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What’s for dinner tonight? Our trend predictions in Foods and Meals

What’s for dinner tonight? Tomorrow? In 2021 and beyond? Our Foods and Meals trend predictions will tell you. For many years, the most popular restaurant meal in Britain was prawn cocktail, followed by steak and chips, with Black Forest gateau for dessert. The heyday of this ‘Great British Meal’ was the 1970s, when specific meals were reserved for special occasions. The meal was sufficiently exotic to seem like a luxury, but familiar enough to be a safe bet. These days, we are a little more sophisticated in our tastes, and keener to try new things both in and outside the home, making food trends come and go much faster. Social media drives the proliferation of these trends across borders and cultures. Topics and trends that historically would evolve over years now come and go in months, if not weeks. As a manufacturer in this space with lengthy innovation cycles and complex supply chains it can be a minefield. It’s hard to know which will sustain and stick versus which are just here for the short-term: unicorn spaghetti and charcoal ice cream, anyone? In a market where big CPG companies are losing $20 billion in sales every year to private label and small start-up food brands, innovation has never been more important. But where do you put your innovation dollars? And how can you improve success rates? Social Prediction: Look at the world in a different way There is debate about who said “It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future”, but whoever it was clearly didn’t have access to online conversation. Social Prediction enables us to forecast trends more effectively than by using traditional market research techniques. Social conversations are spontaneously generated, rather than in response to artificial questioning, they are available at scale, because they sample from the vastness of the internet, and at speed, because they involve no fieldwork time. This is crucial for CPG companies. If you are going to differentiate your consumer intelligence so you can innovate more effectively, you need to look at the world in a different way; the old methods just won’t cut it. Our proprietary TPV (trend prediction value) ranking gives clients a scientific metric by which to prioritise new and emerging trends for first-mover advantage. The higher the TPV rank, the higher the likelihood the topic will grow in relevance to consumers over the next 6-18 months. And, yes, we know things have been a little different lately, but our algorithms are sufficiently smart to filter out the noise of COVID-19 on the conversation. Three key topics […]


8 Years of Trends in 8 Weeks with Mondelez SnackFutures

What a long time eight weeks can be. It’s enough time to lose a stone in weight on the NHS weight loss plan… impressive changes, but they pale in comparison to the changes we’ve seen since we started our Covid-19 webinar series. Consumer conversations, behaviours and trends are shifting so quickly that eight weeks has felt more like eight years. Learn more about our conversation with Mondelez and their perspective on the current climate.


Navigating the Storm with Colgate-Palmolive’s Cherie Leonard

A week may be a long time in politics, but a fortnight can feel like a lifetime in lockdown. Based on our fortnightly COVID-19 reports, which cover both broad societal and category specific topics, it seems that two weeks is the cycle time for change. In this, our third fortnightly webinar, the overriding observation is how consumers are changing from thinking about life after the virus, to finding ways to adapt and live through it.


Navigating the Storm | Diverging Behaviors in Personal Care

The Personal Care category has arguably undergone some of the most significant changes throughout the pandemic, with consumer needs and behaviors diverging, having implications on the trends that are likely to disrupt the category, at least in the short to medium term. Discover the impact in this blog.


Navigating the Storm | Debunking the ‘New Normal’

In our latest webinar, we set out to debunk the ‘new normal’. Five weeks into lockdown, we wanted to explore what has really changed? How much have we moved on, not from pre-Covid-19, which seems like another world (remember how we used to meet in person back then?) but from lockdown week two? And what will be the changes that stick? It’s hard to make predictions in times of rapid change, but our speakers gave us some great steers as to how to cut through the noise and start to understand the trends that may have traction in the future.


Navigating the Storm | Shifting Emotional & Functional Drivers in Skincare

Skin. It’s our largest organ and plays a vital role in protecting us from outside infection and disease. It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has contributed to an uptick in conversation around skincare (+141% over the past 4 weeks). It’s a multi-faceted conversation that points to a number of direct (hygienic) and indirect (Zoom vanity) implications.


COVID-19 | Taking the Pulse of the nation

At Black Swan we set ourselves a simple, but ambitious goal: to ensure our clients never miss a trend. But how can you do this outside of a specific category, to understand bigger trends that go beyond just a single product group? Step forward our new COVID-19 Pulse reports.