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NMI Reveals Top 10 Trends of 2007

Posted: December 21, 2007

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The New Fear Factor. Scandals across religious, government and corporate institutions began the erosion of trust, while the explosion of widespread technology in a post 9/11 world is creating a highly fear-based society, driving consumers to attempt to take ever-greater control of their environment, property, time and safety. Consumers appear to be "shutting down" as a result of these mounting external factors, with growing concerns about food safety, climate change and a reliance on fossil fuels. This is translating into an increased desire for safer foods and beverages, organic and environmentally-friendly products, and significant opportunities for manufacturers and retailers to build market share through trust and reassurance.

It's Reigning Men. Men's personal care is the fastest-growing segment in the Bath and Body Care category, driven by "The Massification of Metrosexuals", creating permission for a broad target of men to participate fully in the category. Men's personal care products are enjoying explosive expansion across generations and look for offerings in the year ahead to target the needs of men, including Teens and 'Tweens. In addition, more men are gaining exposure to the category as a result of their participation as primary grocery shoppers almost doubling in recent years. Look for them to be increasingly accommodated in the "traditionally female" environments of grocery, drug and specialty retail.

The New Consumer-Centric Media. New media is putting the consumer in greater control in a content-driven world, changing the role of branding from one of authority to that of a peer. Websites are increasingly enabling consumers to customize their on-line experience, creating tight-knit communities of like-minded people driving word-of-mouth about products and services as a result. The Internet is a growing platform for the Wellness industry in particular, as consumers confirm the increased influence of the Internet on their healthy and natural purchases. In fact, consumers are currently shopping the Internet in varying frequency for healthy and natural products.

Memory Fast Lane. Consumers have an insatiable demand for knowledge and learning as keys to self-actualization, creating an ever-increasing desire to maintain and optimize brain power. With distractions and 24/7 connectivity intensifying, consumers find their ability to concentrate and retain memory being drastically reduced. Not only a problem among Boomers, consumers across all age groups indicate significant concern about preventing concentration and memory problems. Nearly three-quarters of consumers are currently using supplements, foods or beverages to prevent memory problems and further opportunities exist to target the needs of consumers -- from students, to gamers to moms to seniors.

Working Women Revisited. After years in the work force, women -- and especially mothers -- are revisiting everything from flex time to dinner time as the pendulum swings back to find center. A watershed study linked women's entrance into the workforce in the 1970s with a significant decline in children's diets, including the onset of Juvenile Diabetes, childhood obesity and other health implications. This is resulting in more Americans committing to eating dinner at home together at least three times a week, to working women looking for healthy convenience in snacking and meals solutions, both at home and away-from-home.