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What are “Popcorn trends”?

Behind this imaginative name lies a very specific concept: it's about the trends that are currently exploding. A bit like popcorn in fact! You can imagine a trend that smolders for a long time, until it explodes like a corn kernel in a pan.

However, this isn't what earned the trends their name. In fact, they owe their name to the person who came up with it: Faith Popcorn.

Born in New York City under the family name Plotkin, Faith Popcorn is the founder and director of the marketing firm BrainReserve. She's also a futurist and the author of three books: "The Popcorn Report", "Clicking" and "EVEolution".

According to her, we can predict future trends by analyzing the signs that are already appearing now in our daily lives. Her various predictions have earned her the nickname of Nostradamus of Marketing.

In "Clicking", she identifies 16 consumer trends that every entrepreneur should be aware of in order to be successful. We've compiled and summarized them for you to help you launch your food project in the best way possible, but they really apply to any other type of project, too.

1) Andro-emancipation: Masculinity is being redefined. It's freeing itself from traditional dichotomies (pink vs. blue; weak vs. strong; feminine vs. masculine) and its toxic masculinity constraints. The modern man is changing his values, he's more family oriented, less careerist and takes better care of his body (cosmetics, healthy food, physical exercise, ...).

2) Fantasy adventure: More than ever, people want to go on an adventure and discover new places (different cultures, exotic landscapes, unusual culinary experiences, ...). This trend is currently worsened by the lockdown linked to the COVID-19 crisis and the anxiety-provoking political and economic climate. Risk-free travel is therefore on the rise.

3) Icon toppling: Consumers are less and less naive. They reject the autocratic status of corrupt power figures who have lost their sense of reality. A company's spokesperson must represent the values cherished by the public and have irreproachable ethics. There's room for skepticism.

4) Clanning: In reaction to the hyper-individualism of recent years, consumers are looking for groups with which they can identify. These are usually small groups, "clans", gathered around specific interests and values that are dear to the consumer.

5) Cocooning: The term is most explicit. Staying at home, sheltered in your cozy cocoon. Comfort and safety are the keywords. This is all the more true in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic which has forced us to stay at home more than ever. This is exacerbated by the phenomenon of interactivity: it's, for example, easier and easier to make purchases without leaving home!

6) Vigilante consumer: Consumer interest has come to the forefront. Businesses must be more careful than ever in developing campaigns, warranty policies, etc.

7) Cashing out: This isn't about dropping out of school, but about an alternative way of life that was once seen as a social failure but is now being hailed. In fact, more and more individuals are "cashing out" of the corporate lifestyle to take a step back and do work that makes them happy, without worrying as much about their professional advancement.

8) Egonomics: We've got a unique personality and feel an irrepressible need to affirm it. This, among other things, explains the immense popularity of social media. With the exception of clan-based marketing, which targets smaller groups, there's no need to rely on consumers' need to belong to a society. We focus on ourselves and not on what others do.

9) Anchoring: In this ever-changing world where everything is always moving so fast, we are looking for security. Consumers are returning to more traditional sources and values.

10) EVEolution : The greater emancipation of women and the denunciation of discrimination and violence against them are increasingly enabling women to find their place. They are looking for spaces for themselves, where they'll be heard, respected and supported. This is greatly reflected in their consumption.

11) 99 lives: With the acceleration of our pace of life, we all currently lead several lives: professional, family, social, etc. This is reflected in the needs and desires of consumers. Products must fit this ultra-fast lifestyle.

12) Being alive: In the 80's people talked about the fashion of health obsession. It's clear today that it's a real trend, a lifestyle. A trend that's changing, however, over the years. Instead of seeing the multiplication of gyms, we are now seeing the emergence of nutraceutical foods (contraction of nutrients and pharmaceuticals).

13) Small indulgences: The economic situation makes it difficult to make large expenses related to pleasure or entertainment. As a result, more and more consumers are turning to small pleasures to compensate for the feeling of deprivation. After all, an evening in a good restaurant is an ideal comfort and much less expensive than a trip to the tropics.

14) Down-aging: The remakes of classic animation movies show us that the consumer wants to go back to childhood and relive a more carefree time. This is the era of nostalgia and tributes to classics.

15) Pleasure revenge: No more depriving yourself permanently. Pleasure reinvigorates itself in society, without shame or taboo. This also applies to the food industry. People are looking for tasty, gourmet food, far from the sad, bland food of fashionable diets.

16) Save our Society: Consumers are increasingly aware of the misfortune of others and decide to take responsibility, including in the way they consume. Volunteering and ethical consumption are popular.

As you may understand, society evolves and consumer trends, too, with it. That’s why it's important to take these points into account when launching and developing your business, especially in the world of food.

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