Weekly dose of microtrends that will shape our future

Year in Review: looking back (and forward) at our 2021 predictions

Miro Dimitrov

Edited by Christian Thompson and Julia Myers

2021 proved an eventful year for everyone, and certainly unpredictable - but that’s where we step in.

Looking back at a year of weekly pulses, many of our correct predictions come as no surprise, such as the continued rise in the popularity of oat milk (shocker, I say as I sip my oat milk latte), while others revealed hidden insights that no one (except our AI) saw coming. Our algorithm first flagged changing sentiment towards Evergrande eight months before the Evergrande Chinese housing meltdown, and while the German federal election proved to be a tight race in September, we were able to forecast Olaf Scholz’ close win.

Curious about the signals we’ve flagged for 2022?

Gathered here are trends we’ve spotted this year that we expect exponential growth from in the coming months. Between omicron, changing geopolitical tides, and the rise of the metaverse (keep an eye out for our dedicated issue next month) we predict another year of change, opportunity, and yes, coronavirus.

1. Eco-friendly by day, budget-friendly by night

NWO.ai's Signals for Shein, Fashion Nova, Zara and AllyLikes

Prediction Date: September 2021

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How did we do?

While influencers and brands were all about sustainable fashion this year, it seems that fast fashion was the guilty pleasure of quarantined shoppers who turned to online retailers for a quick, cheap fashion fix. Fast fashion brands featured heavily on TikTok, where “Shein hauls,” (sometimes sponsored and sometimes not), featured creators trying on the brand’s affordable and trendy items, often priced in the single digits. Fashion Nova and Zara continued to strengthen their share of the fast fashion market, while AllyLikes, a brand new Alibaba-backed fast fashion company based in China, has shown exponential growth and is forecasted to only become a bigger player in the cheap clothing market. Simultaneously, as predicted in our September newsletter, sustainable luxury brands such as Poshmark and Depop (both of which offer a platform for users to sell and trade second-hand clothing and items) found footing with TikTok and Instagram audiences where shoppers snatched up "Y2k pieces" and micro-influencers built up followings for their "shops" on the platforms.

NWO.ai's Signals for Poshmark and Vintage Sneakers

Our AI highlighted that specific pieces and vintage brands, such as faux fur coats and Stone Island clothing, experienced significant spikes, while searches related to vintage footwear skyrocketed. Early 2000’s shoe brand favorites such as Uggs and Steve Madden shot up hundreds of points with new releases and renewed interest in the brands, while vintage sneakers continue to be best sellers. Online shopping was up on all fronts over the course of the pandemic, and the momentum isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

2. Shortage of labor shapes the future of labor

NWO.ai's Signals for Labor Shortage, Antiwork, and Lying Flat Movement

Prediction Date: November 2021

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How did we do?

In the past few weeks, the antiwork movement has exploded in popularity, up 2676% and hundreds of points since we first spotted the labor shortage surge in November. Representing less of a temporary trend and more of a generational rebellion against overworking staff following an extreme shortage of workers, antiwork has found a strong footing among restaurant staff and is catching on in other industries. China has experienced a very similar wave of sentiment in recent months through the lying flat movement, which started on Chinese social media as a protest against long working hours, commonly known as 9-9-6, or 9am to 9pm, 6 days a week. We predict the effects of Coronavirus on numerous industries, as well as the general shake-up in the way we work during the pandemic, will continue to shape the future of the way we work.

3. Crypto in Limbo

NWO.ai's Signals for Ethereum, Bitcoin and Dogecoin

Prediction Date: July 2021

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How did we do? Back in July, we predicted that the price for Ethereum, Bitcoin and Dogecoin would consolidate over the next year as “investors wait for a breakout confirmation before capitalizing.” On July 30th, they were valued at $2,536, $41,626, and $0.21, respectively. As of December 21st, values had fluctuated to $4,026, $48,888, and $0.17, respectively. While Ethereum has seen a 58% increase in value, the price has been hovering around $4,000 for the past three months.

Over the next year, NWO.ai’s signal for the three cryptocurrencies shows that their impact score will be relatively stable with a sudden spike towards the middle of the year. In 2022, NWO.ai is most bullish on Ethereum’s performance, while Dogecoin and Bitcoin growth will slightly lag. In next week’s inflection point newsletter, we’ll go deep into metaverse tokens, so stay tuned!

4. Booster shot

NWO.ai's Signal for Booster Shot

Prediction Date: July 2021

Newsletter: NWO.ai’s weekly pulse: Roblox, booster shots and who’s winning the vegan milk battle

How did we do? During the summer months, NWO.ai indicated that interest in the COVID-19 booster would increase heading into the Winter months. Our signal turned out to be accurate as people increasingly searched and discussed the booster from our sources.

NWO.ai's Signal for Booster in the context of Omicron

Omicron only bolstered the conversation around booster vaccines, and will most like continue to drive the conversation in 2022, which is forecasted to keep growing as governments tune their pandemic solutions to prevent the spread of current, and future, strains.

As the holidays rapidly approach and we all start making our gingerbread houses (mini and vegan gingerbread house signals are up thousands of points this holiday season), let NWO.ai keep a finger on the pulse of global trends for you so your business is ready to hit the ground running in 2022. With the ability to spot subtle changes in sentiment and forecast exponential trends, our algorithms spotted more than a few in the past year, and we look forward to another year of sharing our insights. Happy Holidays!

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.

P.S.  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 anatomy of next.

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