Weekly dose of microtrends that will shape our future

NWO.ai’s weekly pulse: suburban housing, dystopian entertainment, coconut water, vegan leather, and holiday shortages (+ bonus election Signal)

Sarah Gupta

Dear reader,

October is speeding along, and we're here with 5 signals to cut through the noise of your busy day-to-day.

We've also got some exciting news: we're hiring! If you want to be part of Team NWO.ai, be sure to look at our open positions.

1. Making moves

NWO.ai Signal: Suburban Housing and Hybrid Workplace

With many companies offering a hybrid workplace, interest in suburban housing has continued to pick up, especially during the spring and summer. Over the past 3 years, we saw an increase in Impact Score of +228% in the signal for “suburban housing,” largely driven by the work-from-home policies during the pandemic.

NWO.ai Signal: Squid Game, Battle Royale, and Alice In Borderland

The success of “Squid Game,” Netflix’s Korean dystopian drama, has broken plenty of streaming records and brought similar shows into the spotlight. After “The Hunger Games” popularity several years ago, there is still a demand for dystopian shows now. Importantly, non-English shows can be blockbusters even with the distribution of subscribers skewed towards the U.S. and Canada; in fact, many of Netflix’s most viewed shows are not in English. After the release of “Squid Game” in mid-September, the movie “Battle Royale” and the Netflix show “Alice in Borderland” have seen huge increases in Impact Scores of 242%. Both are Japanese dystopian thrillers that have benefited from the popularity of “Squid Game.”

3. Coconut water

NWO.ai Signal: Coconut Water and Vita Coco

Vita Coco, one of the largest and most well-known coconut water brands, is filing for an IPO with a valuation of $1.1 billion. As we’ve noted, beverage trends have recently reflected that health is a top priority for consumers. Although coconut water has not received as much attention of late, it still is a fairly established drink that continues to be popular in the hotter months as it provides an excellent source of hydration. Our historical data shows that the Signal for “coconut water” has a higher summer peak every year, and the Future Estimate for “Vita Coco” suggests that it could be successful.

4. Pleather time (plant leather, that is)

NWO.ai Signal: Cactus Leather, Vegan Leather, Mushroom Leather

As temperatures drop and leather jacket season begins, vegan leather options are picking up in popularity. These animal-free alternatives can even be sourced from cactuses and mushrooms, and are touted as environmentally friendly: the reduced carbon emissions and cruelty-free options are enticing to many consumers.  Recently, we see an increase in the Impact Score of “vegan leather” by +359%, alongside increases in “cactus leather” by +333% and “mushroom leather” by +88%. While we predict that vegan leather will remain popular, time will tell if these specific leather alternatives will break into the mainstream market.

5. Supply chain: Holiday shortage and the experience economy

NWO.ai Signal: Immersive Experience and Toy Shortage

With current supply chain issues, many have predicted a tough holiday shopping season ahead. Everything from toys to books will face short supply or much higher prices, and concern about an impending "toy shortage" has led to an increased Impact Score of 810%. But, the shortages we’ve faced recently across various industries might force us to reconsider our materialism. Over the past few years, the so-called “experience economy” has taken off with a rise in Impact Score of +785% for "immersive experience." This category might include escape rooms and interactive art exhibits, which are now rebounding with pandemic safety precautions. Consumers might consider gifting experiences, as people are eager to try new things in person after extended lockdowns.

Bonus: An Early Test for Next Year’s Midterm-Elections

By Christian Thompson, Customer Success Manager

NWO.ai Signal: Terry Mcauliffe and Glenn Youngkin

The Virginia Gubernatorial race between former Virginia Democratic Governor, Terry McAuliffe, and Republican former private equity executive, Glenn Youngkin, is heating up. Political commentators have billed the race as a referendum on Biden’s presidency and a key bellwether ahead of next year’s midterm elections. The Real Clear Politics poll average currently shows McAuliffe’s lead narrowing to 1.8 points, down from 5.5 points in early August.

Current indications by NWO.ai’s platform suggest that Youngkin may have a slight edge, as Biden’s approval ratings lag behind. A key question moving forward will be if the integrity of the election results will be challenged, and if so, it may keep both candidates front and center in political conversation channels. As we move closer to election day on November 2nd, we will continue to monitor signals for any changes.

Interested in what we do? We're hiring!

Check out our open positions and let us know if you'd be a good fit for our team. We're growing quickly and adding several engineering roles to help us decode the future of next.

About NWO.ai
NWO.ai's predictive platform enables leading Fortune 500 companies and government agencies to anticipate and track global cultural shifts by aggregating, analyzing, and producing actionable reports on human-generated data. We are leveraging petabytes of external, noisy, and unstructured data from various sources - including search, social media, blogs, news, patent databases, SEC filings and we are continuously adding more sources. Our mission is to answer the what, when, and most importantly, 'why' behind a consumer trend and enable our customers to detect these shifts as early as possible.

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