By James Scott, Bibendum Market Insights Manager
“The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” William F. Gibson
William Gibson’s 1993 sentiment still rings true when it comes to most/all retail sectors. The ‘innovation’ we’re all likely to see over the coming years is already known. In the world of technology, this is known by a tiny number of people. In the wide world of customer focussed retailing though, the source of future trends can be much simpler, with it following mainstream media trends (with a typical 9-18mth lag) and borrow heavily from history.
In much the same way as I’m about to “borrow heavily” from Robert Zemeckis, they “go back to the future!” What was ‘new’ in the high street in 2009, was out-of-fashion [even] in Prestatyn by 1987. The sharp Farhi suits, knitwear and Stepford Wives home baking of 2011 is soaked in 50’s misogyny, and the speakeasy cocktail-in-a-glass-jar experience being enjoyed across London into 2012 has been re-hashed many times since it was first seen 90 years ago on America’s Eastern Seaboard.
Life on Mars, Mad Men & Boardwalk Empire, the trends of the last 5 years across fashion, food and drink have been nothing short of slap in the face obvious. But to get hung up on where the idea has come from, old or new, is to miss the point entirely.
What’s exciting is how the creative geniuses amongst the UK’s restaurant owners, bar tenders and BWS range masters take the trends of yesteryear, the passions of modern foodies, drinkers and party people, and the innovation of an amazing global supply chain to create the genuinely new in the UK food and drinks sector.
There are new twists on old ideas and even some exciting, genuine innovation cropping up from Penzance to Penrith, Canterbury to Cape Wrath and Bibendum’s Trade Marketing, Design and Insights teams are all over them.
Below are 10 top teasers for the year ahead to get your taste buds going – we’d love to give you more; but we save the killer activation ideas for our lovely customers!
2012 is going to be all about customers. Part of that is a growing understanding of their own flavour needs and an aversion to being told what to like!
Small plates and multiple ‘sample sizes’ of different wines/beers/cocktails is manna from heaven in 2012. Try more, taste more and enjoy your evening for longer – win, win, win!
People take pride in where they live and want to taste the flavours of their region when they go out – not just some homogenous high street plate of beige.
Spontaneity is back; and it’s more organised than ever! So if you don’t know what a QR code is, let alone what an Aurasma app could do for you, then you really ought to ‘phone your Bibendum account manager immediately!
“Twinsumerism”, or Peer to Peer recommendation is still here, and God willing always will be! Bibendum can help you harness it to your commercial advantage.
Another marketing watch word for 2012 is “Flawesome” – great isn’t it! This is being awesome by displaying your flaws (god I love portmanteaus!). Fundamentally this is about integrity. We all make mistakes, we’re human, so admit it when you are wrong and to try to be better.
2012 should be a festival of everything that is brilliant about being British. Not just because the Olympic Games are coming to town but our wonderful Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee. Brit is back!
Times are tough, they have been for some time and they will continue to be for some time, but when the going gets tough, the tough stop bloody whining and get on with it! 2012 is the year of the treat: treat your partner, treat your mum and treat yourself!
Life’s still too short – time poverty never left us, it’s just been buried under blind financial panic. Healthy bites will form a major part of this trend as the desire/need for fatigue solvers and a solution for failing concentration reaches fever pitch!
It’s still cool to find a deal – it’s even cooler if the deal feels like a money can’t buy, one-off experience. The WIGIG is back, in a big way and should be used in every form from dinner plates to wine parcels, boutique beers and occasion cocktails.
Follow the link to read a more detailed report on the Top 10 trends from our Market Insights guru – Bibendum’s Top 10 Trends for the UK Wine Market in 2012.
To see more of what will be big in 2012 check out Trendwatching.com