Trend forecasters may not be able to say what will happen with Brexit, but they do have some predictions for 2019. Apparently, we will all be eating lichen, painting our homes black and holidaying in Bhutan.
The Future 100 report, published by the J Walter Thompson Innovation marketing consultancy, is seen by many as the definitive guide to the year ahead. Here’s a peek at the things it’s tipping for 2019...
It’s bad news for influencers, as Lucie Greene, the worldwide director of JWT Innovation, says 2019 will mark peak Instagram. “People are starting to push back on brands that use it as a cynical marketing medium,” she says, citing the widely ridiculed launch of the first “Instagram apartment” in New York, designed purely to stage social media photoshoots and costing £11,500 (Dh53,781) a month. In September, fashion house Balmain was criticised for using CGI “virtual influencers” instead of employing real models.
According to the futurists, we will all be eating calamansi and dulse.
Waitrose is already stocking the strange-sounding calamansi juice — made from a Filipino citrus fruit and hailed as a “wonder drink”, believed to help with everything from weight loss to diabetes and cholesterol.
Dulse, meanwhile, is rich in protein, fibre and antioxidants. This seaweed — which looks like red lettuce — has been called “the bacon of the sea”, for the salty, smoky flavour it takes on when fried. More than likely, though, you’ll be eating it dried — with flakes added to bread, burgers and salad dressing.
Who says money can’t buy happiness? It can if you purchase a ticket to Bhutan — one of 2019’s hot travel destinations. The Himalayan kingdom, famous for the “gross national happiness index” that guides its government, doesn’t come cheap and a flurry of five-star resorts have recently opened.
And Tasmania has been transformed from an Australian outpost to a cultural hub, with an arts and music community growing up around Hobart’s Mona.
Market researcher Euromonitor puts the global spend on pets at £97 billion.
For 2019, expect to see a rise in five-star experiences. The Sheraton Grand, in Park Lane, is offering a “dogtail” menu — London’s first drinks list for canines, and a collaboration between the hotel’s mixology team and a dog nutritionist (served on the terrace, naturally). And Little Lord Barkley, in Surrey, offers residents Evian water fountains and music recitals. Wine for cats and dogs from Apollo Peak, and AnimalBiome DNA-testing kits to curate supplements for your furry friend are also expected to be all the rage.
Frozen food gets hot
Frozen food is coming in from the cold, as we start to understand the benefits of eating food that’s been put in the freezer straight away. “It was much maligned for a long time, but that is changing,” says Greene.
“We are bringing frozen food back from the dead,” agrees Samuel Dennigan, founder of Strong Roots, which makes frozen kale and quinoa burgers. The industry is expected to reach £243 billion by 2021 globally, according to the market research group Technavio.
Back to black
Goodbye Generation-Z yellow, next year black will dominate fashion and home furnishings. Livingetc magazine has seen searches for black kitchens increase 93 per cent in the past six months, with the Scandi noir trend influencing everything from crockery to linen.
Forget hessian shoes, vegan fashion has gone high-end. Trainer brand Veja has seen its turnover increase 60 per cent in the past year (and that was before the Duchess of Sussex wore them). Stella McCartney has designed the first pair of vegan Stan Smiths, and Net-a-Porter has a growing vegan range, including a leather jacket by Nanushka, for £460. Meanwhile, London Fashion Week went fur-free this season, and Coach, Versace, Burberry, Gucci and Hugo Boss have announced that they will no longer use fur.
Forget blood group diets, get ready for eating plans according to your DNA. The myDNA test, which has launched in Lloyds pharmacies, is a £59 kit that analyses your genetics and promises personalised weight loss advice. The test is sent off to a lab, which sends a report identifying if you have “fat genes”, along with a bespoke diet.
What came true in 2018 — and what didn’t
Last year, The Future 100 report tipped the rise of the wellness trend, which ended up pervading everything from holidays to interiors. What didn’t eventuate was the arrival of the revolutionary 5G internet.