand in order to release the disinfecting hand soap squirt.  Good for bathrooms, good for kitchens (think yucky chicken-touching hands).  When I google’d this product, looking for marketing info, tons of Mommy blogger giveaways and a BzzAgent program came up — so clearly a sampling — dare I say, hands-on (oh, I dare) — approach is being taken to launch!  (Wow, I’m killing myself here with the over-play on words, geez!)

Kleenex Disposable Hand Towels – Yes, dear reader, the comforts of a public restroom, right in your own home.  No more shared towels — wondering just how clean they are before wiping.  Kimberly-Clark is now selling a pop-up box of disposable towels (aka paper towels).  The press release is sure to gross you out…towels being used 200 billion times a year, the CDC saying you should use a towel once (yeah, the CDC isn’t doing my laundry).   This product reminds me a little of those napkin-like “towels” people leave out for guests — not sure if should use them, not sure if they’re decorative, not terribly water absorbent.  Hey, no more wondering with this new product.

OK…So despite the lull in flu talk and disease chat among the press, it seems that solutions to keep you healthy continue to arise.  Not yet at least…Flu was big news just about this time last year (spring break-ish time).  We’ll see.  No high fives here for getting through this pun-packed post.  Fist bump.  TASTY TREND:  Health & Wellness; No Germs Allowed

Eye of the Beholder

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  It’s the most, wonderful time…of the year!  This is my 200th post — woo hoo!  And I’m singing this happy, holiday tune as I read and get to share more 2010 trend predictions.  I love trends (admit it, you do, too!).  And this time of year is so very chock full of them!  Today’s forecast in marketing comes from Mintel, reported in Drug Store News.  It’s about what’s ahead in Beauty and Skincare. Grab a smock, put cucumber slices over each eye, have a seat in the massage chair, and take read (OK, remove the cukes so you can see).

Mood Beauty – It’s the next step beyond Aromatherapy, using make-up and skincare to enhance the user’s mood.  (“I feel pre-tty…Oh so pre-tty!”)

Nu Natural – Also another next step — this one moves beyond a trend in Organic.  Products will now feature authentically made selections and locally produced ingredients.

Pro-Tech’t – A play on “protect” — again, going beyond just SPF and ingredients that help shield out the sun’s rays.  These products will help fend against harmful physiological and man-made factors, as well.  And it even impacts packaging, with concrete and neoprene packaging, not just your basic plastic and glass bottles.  Look for multi-tasking products that claim immune-boosting and skin-defending benefits, as well.

And lastly:  Turbo Beauty 4G – Beauty and skin products — even those that will be available to the masses — will feature medical- or pharmaceutical-grade active ingredients.

What’s interesting to me, is that these next steps and trends forward are similar to what we’ve seen (yes, you and me, my trendy reader) from other categories.  Food, in particular — where consumers want multi-functional benefits, yet simple ingredients, and also locally grown and produced selections.

For someone like me who need a lil’ help, it’s nice to know solutions for youth and beauty will still be alive and well in the days ahead.  Hey, good lookin’, thanks for crunching — 200 times!  Have a wonderful, attractive weekend!  TASTY TREND:  Health and Wellness