A fresh decade presents plenty of challenges and opportunities. Here’s our big bets for what 2020 has in store.
2019 was a landmark year for climate justice. This year, we can expect this momentum to grow. Activists are keen to remind us the clock is ticking. What was a climate crisis is now becoming a climate emergency. No industry will be left untouched as consumers insist that everyone do their part. People will continue to reckon with our throw-away culture and take steps to buy less and reuse more, giving brands a greater challenge to justify why their products are worth it. Fast-fashion especially will feel the scrutiny.
‘Regenerative Agriculture,’ a practice designed to rehabilitate the ecosystem of the farm and limit carbon emissions, is set to be the next hot topic for the food industry. Eco-tourism and alternatives to air-travel will grow in popularity as consumers cope with ‘flight-shame’, (or ‘flygskam’ in Sweden where the term originated). Already thousands of people have taken a pledge to be flight-free in 2020.
- Strategic Nutrition
People now want their food and drink choices to work harder for them and they are willing to put in the legwork to vet every ingredient for a scientific health claim. Chocolate that makes your skin glow. Fermented drinks for your mental resilience. The global functional foods market size is projected to reach USD 275.77 billion by 2025, with foods that address brain health and gut health especially being of interest. People want ways to future-proof their wellness and are turning to seemingly more natural sources like food, drinks, and supplements, but with the scientific rigour of pharmaceuticals. Expect this to become hyper personalised and services such as microbiome testing become more common.
- 5G (finally?!)
While it has technically already made its debut, 2020 will be the year where 5G becomes a more meaningful part of people’s lives. Since its gradual introduction, 5G has met many obstacles, but experts promise it will be worth the wait. 5G is set to revolutionise the technology sector with connection speeds that can be 10 to 100 times faster than 4G is currently. This year, with 5G rolling out in urban areas and big tech players launching 5G enabled hardware, we will finally get a sense of its capabilities. We’ll see 5G as the golden goose for tech companies and broadband providers as aim to draw in new business with its potential.
- The Streaming Wars
As streaming becomes an increasingly dominant form of entertainment, the big industry players are naturally competing for our limited attention. 2019 kicked things up a notch. The November launch of Apple Plus TV was quickly overshadowed by the much-anticipated launch of Disney+ and its iconic Baby Yoda memes. 2020 will be the year that streaming titans such as Netflix and Amazon will be faced with the challenge of staving off new, more niche competitors. Esports streaming also increased 43% over 2019. As Esports is expected to continue its unprecedented growth in 2020, games streaming may be the next battlefield to watch in the ongoing ‘streaming wars.’
- Analog Nostalgia
Entering a new decade makes people naturally reflective. People are craving revivals. From fashion to pop culture, expect 1990s nostalgia to continue into 2020 with the love for the 2000s to grow in popularity. Searches for Y2K outfits are up 669% on Pinterest. In a post-digital world, people are craving realness and authenticity. Even the flip phone is making a comeback. The Nokia 2720 Flip gives people the simplicity of retro cell phones with some modern upgrades to keep you connected—the perfect compromise for people feeling like their lives are saturated with technology.