Richard Cope
Richard is a Senior Trends Consultant, bringing the latest consumer trends to Mintel clients through bespoke presentations and represents Mintel at global conferences.

Ahead of Mintel forecasts for 2017, Senior Trends Consultant Richard Cope, takes a timely look back at how we fared with our 2016 predictions.

Each year we mobilise Mintel’s cross-sector analyst expertise – as well as our European consumer and Global New Products Database (GNPD) product data – to forecast the consumer trends that we believe will hit big in the next 12 months. The 100 weekly Trend observations we create allow us to gauge the evidence for how our predictions play out and enable us to publish them as confirmed Trends once they generate enough of these as well as enough supportive Mintel data.

On the Waterfront

Shortages will make clean water and waterless alternatives increasingly precious – and politically-charged- commodities.

Touring Europe and its rain-splashed meeting rooms, I often had trouble convincing some of those I spoke to that this was pressing issue, but new statistics arose to confirm the contrary, with the World Meteorological Society warning that the 1.6 billion people live in areas that are classed as having “water scarcity” would reach 2.8 billion by 2025.

During the course of the year, our Trends team witnessed an uptick in water conservation innovations and campaigns, encompassing Japanese Foop hydroponic home farming kits, Orbital Systems’ Swedish shower that circulates and recycles the same five litres of water on a ten-minute loop, Germany’s ‘Stop the Water While Using Me’ personal care products line and Life Water’s Chinese campaign selling half bottles of water at full price so that the other half could be donated to those in water deficient areas.

Our assertion that initiatives like this might mire bottled water in commercially-damaging controversy have proved wide of the mark, with the sector enjoying robust sales growth due to its sugar-free credentials (something that will be accentuated by sugar taxes during 2017).

An emergent issue in 2016 has been protecting our biggest water supply, namely our oceans, with numerous brands – from Adidas, to Method, to Nestle and G-Star Raw – supporting initiatives to remove ocean plastic from our seas and turn it into new bottles, clothing, sunglasses and footwear. This literal heart-on-sleeve manifestation of water concerns and conservation may prove a powerful next stage in raising awareness and action.

Mintel’s 2017 Trend Predictions have arrived. Please contact us to get your hard copy, attend one of our Big Conversation events or have us visit you to present our findings.

See how Mintel’s My Mind’s Eye trend prediction played out in 2016 here.