January 23, 2020

Read time: 5min

Insights for sustainability and urban density: 2020 trends in APAC

Market Logic Team

Is the future here yet? 2020 has already shown some very exciting developments that could make you believe it’s true – think of Virgin Galactic’s commercial travel or Mercedes’ new Avatar-inspired car. Meanwhile, we continue to face dire challenges, with the Australian bush fires putting climate change on our radars in a big way and rumblings of another US – Middle East conflict. Amid all of that change, two fundamental questions remain: what will consumers want next, and how can we keep up? To dive deeper into what these developments mean for the world of insights marketing, Market Logic hosted an expert webinar with Acacia Leroy, Asia Head of Trends & Insights at TrendWatching, Prasad Shinde, Director at Ipsos, and Andrea Villani, Vice President APAC at Market Logic. They looked at how trend-driven innovations are changing the face of status symbols and urban life across Asia Pacific, and how new trends in the food and beverage industry are producing more consumer data than we ever thought possible.

Status symbols shift to sustainability with Asian consumers

Status symbols have been a mainstay with Asian consumers for decades, and are usually tied to luxury products and exclusive vacations. However, this consumer mindset is bumping up against the reality of climate change, as conversations around the climate crisis are exposing many of Asia’s traditional status symbols as climate culprits. The first trend emerging in this space, says Acacia, is “Sustainable Stewards.” In 2020 and beyond, being a responsible steward of the planet will be the next status symbol. Take Sustenir, for example. The vertical farm firm based in Singapore is turning the idea that a high price tag means quality on its head. They’re introducing a new price tag for consumers to consider: the carbon price tag. Or consider that the denim industry is a major polluter, which is why the Hong Kong based start-up Unspun is developing a technology to 3D weave zero waste jeans tailored to individual consumers. The architectural firm NUDES opened a café in Mumbai – built entirely of 100% recyclable cardboard.

Livability in Asian megacities

The United Nations predicts that by 2050, 2.5 billion people worldwide will move to cities – and 90% of the increase will happen in Asia. When cities get bigger and denser, livability becomes more important, which is why cities have been the vanguards for the sharing economy. Consumers want to access whatever they need, when they need it, where they need it. The trend emerging in these urban centres is called “City Chameleons,” says Acacia. Facing the challenge of livability, 2020’s city dwellers will embrace reimagined offerings adapted for cities of the future. Businesses will have to adapt their offerings within the city itself. Take, for example, public transportation. The government of New South Wales is trialling Busbot: a minibus that picks up commuters on demand, and uses AI and machine learning to determine the best routes and avoid unnecessary stops. In Indonesia, Fore Coffee runs kiosk cafes where delivery people pick up orders and bring it to the consumers, who placed their orders via the app. The company deploys a mix of established platforms to track and monitor payment and make deliveries.

Trends and data in the world of food and beverages

Ipsos Director Prasad Shinde introduced some food and beverage trends that are reshaping the market and will continue to do so in the next decade. Sustainability, and all it entails in consumers’ minds, remains top of mind in the food and beverage industry. Prasad pointed to two main phenomena: natural food versus organic food (what’s the difference between products claiming to be 100% organic or 100% natural? And how are they being marketed to consumers?) and the mainstreaming of previously “niche” diets (veganism and vegetarianism are on the rise globally, with veganism emerging as a small but fast emerging trend – 46% of British vegans have been following the diet for six months or less). Along the lines of urbanization, food delivery is also on the rise, as more and more consumers are telecommuting and relying on the convenience of ordering a meal through an app.

Making sense of the influx of consumer insights

These exciting innovations and trends present an enormous opportunity for insights professionals. Because consumers continue to access these innovations with their smartphones, there is an immense amount of consumer data at their fingertips. So how can insights professionals leverage all of that consumer data to deliver on consumer expectations? Andrea explained that Market Logic’s AI technology is key to understanding the volume of consumer data available today. The platform makes sense of all the data and research – whether structured or unstructured – and democratizes it across the organization so everyone can make insights-driven decisions. Insights on the platform can be applied in one of two ways: push and pull. For push applications, AI assists in creating the most relevant information for stakeholders, and experts can also create and push content to stakeholder groups. The pull function helps stakeholders ask questions from all of the structured and unstructured data to access relevant answers. On their personalized intelligence homepages, news and content is tailored to individual users’ needs, based on their role, brand or sector – either through AI (what each user likes to read), or expert curation (what each user needs to read). AI-powered search also helps cut through the huge volume of data. The Market Logic search uses content analytics to detect common topics from the data. An auto-summarizer produces a quick summary of the condensed version of all search hits to let users quickly scan the results, rather than having to open and read hundreds of documents. When uploading, auto-tagging removes one of the biggest barriers to knowledge management by scanning documents for keywords and tags and feeding them into the body of knowledge. To watch the full webinar and find out about more examples of trends cropping up across all industries in Asia Pacific, click here.