It’s not always clear why some trends catch on while others don’t, but in this day, any person with a penchant for social media can start a trend and become the face of a product or a movement. The quickly shareable digital culture has turned them into trends that would have probably taken a decade to develop without today’s internet. On the flip side, what might look like trends might be just short-lived fads.
Culture shifts and people’s preferences evolve. From using exercise-friendly furniture such as stand-up desks to learning a foreign language via a phone app, people’s habits change all the time — and some products stick around for longer, forming new lifestyle trends.
Less will continue to be more in 2019, with minimalist interior designs being especially popular among millennials, even though it has been a movement since the 1960s. Wellness and self-care will also define next year — #Selfcaresunday has been flooding Twitter and Instagram, with people showing off healthy meals and workouts.
Lifestyle trends also reveal what people are interested in and how they are trying to improve their lives. They may be looking for new ways to get in shape, have fun, find help with daily chores, or reduce living costs.
To determine the growing lifestyle trends for 2019, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed scores of news articles, surveys, and research about certain products, health habits, and social behaviors that are becoming more and more common.
1. Nap rooms
Nap rooms give “sleeping on the job” a whole new — positive — meaning. Research has shown that naps in the middle of the day — even short, 20 minute naps — help people handle stress better as well as improve performance and reaction time, learning, and memory retention. Companies are catching up and some are offering nap rooms. Nap York will open several new nap stations all over New York in 2019.
2. Plant-based skin products
The organic personal care business has grown from a niche market to a giant industry that will be worth more than $25 billion by 2025, according to a report by Grand View Research, a marketing consultancy firm.
Products range from high-end with elements from the far reaches of the world to using only few natural ingredients. Sales of the so-called vegan products have grown in the U.K. by 38% between February 2017 and January 2018. The number of brands making vegan and naturally-derived products are up 16%, compared to a natural brands market growth of 7% for the same period.
People have been going greener when traveling since at least 2012, according to several travelling companies and research firms surveys. With global warming and climate change’s disastrous effects on the planet making the news even more often nowadays, eco-conscious traveling will continue to grow in popularity. In fact, it is among the fastest growing segments of the entire industry, with 2017 being named the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development to reflect the growing movement.
The share of travelers who are unaware of eco-friendly options keeps decreasing, down to 32% in 2018 from 38% in 2016, according to Booking.com.
4. Living in an RV
The recreational vehicle is no longer only used to travel across the country in summer. A growing number of people are living in one throughout the year. In addition to senior citizens practically turning RV parks into retirement communities, millennials, too, are moving into RVs because they are affordable, with monthly payments as low as $170.
RV sales have exploded, and manufacturers are adding modern touches such as stainless steel appliances, solar power, and Wi-Fi.
5. Elevation training masks
You may have seen this breathing training mask on professional athletes, but its cost of about $80 makes it an affordable device for amateur fitness-goers. The training mask is supposed to improve endurance by helping the person wearing it breathe better by controlling air flow to respiratory muscles. The training mask mimics conditions of training at high altitudes — less oxygen means the body is producing more red blood cells, which are able to carry more oxygen to muscles to create more energy.
Whether these masks actually work is still debatable as various studies show mixed results.
6. Smart speakers teaching you another language
The benefits of speaking more than one language — which include preventing dementia, better decision-making skills, building new multi-tasking skills, and, of course, a better CV — are undisputable.
Increasingly more people in the United States speak at least two languages, and the number keeps growing. Phone apps to help you learn a foreign language are booming, and smart home devices are looking into taking a share of that market. Google, for example, plans to make its Assistant converse in French and German, in addition to English.
7. Robots as pet sitters
Speaking of smart technology, robots can now take care not only of what people need, but of what their pets need as well. Robotic pet sitters have been in development since 2017. Several companies have made what technically is a device controlled by an app that plays with your cat or dog in order to keep it active and happy when you’re not home, but have yet to mass-produce it. At least two companies with pet-sitter products ranging from $79 to $189 now take pre-orders.
8. Robots folding your laundry
Speaking of robots, they can also fold your pile of laundry in up to four minutes — if you have an extra $980. The first shipments of laundry folding robots are due to go out in 2019, starting with the U.S. market. The catch is that you’ll have to still “feed” the machine the clothes that are to be folded, but it’ll still take you less time than if you had to do it yourself. The machine can fold blouses and pants ranging in size from T5 through an adult XXL.
9. Virtual reality gyms
With nearly 40% of adults in the United States being obese, and a fitness industry worth more than $24 billion in the United States alone, it’s no surprise that new ways to encourage exercise are being developed.
Combining the craze over getting in shape with the latest craze over virtual reality (VR) sets — a separate market where investment is growing exponentially — only seems natural. Research by professional services firm EY has shown that 25% of women and 18% of men would use VR to help them exercise.
10. Social isolation
This trend is a dangerous one. Technology is becoming more and more sophisticated in making people’s lives easier, but it’s not helping them make friends or socialize. In fact, social isolation is growing. Nearly half of Americans say they often feel lonely, and those between 18 and 22 are described as the loneliest generation, according to a recent study by Cigna, a global health service company.
According to a national survey conducted by AARP, people between 45 and 49 years old report higher levels of loneliness and social isolation than those 70 or older. Social isolation has been linked to higher risk of premature death and heart disease.
11. Canned wines
Canned wines was called “the next big thing for wine lovers” by Forbes back in 2017. It has since grown in popularity. With sales up 43% from June 2017 to June 2018, canned wine is now a $45 million business.
They are a good idea, from a consumer’s perspective, because a person doesn’t have to open a whole bottle to have some wine. A can also is easier to carry than a glass, and you can bring a can to places glass bottles are not allowed such as beaches. People who drink wine prefer the drink in a can when they are at outdoor events, such as picnics, festivals, and barbeques, according to a Nielsen survey.
12. Growing your own produce
Growing your own food is no longer only a possibility for people who live on a farm. It’s especially popular among millenials and urban gardeners, mostly due to the growing popularity of plant-based diets. The benefits of growing fruits and vegetables on your own include an incentive to eat healthy foods, as well as the complete control over what, if any, pesticides are used.
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