The world is changing in unexpected ways right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn a lot from some general trends. By knowing where to look and what to look for, you can see new themes and patterns developing in the most unexpected of places. Not sure how to make a start? Let’s take a closer look at 5 key trends you need to know about right now and get things moving…
The push to go green is being driven by the demise of single-use plastics
Climate change, pollution and the rising cost of living all come into play here, so it’s no surprise that the push to go green is the first place we’re going to take a look. Already we’ve seen the demise of single-use plastic straws with few caring about the different texture paper straws bring to the table. This just goes to show that while plastics are versatile and useful, they’re far from unique in their ability to solve everyday problems.
Expect the push for single-use plastics to be gradually eliminated to accelerate over the next 12 to 18 months, with alternative materials increasingly gaining traction. Supermarkets are already beginning to return to loose packaging and eliminating plastic bags when it comes to fresh fruit. Other examples include the explosion of reusable water bottles and a growing tendency for major manufacturers not to wrap multi-packs in a final outer layer of plastic. Good news for those of you who want to see change happen sooner rather than later.
Mental health awareness and speaking out is getting increasingly prominent
You only have to look at the world of professional sports to see that mental health awareness is growing with every passing day. Simon Biles may not have hit the heights many expected of her at the Olympics, but she arguably won a greater victory by highlighting the problems she was facing. While no one will have wished these types of public struggles on her, they do have the benefit of giving other young people confidence to speak out when something isn’t right.
By being more vocal and open about the way we’re all feeling, we make it increasingly likely that more retiring members of society will feel comfortable doing the same. This is great news for those who want to put an end to the stigma around mental health and make sure that no one feels they have to suffer in silence anymore.
Online behavior is under increasing scrutiny
While there are no shortage of articles looking at the way people treat one another on social media, we want to focus on a different area in which online behavior is evolving. In the world of online gambling, self-exclusion is a hot topic right now, and for good reason.
With players becoming increasingly aware of the amount of time they spend online, and ethical gaming coming to the fore, the ability to self-exclude is being offered more and more widely. This is a really positive step for those who want to enjoy a game without letting it evolve into something negative or counterproductive. Expect to see increasingly smart ways in which these types of initiatives will take shape and start to be implemented in the months and years ahead.
Staycations and domestic holidays are booming this year around the world
The pandemic has changed life in ways so that so many of us could have never foreseen, but there have also been some positive changes in behavior to come from it. The rise of the staycation is something brought on by seemingly never-ending travel restrictions, and yet it has the unexpected bonus of allowing us to fall back in love with our local areas.
Rather than feeling like the only way to rest and relax is to fly to somewhere hot and sit on the beach for a fortnight, we’re increasingly seeing the beauty and calm in our nearby surroundings. This is ideal for those looking to holiday on a budget, share memories with their loved ones and do it all in a way that makes them feel truly at home like never before.
Supply shortages are driven by spikes in demand, not drops is supply capability
Petrol, food, clothing — you name it there seems to have been a shortage of it recently. The key thing to notice here is that as the world recovers from the lockdowns and shutdowns, spikes in demand are inevitable. While it may be hard to predict them in advance, the uncertainty the world is living through right now will only drive herd-like behavior like stockpiling and panic buying.
The problem is that once a spike in demand goes viral amongst a population it will inevitably lead to a shortage in the short term. Supply chains will correct and develop to account for change, but it will never be instant, or even immediate in a lot of cases. This realization should help show you what’s a long-term issue and what’s a short-term reaction to a new form of consumer behavior.
Looking at the big trends helps to give the world around you a greater context, which is what this article is all about. If you want to look closer at these types of trends, the place to start is always asking yourself why they may be happening in the first place.