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HiMirror Introduces AI Tool For Use in Shops And Salons

November 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
HiMirror is to launch two new interactive AI-based mirrors for retail use in January 2019. Enterprise Lite and Enterprise Pro evaluate the user’s skin care requirements to help beauty consultants in stores and salons recommend skin care products and regime. Users will be able to see if their skin has changed from a previous visit. They can also be customized for different product lines. The mirrors are being trialed by Marionnaud, a retailer in France.[Image Credit: © Cal-Comp Big Data, Inc]
Becky Bargh , "HiMirror prepares to launch new interactive mirrors with AI for retailers", Cosmetics Business, November 16, 2018, © HPCi Media
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Skin Care Start-up Opu Labs To Use its Own Cryptocurrency To Pay For Images Of Consumers’ Faces

September 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Opu Labs has created its own cryptocurrency, Opucoin, that it will use it to reward users who upload images of their face. The company will use AI to analyze the images for skin conditions and to be able to recommend appropriate treatments and to link consumers with dermatologists and personal beauty brands. This is part of an effort to build a database of facial images and personal data that the company can use to hone its AI and as a base to sell products and services. Founder Mark Bookman claims consumers are losing faith in advertisements for beauty products and would value an objective assessment to guide their choice. However, a reviewer of the AI-driven analysis found it to be inaccurate and the company acknowledges it remains a work in progress.[Image Credit: © Opu Labs, Inc]
Leah Prinzivalli, "Cryptocurrency Is Coming For The Beauty Industry", Fashionista, September 19, 2018, © Breaking Media, Inc.
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China A Focus For Automated Store Innovation

May 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

China has become the focus for companies looking to automate the physical shopping experience. Alibaba, Tencent and JD.com have all opened automated stores in the last few months, at the start of what they believe will be a large-scale rollout of personnel-free shops. The Chinese consumer's openness to high tech and willingness to try something new is expected to drive unprecedented growth of the retail industry in China as the country's 724 million mobile phone users increasingly accept mobile transactions. Improving internet connectivity and smartphone penetration are expected to boost sales even further, and retailers are also having to deal with labor pressures due to an aging population and the trend of millennials leaving retail to seek higher-paid work.

Ralph Jennings, "Why Unmanned Stores Are About To Take Off In China's Retail Market", Forbes.com, May 14, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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Walgreens Unveils Online Skin Care Advisor Tool For Acne-Prone People

May 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

To help customers determine the appropriate skin care regimen to treat acne, US beauty and personal care retailer Walgreens has launched an online skin care analysis tool called SkinID. The tool, hosted on Walgreens' website, utilizes Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.'s SkinID technology and evaluates customers' skincare needs through a series of questions about their skin types and acne breakout experiences. It then recommends a personalized, three-step daily routine of cleansing, treatment, and moisturizing using products from Walgreens' pool of skin care brands. Walgreens’ Beauty Enthusiast club members can save their results on their online profiles. The tool is also available in select Walgreens stores.[Image Credit: © Walgreen Co.]

"Walgreens Launches Online Skincare Advisor SkinID™ to Provide Acne Sufferers with Personalized Skincare Regimens", Business Wire, May 03, 2018, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Cosmetic Giants Turn To AR Tech To Lure Customers

May 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Some of the biggest names in the cosmetic industry are seeing the value of augmented reality (AR) to boost customer reach and improve sales. MAC Cosmetics used AR to develop a mirror to show customers how they would look with makeup. According to the firm, this will help avoid "buyer's remorse" when shopping for makeup. Benefit Cosmetics launched a mobile app called Brow Try-On, which helps customers visualize their face with different eyebrow shapes and sizes. The app also has a tutorial that features Benefit products.

Romany Reagan, "Why AR Access Is Important for Retailers", Exchange Wire, May 01, 2018, © RETAILTECHNEWS
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Voice-Assisted Devices Remain Largely Unused For Purchases, Study Finds

March 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A survey of 4,000 online shoppers over four global markets found that smartwatches and other voice-assisted devices remain largely untapped for purchases. In its "Reimagining Commerce: Global Findings" report, software company Episerver noted that 35% of the consumers already own smartwatches, but 66% do not use the device’s browsing function and 70% do not purchase through it. Likewise, two in five consumers own voice-assisted devices, but 60% do not browse on them and even fewer use it for purchases. Consumers, however, reported using more established technology devices, with 75% of the survey participants saying they use smartphones for browsing and 57% of this segment use the phones for purchases. The survey also found that consumers remain open to more diverse and technology-driven types of brand interaction such as chat windows, smart mirrors and augmented or virtual reality.[Image Credit: © Andres Urena on Unsplash]
"STUDY: Two-Thirds of Voice-Assisted Device Owners Never Purchase Through Them", Episerver, March 13, 2018, © Episerver
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New Digital Guru Hopes To Use Data To Make Coca-Cola More “Consumer-Centric”

December 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s new chief digital officer has the challenging mission of crafting how to serve customers better by making the most of its digital platforms. The company is testing the use of data, artificial intelligence, and connected devices to enhance the customer experience, provide optimal service and become more “consumer-centric." David Godsman, who started at Coca-Cola a year ago, says his job isn’t just about changing digital experiences, it’s “also about helping customers make decisions in a more effective manner. It’s about an operational transition.”
Marty Swant, "Coca-Cola Is Embracing AI and Chatbots in Preparation for a Digital-First Future", Adweek, December 04, 2017, © Adweek
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Age Of “Clerkless” Shopping Dawns In China

July 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
China’s largest companies are promising that “unmanned supermarkets” that apply mobile payment systems technologies are the next big wave in retail shopping. The automated stores use mobile technology to track payments, eliminating the need for cash, checkout lines, checkout counters, and checkout clerks. Alibaba Group CEO Jack Ma recently launched the company’s entry into automated stores with the opening of Tao Cafe in Hangzhou. Only three steps are required: scan a QR code to enter; shop (without employee assistance), then take items to exit; lastly, walk through two exit scanners. Payment is automatically deducted from customer's Alipay account. 
Sevan Golnazarian, "Unmanned Stores Emerge in China, Jack Ma Follows Suit", Produce Report, July 12, 2017, © Produce Report
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New Coke App Uses AI Technologies To Modernize Vending Machine Use

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s innovation chief Greg Chambers (left) says a new AI-powered app debuting soon will allow customers to order, and get, two drinks from vending machines equipped with special circuitry. The app will debut in late July at U.S. universities and in Australia and New Zealand. With the app, customers can order a Coca-Cola drink from multiple selections for themselves and a friend using a colorful touchscreen. The drinks will then be available on the vending machine. With AI technologies, “My goal is to push boundaries and push the brand forward,” Chambers says. [Image Credit: © Michael O' Donnell / Venture Beat ]
John Brandon, "Coca-Cola reveals AI-powered vending machine app", Venture Beat, July 11, 2017, © Venture Beat
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L’Oréal Takes An Expensive Flier On Virtual Reality Technology

June 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
L’Oréal’s Beauty Lab (left), located at the company’s year-old west-side Manhattan headquarters, serves as an experimental virtual reality center to explore a technology some industry observers call “the next frontier of fashion and beauty.” Though virtual reality has taken baby steps in fashion and cosmetics, it has yet to make significant inroads, and has had almost no impact on sales. Skeptics note that researchers aren’t even sure what to do with test data that are collected. L’Oréal, however, has invested a lot of money in its VR glasses, floor-to-ceiling VR screen, and additional 3-D modeling screens. Not so much to wow consumers, but to advance and enhance internal research. [Image Credit: © L’Oréal ]
Hilary Milnes , "How L’Oreal uses virtual reality to make internal decisions at its New York HQ", Digiday, June 16, 2017, © Digiday Media
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Consortium To Accelerate Technology That Turns Plant Protein Into “Beefsteak”

March 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Several food companies, including Unilever, have formed a consortium with a Dutch university to advance a technology that transforms vegetable protein into a layered fiber structure that mimics the taste, texture, and appearance of beefsteak. The Plant Meat Matters consortium comprises Swiss flavor house Givaudan, French agri-food giant Avril, and plant protein supplier Ingredion. Wageningen University researchers developed the shear-cell technology that can use protein from soy, wheat, pea, rapeseed or corn. The consortium hopes to scale the technology to produce industrial quantities, and to make it available to industry as well as chefs and consumers. Global sales of meat substitutes increased from 163,000 tons in 2015 to 183,000 tons in 2016, according to Euromonitor. [ Image credit: © Beyond Meat, Wikipedia ]
Niamh Michail, "Plant Meat Matters: Unilever, Givaudan and Ingredion Invest in Vegetarian Steak", FOODnavigator-USA.com, March 13, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Report Provides Data For Marketers Targeting Baby Boomers

February 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A market research firm that analyzed the Baby Boomer generation (“boomers,” age 50 and older) and their financial profiles found that age alone doesn’t determine their preferences and behaviors, because age is mostly an attitude. Marketers need to know that what’s most important is an understanding of financial situation, including income and net worth. “A one-size-fits-all approach to marketing doesn’t work,” according to the report, which identifies distinct financial segments. For example: high income/high net worth boomers are more likely to spend in the retail and online channels; boomers are more likely to buy from direct mail and catalogs; they use Facebook as much as other generations; they use their own computers; and they use email, e-readers, tablets, smartphones and even smart TVs as well as cable and satellite. [ Image credit: © Pixabay / jcfrog-166820/ ]
"Age is an attitude: marketing to the boomers+ population ", Report, Epsilon , February 23, 2017, © Epsilon Data Management, LLC
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E-Retailers And CPG Manufacturers Need To Prepare For Strong Growth Now

January 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
E-commerce today accounts for only a small portion of consumer packaged goods (CPG) sales, with the food and beverage sector lagging somewhat behind non-food. But both sectors are set for strong growth, according to IRI. Over the next five years, CPG e-commerce will average 10 percent of industrywide sales. Digital is expected to play a major role in influencing that sales growth, and will drive as much as 77 percent of all retail sales generally, representing about $2 trillion. E-retailers are rapidly laying the groundwork for growth, with Amazon leading the way. Meanwhile, CPG manufacturers could grow online sales by up to 150 percent by building a strong online presence and earning shopper awareness.
"Build, Drive and Earn E-commerce Growth for Retail Success", Report, IRI Worldwide, January 24, 2017, © IRI Worldwide
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Advanced Store Shelf Technology Seeks To Personalize Shopping At Kroger Stores

January 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Supermarket chain Kroger has begun experimenting with in-store shelf-based sensor systems that detect shoppers via their smartphones and apply analytics technology to customize product offers. Dubbed the “digital shelf edge” project, the initiative is a facet of the company’s plan to automate and personalize shopping to battle online competition from Amazon.com Inc., Walmart’s Jet.com unit and others. E-commerce in traditional food and beverage stores accounted for $1 billion in sales in 2014, less than 0.2 percent of the $670 billion market. Sensors have been installed in 14 stores near the company’s Cincinnati headquarters.  [ Image credit: © ParentingPatch  ]
Kim S. Nash, "Kroger Tests Sensors, Analytics In Interactive Grocery Shelves", The Wall Street Journal, January 20, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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Cookies Containing Galactagogues Have Become Big Business

January 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A first-time mother who was struggling to produce enough breast milk to feed her newborn was advised to eat cookies that contained extra galactagogues (i.e., ingredients that increase milk flow). The functional cookies worked, but weren’t particularly palatable, and that gave Jennifer Acuna a business idea. Several years later, the business she launched has been successful enough to move from her kitchen table near Harrisburg, Pa., to a 2,400 square-foot bakery. Lactation cookies, brownies, and granola laced with galactagogues have become serious business. Buy Buy Baby and Babies 'R' Us sell bake-at-home mixes. Common galactagogues include oats, flax meal, fenugreek, and brewer's yeast.
Matthew Wright, "Cookies and Milk: Meet the Kitchen Table 'Momtrepreneurs' Who Used Their Own Breastfeeding Woes to Corner the 'Lactation' Foods Market", Mail Online, January 19, 2017, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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More South Korean Men Wear Make-Up, Boosting Male Beauty Market

January 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Sales of men’s skincare products in South Korea rose more than 80 percent in the past five years. Driven by the country’s weakening economy and competitive job market, the men’s cosmetics segment now accounts for 10 percent of South Korea’s $10 billion beauty market. Toners, lotions, and BB creams are some of the favorite skincare products of male consumers, who are increasingly convinced that putting on makeup helps improve their self-confidence and, consequently, their chances of landing a job or finding a new partner.
Miranda Larbi , "Men in South Korea are wearing make-up to boost their self-confidence", Metro.co.uk, January 16, 2017, © Associated Newspapers Limited
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L’Oreal’s Smart Brush Demonstrates Internet Of Things Application For The Beauty Industry

January 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
L’Oreal’s smart brush, unveiled at CES 2017, is just one of a number of products responding to opportunities provided by the Internet of Things within the consumer products industry, including Beauty. Smart devices are allowing brands to brands to become more involved in consumers’ daily routines. The smart brush is being sold at around $200, and only time will tell if consumers regard that as a price worth paying for the benefits it provides – better and more personalized information, performance monitoring and suggestions for improvements, as well as tips and recommendations. These aren’t necessary attributes for a hairbrush or toothbrush, but they will make life a bit easier for consumers, and brands can become better connected to consumers’ lifestyles and preferences, allowing valuable insights for future innovation and marketing efforts.  
Nikki Gilliland, "How the beauty industry is embracing the Internet of Things", Econsultancy, January 11, 2017, © Econsultancy.com Limited
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2017: The Year Of The Brand Chatbot?

January 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
2017 could the year of the chatbots for brands looking to automate consumer engagement. They reside within Messenger Services, like Skype and Facebook Messenger, as well as internal messenger services, like HipChat. They are becoming increasingly sophisticated with more user functionality, and as artificial intelligence becomes better understood, chatbots will be able to do even more, with development moving from what the bot builders believe consumers want to a machine-learned reflection of what they really want. Chatbots will proliferate and become an essential element of any integrated marketing campaign, supporting highly targeted campaigns delivered in the environment in which the consumer spends the majority of their online time.  
John Mccarthy, "What, Why and How: Chatbots for Brands", The Drum, January 06, 2017, © Carnyx Group Ltd.
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Mass And Premium Continue To Drive Growth In Color Cosmetics

January 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
According to Euromonitor International, the color cosmetics market was worth US$57 billion globally in 2015, driven by growing incomes for women in growth markets like India and China. Nearly two-thirds of the market (64%) was mass products in which consumers came from across the income spectrum, with some consumers limited to the mass market through income constraints and others choosing mass options over premium, with a new wave of mass “fast fashion” cosmetics brands that align with trends and rely on high volumes. Premium continues to grow faster than mass, and Euromonitor expects to see a CAGR for the premium segment of 4% over the next five years, versus 3% for mass. It also expects North America to be the first majority-premium color cosmetics market by 2020. The color cosmetics market will continue to encounter broad consumer megatrends, for example in the form of sustainability and healthy living. And customization remains a major opportunity for brands in this category, with brands catering for different skin tones, religions and cultures.  
Hannah Symons, "Reinventing Colour Cosmetics through Novel Growth Concepts", Euromonitor International, January 05, 2017, © Euromonitor
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Amazon Fulfillment Services Reports Significant Growth In 2016

January 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon said it delivered more than two billion packages to 185 countries for sellers, brand owners and entrepreneurs in 2016 under its Fulfillment by Amazon program. The company said worldwide FBA shipments grew 50 percent during the holiday season. Amazon Prime members contributed significantly to the success of the program, ordering millions of items from sellers in the Seller Fulfilled Prime program that offers free two- or next-day shipping. Sellers worldwide using the FBA service grew more than 70 percent, while shipments grew 80 percent. [ Image credit: © Amazon  ]
"Sellers on Amazon are Thriving: Fulfillment by Amazon Delivered More than 2 Billion Items for Sellers Worldwide in 2016", News release, Amazon, January 04, 2017, © Amazon.com, Inc.
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Kérastase And Withings Unveil Smart Hairbrush At CES

January 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
At the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, professional hair care brand Kérastase, together with connected health company Withings and L’Oréal’s Research and Innovation Technology Incubator, unveiled its new smart hairbrush - the Kérastase Hair Coach Powered by Withings. Fitted with advanced sensors and incorporating L’Oréal’s signal analysis algorithms, which score hair quality and track the impact of hair care routines, the hairbrush received this year’s International CES Innovation Award. Sensors capture sounds, the force applied when brushing, brushing patterns and the number of brush strokes, and whether the hair is wet or dry. The collected data are sent to the app via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to a dedicated mobile app. Using external data, such as weather conditions, the app tracks the way the user cares for her hair and provides personalized tips and Kérastase product recommendations. It will be available around mid-2017 at select Kérastase hair salons, the brand’s website and through Withings’ online sales and distribution channels, for below $200.
"Kerastase and Withings Unveil World’s First Smart Hairbrush at CES 2017", L’Oreal, January 04, 2017, © L’Oréal
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Research Suggests An Omnichannel Strategy Can Boost Traditional Retailer Sales

January 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In a rare piece of good news for traditional retailers that have for years seen slow growth and share declines – digital channel sales rose 23% in 2015 and 26% of all online retail sales now go to Amazon – research published in Harvard Business Review suggests that an omnichannel approach can give them an advantage. Omnichannel strategies aim to engage shoppers through multiple touchpoints and provide a seamless shopping experience across digital and brick-and-mortar platforms. Retailers that do this well can differentiate themselves through providing a multi-channel experience pure-plays simply can’t.  Researchers found that omnichannel consumers, which are by far the majority (73% in this study), commonly interact with retailers in many different ways – in-store, online, on mobile. Importantly, these consumer spend some 4% more per shopping occasion than single-channel shoppers, while customers who used 4+ channels spent 9% more in the store, on average, when compared to those who used just one channel. They are also more loyal, as measured by repeat shopping trips and likelihood they’ll recommend a brand to family and friends. [Image credit © Zero Creatives]
Emma Sopadjieva et al., "A Study of 46,000 Shoppers Shows That Omnichannel Retailing Works", Harvard Business Review, January 03, 2017, © Harvard Business School Publishing
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Online Grocery Deliverer Fulfills Orders Using Advanced Warehousing, Robotics

December 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
British online grocery delivery firm Ocado is applying an array of advanced technologies to speed grocery purchases to consumer homes. The company maintains a 350,000 square-foot warehouse near Birmingham that beats Amazon at automated order fulfillment. Most of the 48,000 lines of products it sells are perishable, many chilled or frozen. The complex, time-sensitive optimization challenge is handled by sophisticated technologies like swarm robotics – teams of robots that cooperate to find, lift and grab products from shelves – as well as autonomous delivery vehicles, and machine-learned preferences. The company is expanding its warehousing and robotics capabilities to be able to handle and deliver more products even faster in the future. [ Image credit: ©  Wikimedia  Commons ]
Jamie Condliffe, "The Robotic Grocery Store of the Future Is Here", MIT Technology Review, December 29, 2016, © MIT Technology Review
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Hygge Concept Opens Opportunities For BPC Brands In The UK

December 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
According to Mintel, the UK is embracing “hygge”, a Danish concept that combines relaxation, fun and comfort, and Mintel suggests that this could present opportunities for beauty and personal care brands. Hygge can be an individual or informal group activity, typically at home and involving food and drink. Mintel mentioned the August 2016 launch of Sanctuary Spa’s #LetGo campaign, aimed at encouraging consumers to relax, and 58 Lifestyle has launched the Hygge Kit, which includes candles, bath oil and a room mist. Mintel also expects the hygge trend to provide opportunities too for the subscription box market.
Charlotte Libby, "Beauty Spot: Hygge", Mintel, December 22, 2016, © Mintel Group Ltd.
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Is The Contrary Consumer Simply Frustrated With Marketers?

December 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The job of marketing is being complicated by contradictory consumer behavior. Consumers say they want a slower life but make quick purchase choices, and that health and wellness is a key priority for them, yet sales of products with unhealthy ingredients are still growing. The author wonders if the consumer is simply cynical of the marketers’ messages, and maybe that’s just a part of a broader feeling of distrust of a range of institutions, including government. Promises are made, and then broken. Trends help create the assumptions on which marketers base their approach to reaching the consumer, but those assumptions are increasingly being questioned. They are too general, unsophisticated and often flawed. There have always been “contrary consumers”, but now there is also a growing band of consumers that don’t like to be told what to do and like.  
"The Contrarian Consumer", Adworld, December 22, 2016, © Adworld Ventures Limited
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Mintel Report Highlights Four North American Consumer Trends

December 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Mintel’s new report on North America consumer trends highlights four topics. The first, which the author calls “The Echo Chamber of Secrets”, suggests that the rush to personalization means consumers are only being shown ideas and services they already identify with and brands need more disruption to help reach inside consumers’ “bubbles” to encourage them to extend beyond their comfort zones. “Reality 2.0” reflects the growing demand for novel experiences that enable the consumer to become more immersed in their chosen worlds, through technology like virtual and augmented reality, and live streaming. Mintel says consumers are becoming frustrated with inaction by “the system” and encourages brands to “Be the Change”. The fourth trend, “Life in Sync”, suggests that the strides being made by artificial intelligence are making life smarter and more seamless.
Carli Gernot , "Trend Tracker: North America Consumer Trends 2017 (1/2)", Mintel, December 07, 2016, © Mintel Group Ltd.
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Amazon Go To Open Its First Store In Early 2017

December 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
If you prefer to shop in-store for your groceries but hate waiting in line at the checkout, then maybe Amazon Go is for you. You check in with the Amazon app as you enter the shop, choose what you want and add it to your bag, and then walk out. Using what Amazon is calling “Just Walk Out” technology that it says you might see in driver-less cars, the app knows what you’ve selected and will bill your Amazon account for the goods. The first Amazon Go store, at 2131 7th Ave, Seattle, WA, is scheduled to open early next year, although it’s currently open to Amazon employees in its Beta form. It’s not yet clear if Amazon plans to roll this out to other retailers.
Curtis Silver, "Amazon Announces No-Line Retail Shopping Experience With Amazon Go", Forbes, December 05, 2016, © Forbes Media LLC
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Facebook Outlines Mobile Beauty Shopping Behavior

November 17, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A paper published by Facebook looks at how the beauty industry is using and being changed by mobile, and outlined seven key insights in a concluding “cheat sheet”. Its main takeaways included the observation that m-commerce is now mainstream and taking an increasing share of beauty and personal care purchases. It also noted how mobile is being used within physical stores to help consumers in their purchase decisions, and predicts that everyone will be mobile shoppers within 10 years. It found that shoppers are encouraged to pursue beauty purchases by content on Facebook and Instagram, but it also said that there’s more to do in mobile to make the shopping experience more convenient and frictionless. 
"Facebook Beauty Beyond ", Facebook, November 17, 2016, © Facebook
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Majority Of Millennial Consumers In Asia-Pacific Still Living With Parents, Survey Reveals

October 30, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In Asia-Pacific, 63 percent of millennials 22‒29 years old are living with their parents, according to a CBRE survey. In China, more than 60 percent of millennials are staying with their parents, the third highest in the region after Hong Kong and India, which both had around 80 percent. Data from the report revealed cultural norms and high property prices are keeping Chinese millennials from buying their own place, with 28 percent of respondents claiming it would take them 2‒5 years to afford to move out. Almost 90 percent of Chinese millennials dream of buying property, compared with the Asia-Pacific average of 55 percent. Millennial consumers in China spend 14 percent of their incomes on non-food purchases, the highest rate in the region.
Liz Flora, "Study: Chinese Millennials Spend Big on Shopping Because They Live with Their Parents", Jing Daily, October 30, 2016, © Jingdaily
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Cyzone Cosmetics, ModiFace Launch Mobile App For Trying On Makeup

September 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Cyzone Cosmetics partnered with ModiFace to launch the Cy MakeApp mobile application for the iOS and Android mobile platforms. Featuring ModiFace's facial tracking and makeup rendering technology, the mobile app allows consumers to virtually try on cosmetics on live video.
"Cyzone Cosmetics, in Partnership With ModiFace, Launch Latin America's First Live-3D Augmented Reality Makeup App", Marketwired, September 06, 2016, © Nasdaq, Inc.
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Milk-Based Food Packaging Film Offers Major Potential Benefits

August 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
USDA scientists recently told fellow chemists about a food packaging material made from the milk protein casein. The packaging film is 500 times more effective at protecting food from oxygen, in addition to being edible, potentially nutritious, biodegradable, and sustainable. The milk-based film retards food spoilage and could prove to be an effective tool in the fight to reduce food waste “during distribution along the food chain." It would also reduce the use of plastic, a significant environmental benefit. The researchers expect the edible packaging will be on store shelves within three years.
Alex Whiting, "Eat Your Food Packaging, Don't Bin It – Scientists", Reuters, August 22, 2016, © Reuters
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Package Sensor Technologies Will Help Reduce Food Waste

July 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A presentation at a recent food science meeting outlined how “intelligent packaging” of food will help reduce food waste. Michigan State University adjunct professor Claire Sand said innovative packaging equipped with a variety of sensors will communicate shelf life, freshness and quality to consumers. Some, such as time-temperature indicators, are already in use on seafood and other food packages. New degradation sensors that detect spoilage can measure product decay and change color to warn consumers.  “We’re very close to being able to do this for a multitude of foods,” Sand told the Institute of Food Technologists symposium.
"New Sensors on Packages Can Detect Spoiled Foods", News release, Institute of Food Technologists, July 19, 2016, © Institute of Food Technologists
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Deodorant Plays Big Role For Young People Living Through Puberty

July 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In Germany, 83 percent of adolescents and young adults use deodorant once or several times a day, according to a study conducted for the IKW, the German Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery, and Detergent Association. Data also revealed that for 81 percent of respondents, deodorant can help enhance their self-esteem. Psychology explains this trend by looking at the close link between body odor and the emerging sexuality during puberty.
"Never without ... deodorant ", IKW, July 13, 2016, © IKW
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Carrefour Plans To Test One-Hour Delivery Service For Parisians

June 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Carrefour plans to test one-hour delivery service in Paris, according to retail trade magazine Lineaires. Reportedly dubbed Carrefour Now, the test offering will run in three Carrefour Market stores. Store employees will ready consumers' orders, which will be delivered by bicycle riders courtesy of La Poste. Also, the retailer plans to start offering Apple Pay to its customers in France.
"Carrefour Testing One-Hour Delivery", Retail Analysis, June 22, 2016, © The Institute of Grocery Distribution and IGD Services Limited
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Will Long-Awaited Vegan “Impossible Burger” Supplant The Ground Beef Patty?

June 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The first product of a well-funded Silicon Valley food start-up is about to debut in local restaurants, the first salvo in a so-far secret war against the beef industry. After six years of research, Impossible Foods has created an expensive – $20 a serving – vegan version of the ground beef patty. The product is the result of reverse engineering and analysis of beef to create a mixture of proteins, fats, vitamins and amino acids from plant sources, the only one sold raw for cooking. It contains more sodium and saturated fat than ground beef, but no cholesterol, hormones, or antibiotics. It will hit grocers’ shelves in a few years, once the price problem is solved. And the taste? Food writer Kurt Soller says it is “complex: fruitier, funkier and more barnyardy” than conventional veggie burgers. And it smells just like cooked beef.
Kurt Soller, "The Impossible Burger is Ready for Its (Meatless) Close-Up", The Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Inventor Comes Up With Toothpaste Pod That Makes Tubes Thing Of Past

June 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Irish-American inventor Wayne Solan has developed the Poppits, a soluble toothpaste pod. Designed to melt in the mouth in five seconds, Solan’s invention eliminates the need for toothpaste tubes. Each year, 1 billion toothpaste tubes end up in landfills. Currently on community-funding site Kickstarter, Poppits requires $50,000 to manufacture the first batch.
Ben Schiller , "Goodbye Toothpaste Tubes: This Edible Pod Melts In Your Mouth When You Brush", Fast Company , June 07, 2016, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Facebook Urges Beauty Brands To Go Mobile

June 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Social networking site Facebook told beauty marketers that commerce is moving to the mobile platform. Launched at the company’s first beauty summit, held in Los Angeles’ Hotel Bel-Air, Facebook IQ’s report “Beauty Beyond: The Thumb is in Charge” showed three in 10 beauty and personal care purchases by consumers 18 years old and above happened on mobile from September to December 2015. Data from the report revealed millennials, mothers, and multicultural customers accounted for 81 percent of beauty purchases during the last holiday shopping season. Also, the report forecast that in 5–10 years, all consumers will be using mobile for their purchases.
Rachel Brown, "Facebook to Beauty Marketers: The Moment for Mobile Is Now", Women’s Wear Daily, June 06, 2016, © Fairchild Publishing, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC
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Retailers Look At Chatbots As Another Way Of Staying In Touch With Customers

June 3, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Retailers are testing chatbots, computer programs powered by artificial intelligence and designed to imitate human conversations, as a means to reach, retain, and sell to customers. Although chatbots have been around for years, the growing popularity of messaging apps, such as Kik, WhatsApp, and Snapchat, has made these AI-enabled chat tools popular. With American consumers' retail spending on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, forecast by eMarketer to grow from $123.13 billion in 2016 to $242.08 billion in 2020, retailers might see advantages in deploying chatbots. There are some drawbacks to using chatbots; for example, there is the risk of losing data and insights if customers stopped using their apps and websites. Also, these AI-enabled tools are still not fully capable of fully mimicking human conversations and usually fail when faced with queries and comments not covered by their scripts.
Queenie Wong, "Retailers experiment with chatbots to reach customers", Mercury News, June 03, 2016, © Digital First Media
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Clever Technologies Turn Food Waste Into Eco-Fashion

June 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Turning food waste into fashion isn’t going to solve the huge global leftover food problem. But it will help a little, while teaching consumers about the importance of recycling, upcycling, and reusing food. Among the basic food-based clothing innovations being reported are: coffee grounds turned into fabric (Ecoalf’s process turns processed coffee grounds into a nano-powder that can be spun with polyester polymers into fabric); salmon skin into leather (Tidal Vision’s tanning process results in belts, wallets, and handbags); and coconut ash mixed with polyester makes coat insulation (Nau’s coconut-based fiber will possibly replace goose down and other clothing insulation).
Katherine Martinko, "How leftover foods are being turned into green fashion", TreeHugger, June 02, 2016, © Narrative Content Group
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New “Gig Economy” Has Pluses And Minuses For Workers, Businesses

May 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Euromonitor defines the “gig economy” – one of eight trends that together create the “New Consumerism” – as a work environment comprising short-term contracts, freelance and entrepreneurship. The gig economy is on the rise because it benefits employers and workers, delivering flexibility and efficiency. But the freedom it gives workers is offset by a lack of job and income security. In the emerging gig economy, businesses can save resources like office space and operation costs like benefits for permanent employees and training. They can also contract experts for specific projects rather than hire high-priced permanent staff. The downside is a less stable, less controllable workforce. Euromonitor says that could in turn undermine productivity and efficiency.
Lan Ha, "The New Consumerism: The Rise of the Gig Economy", Blog, Euromonitor International, May 28, 2016, © Euromonitor International
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Retail Sales Recovered Slightly In April 2016, U.S. Government Report Says

May 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Retail sales rose 1.3 percent in April 2016, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Data from the agency revealed online retailers, including Amazon and eBay, jumped 10.7 percent, compared from the same period in the previous year. NPD Group chief industry analyst Marshal Cohen said, “online is cannibalizing the store business.” Sales at department stores have recovered slightly; however, for the past 12 months, they were down 1.7 percent. According to NPD Group, impulse buys account for 45 percent of in-store purchases, but only 23 percent of online purchases.
Josh Boak et al, "How Online Shopping Is Cannibalising Mall Stores", Business of Fashion, May 13, 2016, © The Business of Fashion
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Vapor Communications' Cyrano Gives Scent To The Digital

April 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Vapor Communications sees applications for its Cyrano digital scent speaker in the health and wellness market. Based on a concept developed by Harvard professor and company founder David Edwards, the Cyrano is wirelessly controlled through an iPhone app. Designed to work in relatively small spaces, the device fires up sequences of scents the company describes as mood medleys. Available with a starter kit collection of “Natural Moods” cartridges, the device is priced at $149.
Edward C. Baig, "Cyrano lets you smell what's on your iPhone", USA TODAY, April 28, 2016, © USA Today
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Several Trends Driving Growth In MENA Region's Beauty And Personal Care Market, Study Reveals

April 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In the Middle East and North Africa region, 46 percent of Arabs believe that chemicals in cosmetics are toxic, according to “The Future 100: MENA Trends and Change to Watch in 2016” report by Innovation MENA Group. This belief is driving the trend among consumers to adopt natural beauty products, including those sold by global brands Naturisimo and Lush. Data from the study, which also highlighted trends in other market segments, such as technology, travel and hospitality, and retail, also revealed a growing trend among beauty brands involving the use of superfood ingredients to create products and recipes. Another trend in the beauty and personal care segment identified by the study involves the expansion of standard beauty treatments to include the use of biological elements, biological body fluids, and biological waste.
Mennah Ibrahim , "Future 100: MENA Trends and Change to Watch in 2016", JWT The Innovation Group, April 20, 2016, © The J. Walter Thompson Group
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L'Oreal Paris Joins YouTube To Launch Online Beauty Academy For Rising Stars

April 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
L’Oreal Paris partnered with YouTube to launch BeautyTUBE, an online beauty academy and business incubator for new talents in France. BeautyTUBE’s first edition, which will start in June 2016, will feature 10 people selected through the online video-sharing website based on their personalities and points of view on beauty. According to the company, the participations will be filmed for six months while being trained and mentored by L’Oreal Paris and YouTube executives on topics, such as video production, YouTube channel management, and development of beauty expertise.
Jennifer Weil , "L’Oréal Paris, YouTube to Launch BeautyTUBE in France", Women’s Wear Daily, April 19, 2016, © Fairchild Fashion Media
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New Grocery Receipts Could Help You Eat More Healthfully

February 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A British designer has come up with a simple way to track the nutritional value of grocery purchases. It’s not an app, but a colorful graphic printed at the bottom of a store receipt that shows nutrient data. Color-coded symbols tell whether levels of sugar, salt, saturated fat, etc., are low, medium, or high. Problem items are printed in red as a warning. Supermarkets would pull the data from databases. Hayden Peek believes supermarkets will like the idea because they have a vested interest in keeping shoppers “alive and loyal for as long as possible."
Adele Peters, "This Brilliantly Simple Graphic Turns Your Grocery Receipts Into A Health Tool", Fast Company, February 22, 2016, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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A Steadily Changing World Reflected In Consumer Survey Results

February 12, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A preview of Euromonitor’s 2015 global consumer survey results reveals that Millennials and Gen Z – consumers under 30 – are leading the shift from computers to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This shift includes young people of the growing middle classes in emerging markets. Among other insights: Paid advertising, while still influential and important, is losing ground to product endorsements and opinions shared by family and friends on social media. Fifty-nine percent consider these recommendations to be very or extremely influential. Despite the upsurge in home food preparation, time-strapped consumers still buy packaged food and ready meals, especially “all natural” products. Lastly, consumers struggle to link health priorities with everyday habits, and try to find time for “what matters:” family, friends, and themselves.
Lisa Holmes, "Top 6 Insights from the 2015 Global Consumer Trends Survey", Euromonitor International, February 12, 2016, © Euromonitor
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Getting To Know – And Sell To – The Tech-Savvy Z Generation

December 31, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Euromonitor already has a handle on the next consumer generational wave, those 1.3 billion kids between 11 and 20 years old. Dubbed Generation Z, the oldest have more money to spend, so retailers and brand marketers should start getting to know them. Basically, these digital natives who never knew a time without a high-speed Internet, smartphones or tablets, are well-connected and expect immediate access to their hearts’ desires “through as many channels and as few clicks as possible.” They use a lot of apps and live publicly on social media websites. They are very aware of the connection between brands and personal identity. Marketing successfully to the Gen Z crowd requires, at the very least, expertise in omnichannel retailing and perfect “integration of all channels flawlessly.”
Michelle Malison, "How Retailers and Brands Should Prepare for Generation Z", Blog, Euromonitor International, December 31, 2015, © Euromonitor
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Hispanic Consumers Prefer To Stick With Familiar Brands

November 24, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Hispanic consumers in the United States tend to avoid uncertainties, preferring to buy brands they are familiar with, according to a study by Geometry Global. Data from the market research firm revealed advertisers should remember that Hispanics can switch between their Latino cultural codes and the American culture elements they have adopted. Unlike American mothers who tend to stick to their shopping list, Hispanic moms are more open to unplanned purchases and are more open to discovery. Hispanics are more focused on the “now,” driven perhaps by the fact that most of them are Catholics. Also, Hispanics have a collective cultural value, unlike the other cultures in the United States.
"Understanding the Hispanic shopper", Media Life Magazine, November 24, 2015, © Media Life Magazine
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Targeting Gen Z Presents A Very Different Marketing Challenge

September 8, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Gen Z is that wave of kids now entering their twenties. Gen Z has money to spend (about $44 million), but marketers need to know that they are very different from their parents and other generation Xers. They are heavily involved in private messaging and short-term networks rather than mainstream media. Most important: they “are characterized by their entrepreneurial drive” and place great value on education. They grew up during the recession so they tend to be more mature, financially aware and future focused. Marketers need to provide engaging and beneficial experiences. Brands need to embrace niche trends and communication technologies. Messages should be simple and visual. And because Gen Z is more entrepreneurial, brands should invite participation and present opportunities to build expertise in a career or vocation.
Bex Bartolo Wicks, "CPG Marketers, Make Room For Gen Z", MediaPost, September 08, 2015, © MediaPost Communications
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Organizations Need to Get Hip To The Marketing Opportunities In Messaging Apps

July 8, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Businesses and nonprofits will miss out on a major digital marketing and communication opportunity if they ignore messaging apps popular among the Gen Z crowd (twenty-somethings and younger) who are leaving traditional social media behind. At least six of the top 10 most popular apps around the world are the messaging apps WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Line, Viber, KakaoTalk and WeChat1.0. But not all businesses are reluctant to adapt the rapidly growing platform to their marketing strategies. Coca-Cola, Evian, Comic Relief, The Co-operative Group, JustGiving, and Groupon are using messaging apps to reach potential customers.
"Engaging Gen Z: Why digital marketers need to prioritize messaging apps", The Drum, July 08, 2015, © Carnyx Group Limited
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