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Stephanie Coontz, a professor at The Evergreen State College in Washington state and director of research and public education at the Council on Contemporary Families, has written widely on marriage and family life. A recent New York Times column, for instance, explored “the new instability” in family life due to rising socioeconomic inequality coupled with greater […]

The global snack business reached some $374 billion globally in March 2014, according to research by Nielsen, with sales growing more than two times faster in developing regions than in developed markets. Consumer preferences naturally vary by region, as shown in the chart. North America is predominantly a savory-snack market, while Europe, Latin America and […]

While researching our latest report, Meet the New Family, we asked consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow for her perspective on how changing family structures are affecting consumers, from today’s young parents to the growing population of solo dwellers. Yarrow, author of Decoding the New Consumer Mind: How and Why We Shop and Buy, also discussed how […]

With close to a quarter of the world’s population forecast to be using smartphones this year, the mobile device is becoming a hub for an array of everyday activity, from shopping to video viewing to gaming. Mobile analytics company Flurry calls gaming “the lingua franca of mobile,” noting that mobile gaming has become a global […]

While researching our latest report, “Meet the New Family,” we spoke to Kathy Sheehan, who has global responsibility for GfK’s consumer trends services. Sheehan spoke to us about how and why families are changing and how marketers can respond. “You have all types of new and not-so-new family formations becoming more common,” she told us, […]

Despite slowing growth in emerging markets, in line with global macro-economic conditions, their middle and upper classes continue to expand. This redistribution of wealth is creating ever more opportunities for luxury brands, with McKinsey noting that, “Growth is increasingly shifting toward emerging markets across all luxury categories.” Using broad sets of economic and sociodemographic data […]

The role of libraries in the digital age has been much debated as books go electronic. While print still dominates among readers, e-books are gaining traction, especially among younger consumers. In January, almost half of American adults under 30 said they had read an e-book in the past year, according to the Pew Research Center, […]

Our latest trend report, “Meet the New Family,” examines how family is evolving, along with household makeup and interpersonal ties. While researching the rise of solo dwellers, we spoke with Bella DePaulo, an expert on the single life who works as a project scientist at UC Santa Barbara. The author of Singlism and Singled Out, […]

At last week’s FounderCon in Austin, an annual event hosted by startup accelerator TechStars, a dominant theme was data-driven analysis and decision-making. As consumers generate more measurable data than ever and the tools to process it get faster and cheaper, the opportunities for businesses to make smarter decisions are increasing exponentially. In the HR sphere, […]

Worldwide e-commerce sales are expected to rise almost 20 percent over last year, thanks to growth from emerging markets, according to an eMarketer forecast. In the U.S., e-commerce growth is “far outpacing” overall retail sales, per Business Insider, indicating growing consumer comfort in browsing and buying online. And according to Nielsen’s latest Global Survey of […]


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Things to Watch

  • Bistro In Vitro
    May 26, 2015 | 3:59 pm

    In Vitro Ice Cream

    A new virtual restaurant is serving up “food for thought,” using design to explore a range of possible futures for human interaction with meat. The project, dubbed Bistro In Vitro, takes the far-out idea of in-vitro meat and situates it within the world of online gastronomy as we know it—amid menus, chef interviews, critical reviews and the like.

    Continue reading “Bistro In Vitro” »

  • Bio-responsive spaces
    May 19, 2015 | 4:48 pm

    DynamicSanctuary

    At last week’s Sight Unseen Offsite event in New York, Ford partnered with indie design studio The Principals to create the “Dynamic Sanctuary.” The sanctuary is a sculptural space made out of plastic, Plexiglas and LED lights that connect to a heart rate monitor and fade in and out based on the wearer’s pulse. The space was meant to be a haven from the chaos of daily life and a “poetic metaphor for the design ideas behind Ford’s 2015 Edge vehicle,” said Sight Unseen.

    Continue reading “Bio-responsive spaces” »

  • Rosé’s normcore moment
    May 14, 2015 | 12:21 pm

    Rosé

    As summer nears, once again we’re on the cusp of “rosé season.” While late spring often sees attempts to elevate the red-headed stepchild of the wine world into a product worthy of connoisseurship, this year something different is afoot: a knowing celebration of rosé’s bland charm.

    For perhaps the first time, a wine label is emerging from the self-aware world of Instagram—and, no surprise, it’s a rosé. Continue reading “Rosé’s normcore moment” »

  • Snapchat TV
    May 12, 2015 | 5:25 pm

    Snapchat

    This summer, TV’s highest-paid female actress, Sofia Vergara, will star in a reality series launching exclusively on Snapchat. The series, titled Vergaraland, is co-produced by Fusion and Vergara’s production company, Latin World Entertainment. It will tell the story of her Hollywood life through the eyes of her 24-year-old son.

    Continue reading “Snapchat TV” »

  • Virtual reality theme parks
    May 11, 2015 | 4:12 pm

    TheVoid

    Some worry that the coming age of virtual reality could lead to an epidemic of digital shut-ins—why leave the house when you can “be” anywhere with the touch of a button? The Void, however, imagines a social space where virtual reality might draw people together—a 21st century take on the classic video arcade.

    Continue reading “Virtual reality theme parks” »

  • Intangibles
    May 7, 2015 | 6:37 pm

    Intangibles

    How much would you pay for a snap? A voicemail?

    Walker Art Center in Minneapolis has launched an online shop that could be considered a conceptual art piece itself. The shop sells what Walker calls “intangibles”—ephemeral, digital commodities such as personalized ringtones or custom avatars to use on social media. Prices range from $1.99 to nearly $4,000, for a virtual ocean-view property on the platform Second Life.

    Continue reading “Intangibles” »

  • WhatsApp marketing
    May 6, 2015 | 4:32 pm

    Clarks

    Clarks shoes in the UK recently launched a WhatsApp campaign to bring the brand to life for its fans. The campaign asked users to add three characters to their contact lists—“some of culture’s greatest innovators, rebels and fashion icons”—who were all fans of the shoes. The characters then sent messages, videos and Spotify playlists through the app, telling the brand’s story while interacting with Clarks enthusiasts.

    Continue reading “WhatsApp marketing” »

  • Facebook’s Anthology
    April 30, 2015 | 4:20 pm

    FacebookVideo small

    Video is king on social media—more than 4 billion are viewed per day on Facebook alone. To capitalize on that, Facebook has just introduced Anthology, a partnership with seven media companies with the aim of creating unskippable ads.

    Continue reading “Facebook’s Anthology” »

  • MyIdol
    April 27, 2015 | 4:55 pm

    MyIdol

    Social media is abuzz with tiny pole dancers. And rock stars. And pandas. All thanks to an app that takes the humble selfie to new heights of playful absurdity—and in 3D, no less.

    Continue reading “MyIdol” »

  • Tindergram
    April 17, 2015 | 11:03 am

    Tinder Instagram

    Swiping just got more interesting—with its latest update, Tinder lets users browse the Instagram feeds of their potential matches. The pairing (which, Adweek notes, seemed inevitable) offers “a sort of social diary, co-written by your friends and family” to help people better stalk their dates.

    Continue reading “Tindergram” »

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