Macro Trends from Expo West

“Natural” is becoming one of the most alluring terms for both consumers and marketers. As more people seek to lead healthier lives, they’re increasingly turning to toxin-free, natural products. Indeed, the market for natural products has surged in recent years and continues to grow: U.S. consumer sales of natural, organic and healthy products are forecast to grow 64% from $153 billion in 2013 to $252 billion in 2019, a rate nearly double that of mainstream consumer packaged goods, according to New Hope Natural Media, the organizer of Expo West.

The meaning of “natural,” however, has become significantly more nuanced and complex in recent years. Increasingly, “natural” is being applied across categories, appearing on beauty products, pet products, cleaning products and elsewhere.

At the same time, consumers are becoming increasingly skeptical of this claim, placing the term under greater scrutiny.

This report is based on findings from Expo West, the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event. Expo West, which took place March 4-8 in Anaheim, California, brought together more than 71,000 industry members and over 2,700 exhibiting companies. With dozens of panels and hundreds of networking events, Expo West is ground zero for emerging trends and innovative products.

This report touches on three overarching themes from the show, as well as things to watch for the future. 

Meet the Mindful Millennial

Mindfulness - the practice of being more present and in the moment - is rapidly going mainstream. Millennials are at the forefront of this shift. As more people embrace mindfulness, their behaviors, beliefs and brand preferences are changing in the process. Marketers are presented with exciting new opportunities to reach, engage and motivate this rapidly growing consumer cohort.

Introducing the New Family

The notion of family is rapidly evolving, but many brands aren’t yet portraying the new reality of today’s families or fully speaking to their needs. Marriage is no longer a given in many parts of the world, nor are children; at the same time, gay couples are embracing these milestones as attitudes and laws change. Meanwhile, as people live longer, more are forming new families in later decades, and households are expanding to include multiple generations. On the other end of the spectrum, more people are living in households of one, forming families out of friends or even treating pets as family. This report spotlights what’s driving these trends, supporting data and examples of how marketers are responding.

10 Mobile Trends for 2014 and Beyond

JWT’s third annual report on trends in the mobile sphere spotlights key themes that came out of this year’s Mobile World Congress, Consumer Electronics Show and South by Southwest Interactive, and builds on trends spotlighted in previous reports. The report covers significant drivers and manifestations of these developments, and their implications for brands. “10 Mobile Trends for 2014 and Beyond” is based around on-the-ground research at the MWC in Barcelona and SXSW in Austin, as well as desk research and insights gleaned from interviews with several mobile experts and influencers.

10 Overriding Themes from SXSW 

With thousands of sessions, a packed exhibit hall floor, hundreds of party and networking opportunities, and dozens of ancillary activities, this year’s SXSW Interactive, which took place March 7-11 in Austin, Texas, was a place ripe for curiosity and exploration. To paraphrase one panelist: SXSW is a living, breathing manifestation of the Internet and culture. 

This report highlights 10 overriding themes from the 21st annual festival, based on on-the-ground reporting, input from JWT and Digitaria colleagues in attendance and secondary research.

Social Media Week 2014: Reading Is No Longer Fundamental

At Social Media Week in New York, I spoke about how text is being supplanted by visual and the need for brands to shift their vocabulary accordingly. 

The Brazil Opportunity: A Guide for Marketers

In the decade-plus since the BRIC moniker was coined, the expectation that Brazil would emerge as a robust new market for brands has been borne out. Yet many international brands are absent or only starting to eye the terrain. 

The full report serves as a comprehensive guide for marketers looking to enter Brazil or expand their footprint. It is a wide-ranging introduction to a complex culture, consumer mindset and media landscape: a look at the forces that have shaped Brazilian society and how it’s evolving in tandem with massive political, economic and social shifts. Throughout, we include takeaways for brands and examples of how domestic and international marketers are connecting with Brazilian consumers. 

The Future of Correspondence

It’s only in the last few decades that cheap and easy alternatives to the post have proliferated, radically reshaping the way in which we correspond. But postal services are here to stay. We still need packages delivered, for one thing, and we’re also developing a greater appreciation for the act of sending and receiving physical mail. 

“The Future of Correspondence” assesses the role of mail in the digital age, delving into the rise of “slow communication” and the fusion of digital and physical. It examines what’s driving these developments, the ways in which they’re manifesting and what they mean for marketers. The report also spotlights eight innovative direct mail campaigns and takes a look at how email is evolving, the advent of delivery lockers and new approaches to stamps and addresses. 

13 Mobile Trends for 2013 and Beyond

The mobile is moving well beyond its role as a communication device, becoming an enabler for a wide range of experiences from TV viewing to shopping to banking. And mobile connectivity is disrupting industries from retail to auto to finance and beyond. The consensus is that change is occurring at an astonishing scale and speed. 

In this report, JWTIntelligence outlines key trends in evidence at the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress, held in Barcelona in late February, along with examples that illustrate these developments and implications for brands. The report also incorporates insights from interviews with several mobile experts and influencers.