What do health living, choice, technology, women, connectedness, globalization and a search for a meaningful life have in common? They've all been identified as major social and cultural trends that will drive innovation across industries in coming years – and have a significant impact on away-from-home entertainment and dining.
A trend is a way to describe the direction in which we are headed, compared to where we are now. DYG, Inc., a leader in cultural research, recently conducted a survey of more than 4,000 Americans across the country to provide deeper insight into social and demographics trends. They identified seven trends, two that are global, and five that are U.S. specific. These trends should have a significant impact on away-from-home-dining and away-from-home entertainment, including the design of the facilities.
The global trends:
This refers to increasing connectivity and worldwide interdependence in economic, technological, cultural, political and ecological realms.
Global telecommunications have resulted in the free flow of goods, information, ideas and knowledge, significantly contributing to economic and social change
Trends more unique to the U.S.:
This is the growing trend to feel connected to family, friends, co-workers and community. Connectedness is a particularly strong value for Generation-Y, who prefers open, social and casual settings.
Edward Rosenthal, author of The Era of Choice, argues that choice, and having to make choices, has become the most important influence in our personal lives and our cultural expression. People want to have control over and make choices about how they use their time, the environments they spend their time in, and how they feel about those environments.
Women have now reached a critical mass as decision-makers when it comes to lifestyle, work style and creative expression. Women will exercise increasing influence on business and society. When it comes to design, women experience a stronger connection between the physical environment and satisfaction than men do, i.e., the design of an environment is far more important to women when it comes to whether they enjoy their experience in it.
Women are driving this key trend: the increasing importance of health, well-being, and work/life balance. These attributes of the Health Imperative are fast becoming a status symbol in American society. The design of physical environments needs to support the Health Imperative to be in sync with healthy living goals.
The research says that a unique moment in history occurred in 2001 with the convergence of a number of forces, from 9/11 to corporate scandals to the dot-com bust, causing a shift in cultural values significant enough to be considered the beginning of a new cultural era. The Valuable Life is all about adding meaning to life and being significant, such as having an impact on the future, personal sacrifice and personal responsibility. The trend is about 'being good by doing good' and 'leaving a legacy' or having a positive impact on the world. The Valuable Life trend is also evidenced by individuals wanting to work for and do business with companies that do good deeds and help make a better society and world.