We're back again this week (from the aftermath of Ida 🌀) with signals that will help you cut through the noise. Here are the 5 inflection points shaping today's world:
1. A disorder related to mirror gazing is bringing plastic surgeons more business than ever
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a mental illness where people hyperfixate on perceived flaws and obsessively check their appearances, has especially affected young women in recent years. A few years ago, the phrase “Snapchat dysmorphia” was coined, referring to how social media photo filters have contributed to body dysmorphia. As we have moved more of our lives to the virtual space, Zoom dysmorphia has now become a cause for concern. NWO.AI’s signal for body dysmorphia hit several inflection points in April and May, indicating exponential interest, mostly driven by search engines.
Researchers have previously documented the link between plastic surgery and body dysmorphia, and we are now seeing an increase in cosmetic surgery.
2. Nurses are raking in more $$$ than portfolio managers
As we face another wave of deadly COVID-19 hospitalizations due to the Delta variant and vaccine hesitancy, the Impact Score of “travel nurses” is exploding again. Last April 2020, and again in January 2021, we saw similar peaks as the coronavirus hit New York and California. Despite the risk, nurses are willing to travel for higher pay and the chance to make an impact in high-need areas. New data shows that surging labor demand is helping some travel nurses rake in the equivalent of over $400,000 per year. The signal for travel nurses exploded in the past 2 weeks, and NWO.AI’s forecast indicates sustained growth in the near future, given the uncertainty around the spread of the Delta variant.
3. Pill culture is taking over sleep
Magnesium supplements have been linked to a variety of health topics, from sleep to migraines to immune function. In our previous two-part series on sleep, we first noted the increase in insomnia, and then discussed treatments like CBD, melatonin gummies, and banana tea, which contains potassium and magnesium. As part of this larger consumer interest in sleep aids, we’re seeing an uptick in Impact Score for magnesium supplements.
4. Feeling nostalgic for the 90s? You’re not alone...
Don’t we all long for the days of our youth?
Recent trends feature brands such as Fruity Pebbles and Kit Kat bars as part of a wave of nostalgic dessert innovations. We’re seeing these collaborations from large brands like Duncan Hines that target millennial and Gen Z consumers.
We’re also seeing a boost in nostalgic fashion trends, like bead necklaces. Celebrities and large brands have jumped on the bandwagon and started selling these colorful accessories as part of a larger resurgence of Y2K styles.
5. Weekly supply chain round-up...
As we noted in our last newsletter, supply chain shocks are affecting a wide range of industries globally. We also wrote about the chip shortage, which will continue to impact the computer and automotive industries, among others.
Unfortunately, your avocado toast is also affected by the supply chain: a produce shortage due to severe weather is hitting avocados and corn particularly hard.
We’re seeing ripple effects from port closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and most recently, Hurricane Ida in the port of New Orleans. Only one out of 10 of Bloomberg’s Trade Tracker indicators is in the normal range -- it’s clear that the Delta variant has left its mark.
A variety of goods are expected to face rising prices due to shipping delays, including iron ore, fiberglass, and aluminum. But that’s not all: the U.S. Gulf Coast is responsible for nearly 20% of global ethylene, meaning that plastic prices will continue to soar in the aftermath of the hurricane.
Edited by Sarah Gupta
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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