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Recent weeks have seen a flurry of announcements from western social media giants regarding new ways for consumers to buy products directly from retailers without leaving those social platforms. Because fashion is inherently visual, sharable and has one of the highest online penetration rates for consumer goods online sales, it is important for those in the industry to keep an eye on these developments. But, with this in mind, it may be the case that the future of social commerce lies within messaging apps. Listen to the podcast for complete insights.
Continue reading "Fashion Friday: How S-Commerce is Impacting the Fashion Industry" »
Analyst Insight by An Hodgson - Industry, Infrastructure and Environment Manager
The effects of El Niño, a climatic phenomenon that can disrupt weather patterns, have been seen in parts of the world since 2015, impacting economies, markets and consumers. While some countries in Asia Pacific and other regions can experience poor harvests due to dryness and heatwaves, the USA can benefit from El Niño owing to more rainfall and warmer winters. Reduced crop output can result in food price hikes, triggering inflation and higher costs for countries that rely on imported food.
- El Niño is a phenomenon that occurs irregularly in the tropical Pacific Ocean every two to seven years and affects weather all around the world. Scientist have confirmed the arrival of an El Niño event in March 2015 and warned that its effects could last until the end of the year;
- The El Niño in 2015 is likely to bring reduced rainfall and dryness in Southeast Asia, Australia, India and West Africa, affecting production of major crops in these countries. Agriculture plays an important role in many economies including Vietnam, Indonesia, India and the Philippines. In 2014, gross value added (GVA) from agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing accounted for 14.3% of Indonesia’s total GVA. Meanwhile, El Niño weather shock can actually benefit the USA as it helps to reduce drought in California, diminish tornadic activity and hurricanes, and bring warmer winters;
Continue reading "Special Report: El Niño in 2015 Can Have Significant Effects on Economies and Markets" »
Analyst Insight by Daphne Kasriel-Alexander - Consumer Trends Consultant
In 2015, reinventing an established ‘ghost brand’ for new audience segments, altering food formulations in response to consumer wellness concerns or changing a brand name already esteemed by customers is increasingly challenging. Established names can benefit from positive associations like authenticity, but buyer expectations of fresh products and updated services encouraged by 24/7 digital information also mean that consumers expect trend-led change fast, as brands like Gap are realising. Even younger tech brands like Instagram must tackle the cultural obsession with newness, and be receptive to emerging consumer demands and interests, often met sooner by competing services.
Tackling the cultural obsession with newness
The interest in things new was a key pillar of mass consumption, but the digital age offers us new and updated products and services 24/7 – including constantly renewed feed on social media and marketing. This promotes the need for novelty to consumers, even as green consciousness raises alarm bells at the waste this quest involves. This interest in newness, driven too by FOMO (fear of missing out) and the associated quest for the fresh and the fashionable means that even new tech brands have to run to stay ahead. Instagram, for instance, is to offer millions of current events photos and now shows viewers videos and photos of events, hashtags and places that are trending near them - seen as competing with the presentation of live events on mobile messaging service Snapchat.
Continue reading "The Delicate Business of Updating Products" »
As attention turns to potential increases in interest rates, and the recovery becomes more established, the feel-good factor amongst consumers seems to remain elusive in many advanced economies.
Return to strong(ish) growth
Economic growth is certainly more robust, but still could not be described as “strong” in many economies. In 2014, five of the 40 advanced economies for which we have data, saw economic growth of 3% or more, compared to 28 economies in 2007. In 13 of these 40 countries, total GDP remained lower in 2014 than it had been in 2007.
Advanced Economies with Falls in Real GDP 2007-2014
Source: Euromonitor International from national statistics/Eurostat/OECD/UN/IMF
Continue reading "Consumers in Advanced Economies Remain Unsure of Better Times Ahead" »
China’s strong Q2 figures, with real GDP growth coming in at 7.0% year-on-year - above most analysts’ estimates - should not be taken at face value. Quite apart from the usual debates over the accuracy of the figures, much of the growth stemmed from short-term stimulus measures - including cuts in interest rates – and one-off factors - such as a booming trade surplus. Because of this the figures don’t represent a reversal of recent trends; we continue to expect the economy to slow in the medium to long term.
Yet in the same way that this stronger-than-expected growth in Q2 can be misleading, our forecast slowdown should not be taken at face value. The headline figure masks some interesting trends, particularly for those who are interested in targeting Chinese consumers.
Real GDP Growth: 2009-2020
Source: Euromonitor International from national statistics/IMF
Note: Data from 2015 onwards are forecast
Continue reading "China’s Economic Growth – Why We Should Look Beneath the Surface" »
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The Chinese economy will continue to see slowing growth in 2015, when GDP is forecast to hit 6.8% growth compared to 7.4% in 2014. This slowdown reflects the country's priority shift from manufacturing toward a service-based economy. This podcast examines spillover effects of the real growth slowdown as well as the sinking stock market into global economies and commodities prices. Listen for complete insights.
Continue reading "How does the Chinese Economy Look in 2015?" »
The second quarter of 2015 saw much global attention focused on the eurozone and the Greek crisis. The Chinese economy continues to slow, whilst the US has recovered from its weak start to the year – although the recovery is not yet strong enough for interest rates to be hiked. The oil price recovered somewhat, but remains at low levels, hurting oil exporters. Concerns about productivity growth are present in a wide range of countries from the UK to China to the USA. Nevertheless, consumer confidence increased in the second quarter (over the first) in 28 of the 49 countries that we track. With global risks remaining elevated, our readers continue to be interested in a range of themes across both economies and consumers.
Here are some of the quarter’s most read content on Economies and Consumers:
Continue reading "The Best of Q2 on Economies and Consumers" »
Analyst Insight by Daphne Kasriel-Alexander - Consumer Trends Consultant
Food is the new rock ’n’ roll – this much has now become a banal truism. And it’s street food that is really rocking now. From farmers’ markets to food trucks, from Portland, Oregon to Mönchen-Gladbach via London and Seoul, eating take-away portable snacks freshly cooked on a stall or a truck is where most current trends and interesting fusions are happening. Or, as a reviewer of recent food truck movie ‘Chef’ says: “Out with Eat Pray Love, in with Eat Eat Eat”.
What is street food and where did it emerge?
- Street food had its origins in fast food for working men. The bunnychow, a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry, which originated in South Africa in the 1940s, allowed Indian workers to eat home-cooked curries on the job. Fish and chips wrapped in newspaper, were the original fast food for British working class families. The most basic street food is the sandwich, variations of bread plus filling, from burgers in New York to croque Monsieur in Paris, sabich in Tel Aviv to doner in Istanbul, a bánh mì in Saigon, a hotdog in Reykjavik and currywurst in Berlin. According to the MY3 Streetfood channel on YouTube, roasted palm sprouts are the oldest authentic street food in India, and a South Indian steamed rice cake called idli is “a very healthy Indian Fast Food”. Italy gave us the pizza and Japan added the yakisoba pan (a fried-noodle sandwich). Sicilians brought the muffaletta to America, and India added the vada pav, a potato fritter in a bun – almost as delicious as another British workers’ classic, the chip butty;
Continue reading "Q&A: The Resurgence of ‘Street Food’" »