Mintel is proud and boastful of our 80-plus trends, our team of trend spotters across 20 countries and the 70 odd amazing stories they bring to us every week. But trends don’t just play out on the page, steam on our screens, or come out of our analyst’s mouths. In fact – something we trade in at Mintel – Trends are happening right now in our streets, as insights and dreams turned in to real bricks-and-mortar businesses by brave pioneers and entrepreneurs.

In this new 5-part series, we bring you the very best of trends-in-action from all corners of London. We look into how each business is targeting wider trends and the social, demographic and cultural drivers behind it… Enjoy!

Nana

Nana 1Just across the road from Eat 17, a host of trends – involving everything from learned wisdom to urban regeneration – are meeting up, and getting on just fine, within the walls of a former public toilet.

In its own modest words, Nana is quite simply “a comfort food and craft cafe hosted by older ladies who live locally”. However, this converted public convenience is a bricks and mortar example of our Retired For Hire trend, being a respectful monument to the experience – not to say the commercial value – of an ageing population that wants to work for money as well as pleasure and stay influential, rather than meekly fading from view, ignored by the myopic gaze of youth-obsessed marketeers. The Nana’s are not alone, as Mintel’s Trends data shows that 33% of the UK’s over 45s intend to continue working beyond the state retirement age.

This venture also sees how seniors can support our Survival Skills trend – where cost-conscious, but inexperienced consumers seek a desire for self-reliance, a need to learn lost skills and take pride in doing it ourselves – by imparting their knowledge to a younger generation.

Nana 2There’s more, because Nana also represents a successful example of the entrepreneurial, crowdsourced business models explored in our Collective Intelligence trend and its volunteers also start to receive a share of the profits three months in to their shifts. Nana is also a concrete case study in the kind of urban regeneration projects demanded by our Rebirth of Cities trend, Nana being housed in ‘The Convenience’, a converted public toilet block that had sat unused for 20 years. Factor in a reliance on local suppliers and an avowed aim to “bring back some of that old East End Local vibe” and you have a shining example of a very new kind of ‘public convenience’.

With over a decade of experience in market research, Richard works as a Trends Analyst, helping clients understand how global consumer trends impact their business. As a globally recognised leading trends commentator, he is regularly called on by media worldwide to provide insight and analysis into consumer trends, with recent highlights including the Guardian and BBC Radio 2.

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