New York-based brand firm Toniq predicts that social activism will return in a big way. "Causism will replace consumerism as people of all ages, genders and backgrounds think about their place in the world--their purpose, contribution, personal legacy," says the firm. Toniq predicts that cause marketing will evolve from niche and promotional status to a more central place in brand communications. "And," it says, "while cause marketing has been primarily female-focused, it will evolve to everyone else." Examples: the Starbucks Affinity Card, the Red campaign, and Lance Armstrong's Live Strong program.
The firm also sees fantasy as a growth industry expanding from kids to consumers of all ages. Toniq cites Disney's bringing in high-end paparazzo Annie Liebowitz for a photo campaign for adults.
Among other trends, the firm says, design and art will finally get some respect, with MFAs becoming more important than MBAs. Le Meridien hotel chain, says the firm, is repositioning itself as a lifestyle brand with a focus on art and design, with each hotel having a "cultural concierge."
Toniq sees authenticity as a valuable asset. "It intersects several aspects of the culture--from the local-food movement to human craftsmanship and 'real guyness' and heritage brands," says the firm. Think Coca-Cola Designer Series, Burberry; Levi's/Damien Hirst; and Gillette.
Mintel says seven flavors and three scents will make it big in 2009, moving beyond their core markets or countries of origin.
Among them, persimmon, which will find its position as a blend with more common fruits; starfruit, a staple in southeast Asia; lavender; Latin American flavors cactus and chimichurri; peri-peri, an African hot sauce already made popular by Nando's restaurants in the UK; and masala, an extension of the curry trend from several years ago. The firm notes that Lay's has already launched India's Magic Masala Crisps, but Mintel expects the flavor to become popular globally next year.
Among scents: "Spicy and woody" going from men's fragrances to home in 2009, and savory, tied to festive meals and salty snacks. Mintel expects that tomorrow's scents will closely follow new flavor trends. From spicy, hot tastes to fruity, exotic ingredients, 2009 could see many innovative new aromas for home and personal care products.