The new report outlines Middle East and North Africa trends in 10 consumer sectors.
J. Walter Thompson’s Innovation Group MENA has released a new report, The Future 100: MENA Trends and Change to Watch in 2016, offering insight into 100 cutting-edge trends to watch across the Middle East and North Africa.
Authored by Mennah Ibrahim, MENA director of the Innovation Group, the report groups 100 trends into 10 major consumer segments. Some of the featured trends are native to the MENA region, while others have sprung from various corners of the world.
“Across all sectors, consumers are differentiating between brands based on their concern for their communities, and will look to brands that supercharge that mission,” Ibrahim said. “When you consider that Arabs are living centrally digital lives, and that 55% of the Middle East’s population is below the age of 30, brands need to be asking themselves if they are missing a trick?”
Featured trends include:
The Social Chasm: MENA societies are polarizing into extremes, opening up a divide between the liberated, forward-thinking youth and more conservative cohorts in terms of attitudes, behaviors and financial inclusion.
Banking the Unbanked discusses how 41% of adults in the MENA region claim they are not even eligible to open an account, and Congenial Cryptocurrency looks at the emergence of multiple new ways to pay in a region where more than 80% of the population remains unbanked.
The Water Credo: Following water resource depletion—and in some cases, water outages—governments and citizens alike are working on identifying new solutions to the problem. Teen entrepreneurs in Lebanon, for example, have devised urine-powered electricity generators, with a view to offsetting reductions in hydroelectric power.
Perhaps the most profound of these trends is the emergence of the new Arab woman, who expects brands to work around her and her needs, more than ever before. Female Gamers are driving a whole new rhetoric around women, while The New Face of Luxury: Muslim Hijabis demonstrates how luxury designers across the globe are taking notice of the young, stylish Muslim woman.
But it isn’t only women who are challenging traditional ideas of gender—a growing number of the region’s men are, too. Menaissance explores how the market for men’s grooming, which grew by 32% from 2009 to 2014, is demonstrating that even the most conservative quarters of the Arab world are experiencing their own version of a male awakening.