What I love about Economy as a subject, is that it is about so much more than money. It is about people. What happens in the economy is influenced by whether people feel secure or threatened and of course by what the latest trends are.
“By far the greatest influence on the economy is how we react. If the trends look good, consumers respond with optimism and are willing to buy new products. When we feel bad the converse is true”, says Andy Maurer.
That is why trends are so important for every business owner and everyone interested in the economy.
At Prowein 2016, the CEO of Wine Intelligence, Lulie Halstead, presented Global consumer trends and the Wine Category 2016. The audience was blown away. Although there might be a need to identify and list trends, most of us are, at least to some degree, aware of the latest developments and inclinations. What I love about Lulie’s presentation though is the thoroughly researched and brilliant examples of the latest trends. Some might be a bit extreme, but they do showcase what we have to take note of to be successful in today’s world.
Lulie identified the following trends for 2016:
- Devotion – here it is about dedication to a product, for instance finding the perfect maturation conditions for wine under the Mediterranean Sea!
- Instant – we are all strapped for time, so how about ordering your wine and have it delivered in 60 minutes at the exact correct serving temperature? You can do this if you are based in Shanghai, Suzhou or Hong Kong!
- Custom – So your favourite sneaker does not match the outfit your wife wants you to wear? No worries! A custom made shoe with bendable, waterproof HD screens allow you to change the look of your shoe from your mobile app!
- Mini – We are all conscious about saving money and resources. In an ideal world you would like a glass of Chardonnay with your crayfish starter and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with your lamb main, but you do not want to open two bottles of wine. France has now developed single-serve vials with wine from independent wineries available individually or in box sets.
- Transparency – Going hand in hand with traceability, today’s consumer wants to know about the authenticity of the product. Gone is the time of false or miss-leading claims. Does the tip really go to the waiter? The Union Square Hospitality Group has eliminated all tipping from their restaurants, adding a ‘hospitality’ cost onto all prices that will go towards staff wages.
- Well-being – We can see on a daily basis how lifestyle choices affect our quality of life. Our diets, too much stress… A host of foods and beverages now offer options without sugar, artificial ingredients or with lower alcohol and for your mental well-being, support the trend of adult colour therapy and buy a colouring book!
Other than identifying these trends at the hand of thoroughly researched examples, what was also very interesting to me, was comparing how the consumer and the drink industry prioritise these trends.
Well-being is very important to the consumer, but how much emphasis does it enjoy in the drinks industry? And how important are all the clever inventions and customisations of the drinks industry to the consumer?