BOULDER, Colo.While HIStory may prove them wrong, the pundits at the Fresh Ideas Group (FIG) released the third annual FIG Consumer Trends Forecast, focusing on the SHEconomy and giving a nod to the overwhelming influence on women in 2010. The FIG team noted, We serve up for 2010 our forecast of The New SHEconomy with the disclaimer that the HE in our society is still very much an influence, but with some new roles at last, as both genders face another sobering year with healthy doses of pragmatism learned in 2009.
Among the trends to watch in 2010:
Women in the Drivers Seat: As women make up the majority of workers and make the vast majority of consumer purchases, expect to see more flexibility in the workplace, and convenience and health in the grocery aisles.
Men in the Grocery Aisles: Expect to see men taking on more cooking, shopping and child care as the responsibilities for home life are distributed across both parents.
Retro Transportation Solutions: Bike purchases are on the rise (2.6 million in 1Q09 alone), as is the use of public transportation, as consumers seek ways to save money, get fit and help the environment. Expect to see more government investment in alternative transportation infrastructure.
The New Flexitarian Workplace: Results-oriented work cultures will become more common, with flexibility a given and wellness programs incorporated into health benefits.
Pragmatic Plates: Look for a proliferation of more economical restaurant offerings, from ethnic eateries to diners, as well as grab-and-go grocery options.
Pint-Sized Palates: Kid Foodies (coined Koodies by Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert) with sophisticated palates are challenging their parents to keep the menu interesting. This may lead to product introductions featuring unusual twists on everyday kids favorites like gourmet PB&Js, Asian-influenced easy lunches, Mexican-themed snacks and beverages and increased culinary change on the school lunch menu as well.
Nonprecious Organic: Organic foods will not only continue to expand their reach in mass market grocery chainsbranded products and private label alikebut expect to see pricing making organic more affordable.
Pass the Soda; Hold the Sugar and the Energy Drinks: Attention on high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and childhood obesity will likely beget a wave of lower-sugar options as HFCS slips further from favor.
Supercharged Foods and Calories That Count: Counting calories alone will not be as important as assessing the quality of those calories. Salba will be the next supergrain, and superfruits like acai, yumberry and mangosteen will jump from the beverage aisle to jam jars and frozen foods.
Health Under the Magnifying Glass: Look for increases in health insurance premiums based on level of healthfulness for employees and employer-sponsored contests to incent healthy habits like quitting smoking, reducing cholesterol levels and maintaining regular exercise.