There are a lot of things I love about being an entrepreneur, such as meeting so many other small-business owners and the people who want to help them. One of my favorite parts of running my business is spotting trends and predicting what will be hot in the coming year. I always have my eye out for what’s new, what might just be a fad, and what is sure to have staying power. Now I want to share what I know with you.
Here are some of my favorite trends for 2016: mobile wallets, beauty apps, and seriously good eats.
It’s a Mobile’s Moment
While the EMV chip and the switch to chip cards was all the buzz in 2015, the actual deadline came and went without many businesses participating. (Excuses ran from “We can’t find the time to teach our staff” to “The equipment is in but not connected.”) According to The Washington Post, the adoption of chip credit cards actually makes transactions slower (barely, but still), meaning more consumers will migrate to using mobile wallets that allow them to just wave and go.
One of my favorite trend sources is Mintel Beauty and Personal Care for its perspective on the future of beauty. Technology will play a bigger part in the world of beauty in 2016 – brands will offer products and services to help monitor beauty regimes and results, such as telling you when your skin is dry and could use a heavier moisturizer.
Energy boosters have been big in the food and beverage industry for a while, but now beauty companies are working on energy-boosting skincare and hair care products.
Food, Glorious Food
Who doesn’t love to eat? Although I feel I’ll forever be watching what I eat, I still love to read about food and find out what’s new and popular. Here are some of my favorite food trends:
- Sriracha. It's still going strong, and now it’s going mainstream. Restaurant research company Technomic reports this will likely inspire chefs to add other “assertive, unfamiliar spices” to their menus. Technomic predicts we’ll be seeing more Ghost pepper (India), sambal (Southeast Asia), gochujang (Korea), and harissa, sumac, and dukka (North Africa).
- Snacks. Technomic reports 51 percent of Americans admit to snacking at least twice a day. The key to making money from snacks is to think about what your customers want. For instance, if you own a restaurant, how about offering a menu of half-size entrees?
- Ice cream. According to Mintel, Americans eat considerably more ice cream than any nation on the planet, consuming 18.4 liters per person a year. Expect to see more artisanal ice cream, ice cream made with locally sourced ingredients, and “healthy” options such as gluten-free and low/no/reduced allergens or fats climbing the popularity charts this year.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website SmallBizDaily.com to get the scoop on business trends and to sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.