21 Jan Trends 2020: What’s In, What’s Out!
A new year is the time to see what’s trending and what’s fallen from favor. There is nothing scientific about this list. It’s gathered from a range of publications that claims to be in the know about what’s hot or not across a wide range of topics.
Consumers are embracing sustainability
Happily, consumers are getting serious about environmental issues on a number of levels. The Trump administration may choose to ignore it, but Americans clearly understand the urgency of protecting our environment.
Manufacturers have tricked us by coming up with low-fat versions of our favorite foods—specifically yummy things like cookies, cereals, muffins, etc. The problem is that Americans never quite got that low-fat doesn’t mean low-calorie. When fat was removed from these products, it was replaced with refined carbohydrates, which many health experts blame for the country’s obesity epidemic. The result? People are getting fat on low-fat food!
The growing health problem of vaping
When electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) were first introduced, they were promoted as a smoking cessation tool and a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes. Now vaping has been linked to more than 2,500 hospitalizations and 54 deaths for lung injury, as per the CDC. Tragically, it has also hooked a new generation on nicotine.
A big shoutout to local lawmakers and big businesses, including Starbucks, for leading the way on this one. Plastic straws are being phased out in many areas of the country. Straws are just one component of a bigger push to cut down on all of the plastic that’s piling up in landfills and polluting wildlife and waterways. Many cafes now offer compostable straws as an alternative; others have turned to metal options. To think about: Do you really need a straw?
Kale: It’s finally over
Kale may pack a wallop of vitamins and nutrients, but so do other dark leafy greens, including collard and mustard greens, bok choy, spinach and dark, leafy lettuce. It’s also time for Swiss chard to have its moment in the sun.
Between 30-40% percent of the country’s food supply gets wasted each year. The best way to reduce food waste is not to create it in the first place. Shop smart, plan out meals and buy only what is needed. If you have a fridge full of limp vegetables, throw them into a pot of stock for a quick and easy soup or whip up a frittata.
Sugar-sweetened beverages are full of empty calories and pack on unwanted pounds. I used to share office space with a colleague who drank one of those 67-oz. bottles of coke every day. That’s a full day’s worth of empty calories! Look for substitutes. The sparkling water industry is doing interesting things with carbonated options, and they’re infusing natural fruit into water.
Processed plant-based foods
The new impossible burgers, thick, juicy, meat-like (but meat-free) patties, are showing up on fast-food and restaurant menus. But these wannabe burgers and other highly processed foods are loaded with sodium.
Telemedicine. Changing the way doctors and patients interact
I lived in San Francisco for a long time and my health care providers are still in the City. Yet I live in Napa. When I have a question for my doctor of 20+ years, she makes me schlep all the way to San Francisco for a five-minute consultation. This is old medicine. More hospitals and physicians are meeting with their patients over video calls. Some are monitoring patients’ blood pressure, sleep and activity levels through wearable devices. More than 75% of U.S. hospitals are connecting with patients and consulting physicians through technology, the American Hospital Association reports.
Youth activists who inspire us; leading the fight for a better world
It’s not just Greta Thunberg, the courageous 16-year-old Swedish climate activist and Time’s 2019 Person of the Year. Helena Gualinga, a teen Indigenous activist from the Ecuadorian Amazon, took world leaders to task at the COP 25 climate summit and accused oil companies of violating our human rights. University students in India are protesting a new citizenship law that excludes Muslim migrants. The students at Parkland High School mobilized after the shooting that slaughtered their classmates. These brave young people are raising the bar for all of us.
A boom in college access
More and more people are going to college. Access to higher education has expanded rapidly across the globe over the last five years, says Michael Green, CEO of Social Progress Imperative, and he expects this trend to continue in 2020.
The Internet of things
The Internet of things is a phrase we’ll be hearing more of. It’s about the pervasiveness of the internet, how it is integrated into every part of our lives. As we embrace 2020, experts estimate that more than 30 billion devices will be connected. Advanced technology translates to huge development opportunities in well, everything we do–politics, education, media, health, commerce and leisure.
Weconomics: Crowdfunding takes off
Look for crowdfunding to explode. The US leads the trend, but crowdfunding is also flourishing across the Eurozone. We could see a radical change in the funding landscape for entrepreneurs and SMEs. Here’s where it gets interesting–people will want to own a share in these startups–becoming respected partners rather than just generous consumers.
Food: Cooking as a craft
From food industry pros to home cooks, it’s time to get back to cooking as a craft, cooking that’s soulful. In-house, scratch preparation of foods is gaining momentum for foods such as mustards, jams and preserves, pickles, mayonnaise, breads and stocks. Home cooks are interested in learning techniques such as breaking down a whole chicken, canning, making gravies and sauces and fermenting foods.
Eco-friendly home design
Sustainability surfaces again in home design as Americans gravitate toward more eco-friendly lifestyles. It shows up in overall design sensibility as well as in a desire to bring warm, earthy elements into our interior spaces.
We look forward to assisting our clients with their uncontested legal matters
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