Author Gina Clarke

It is often difficult to predict the future but for Lucie Greene, WorldWide Director at The Innovation Group, that is exactly her job.

Each year the Institute releases a report known as the Future 100 which explores upcoming trends across all sectors based on brands and marketing updates and consumer feedback.

So, what will you be doing in 2018?

Lucie believes that the next year is all about moving into a post-hipster world, and has a warning for brands who essentially need to up their game to appeal to the latest generation. She says,

“In 2017 we charted the Xennials, the 30-45-year-old microgeneration caught between the core millennial and generation X groups. Travel, food, drink, beauty and tech brands need to come to grips with this group’s expectations, as its net worth is set to more than double over the next 10 years.”

A huge consideration of the report features how technology is integrating across all sectors, and we are going to become much more hands-on with it, literally! Lucie says,

“2018 looks set to be the year in which 5G and augmented reality (AR) drive massive change in our interactions with the internet—we’ll be able to shop from our cars and visualise furniture in our home before deciding to buy it. And, rather than being described as “the future” at tech conferences, this will happen en masse.”

The Future 100 charts emerging trends across 10 sectors, spanning marketing, culture, travel and more. Here, we take a look at some of the top predictions for 2018, highlights include:

Culture: Intersectionality.

Images: Future 100 Report

“Intersectionality” is resurging in popular discourse—both in media outlets trying to reach the highly diverse generation Z, and among diversity chiefs developing employment practices.

Tech & Innovation: Manufacturing 2.0.

From Adidas’s new Speedfactory to Puma, brands are reshaping the factory with advanced rapid-manufacture techniques, creating bespoke products on demand.

Travel & Hospitality: Immersive hospitality.

Spooked by stagnant audience figures, film companies are creating immersive hotels in their films’ worlds, like Disney’s Star Wars hotel, launching in 2019.

Brands & Marketing: Branded audio. 

First came branded content, then videos. Next, branded audio offers intimate opportunities for brands to connect with audiences in the era of voice.

Food & Drink: Algorithmic food design.

Having revolutionised art and sculpture, algorithms are making inroads in food design, creating unique and Instagram-optimised shapes.

Beauty: New wave men’s grooming.

Men’s skin care was one of the year’s most-searched beauty trends. New retailers and design objects reflect a sophisticated clientele moving beyond stereotypes.

Retail: Hyper-personalised products.  

Future 100: The future trends for 2018 | CLNews UK

The trend towards diagnostic, highly-personalised services is spreading from health to retail, as consumers become comfortable with exchanging personal data for solutions.

Health: Trippy wellbeing.

The latest trend among high performers seeking shortcuts to optimised wellbeing is psychedelic drugs, which are enjoying a popularity not seen since the 1960s.

Luxury: Remote on demand.

Services like Blink by Black Tomato offer pop-up travel in remote locations that take personalisation to the extreme, as wealthy travellers eschew cookie-cutter experiences.

Lifestyle: Gen Z yellow? New zeitgeist hues for 2018.

Like its namesake, Gen Z Yellow is optimistic and gender-neutral. 2018’s new shades will make a colourful impact on our everyday landscape. 

Food for Thought

What is probably the most diverse sector in the report is how it relates to the industry of food and drink. It seems 2018 will be the year that revolutionises not just the way we eat our food, but the way we grow it too.

Small-scale agriculture, for instance, is stepping up its game in what is being referred to as Farming 2.0. Vertical farms, a popular experiment for those in urban cities, is poised for a mainstream breakthrough as the demand for fresh produce and health foods hit peak levels.

So what will we be eating? Vegan food is becoming a standard for most urban areas, crossing over to our menu like never before. It also supports a tee-total trend as wellness-focused consumers turn their backs on alcohol. Interestingly, consumption actually declined in the US for the first time in 2016 whereas the non-alcoholic beverage market is growing.

Importantly, the theatre of food is one which is frequently referenced in the report. From extreme immersion to foodie theme parks and fine dining, consumers are more and more demanding an experience with their meal.

And of course, technology and food are constantly joining forces. The Future 100 report makes reference that soon we will simply be able to take a photo of our plate and receive all the nutritional information of its contents without once asking Google.

Transformational Change from the future 100 report

So what does the future hold? Well, this latest future 100 report foresees 2018 full of transformational change and new opportunities for both consumers and brands.

But what does that mean for us? Lucie believes that ultimately, we are in the hands of large companies constantly trying to adapt to our own demands. She says,

“The future is happening faster than ever, thanks to the rapid pace of tech innovation and digital culture. New models of commerce are causing disruption and scaling rapidly. In food, drink and beauty, we see nascent trends exploding in a nanosecond, thanks to social media.

“Meanwhile, new technologies are completely transforming the way we interact with commerce, marketing and the internet. AR, VR, AI, voice activation and 5G will all create seismic change in the way we work and live. Coupled with this we are seeing consumers who are more demanding of brands than ever – and focused on wellbeing, experiences and self-improvement in all aspects of their lives.”

So there you have it, more immersion into home technology, a shift in gender culture and an array of different culinary experiences we will all be looking forward to trying.

See you in 2018!