NEW YORK -- God, metrosexuals and intergenerational dramas are the newest trends affecting the licensing industry.
These were among the top 20 licensing trends discussed at the "Consumer Trends Impacting the Licensing Industry" seminar held during the recent Licensing 2004 show at the Jacob Javits Center here.
Religion is back, according to Paul Kurnit, president and founder of KidShop, Chappaqua, N.Y., along with gender-blending stars like David Beckham and Ryan Seacrest, and television shows with cross sections of generations, such as those presented in "The O.C."
"Christian radio is growing. If you ask kids what they want to be when they grow up, 2% to 5% will say God," said Kurnit. "And if you're not watching 'The O.C.,' start right now."
Growing waistlines also have a large impact. As people grow, so does the "fatability" industry. "Fatability" is the term Kurnit used to describe the expanding array of products designed for on-the-go eating. "The ability to eat on the go has just made it easy to be fat," said Kurnit.
The weight-loss trend has a flip side. The health and wellness trend has spawned a group of people looking to eat healthier, more wholesome foods. People are flocking to gyms, joining weight-loss groups, and researching the topic online. However, it's often the people who spend the most on health and wellness that end up weighing the most.
"These people are walking on treadmills and eating fast food almost at the same time," explained Kurnit. "That's why both trends continue to grow."
Familiar trends continue to have influence as well, such as reality TV, technology, the Internet and the "eternal youth" dreams of baby boomers. Additionally, the "retail wars" between Wal-Mart and other merchants, geek chic, impending disasters, and emerging multicultural demographics also topped Kurnit's list.
Andrew Zolli, Z + Partners, Brooklyn, N.Y., also spoke about the changing demographics of the world. His research shows that in the future, the U.S. population would dramatically change from a pyramid, with the largest percentage of people being young and the smallest percentage being old, to a straight line, with every age group equally represented.
"This change is going to affect every aspect of the world -- economics, government, taxes, everything," said Zolli. The new make-up of the country would change spending on education and Social Security, as well as household needs and cash flow. The middle-aged group would no longer be able to support the younger and older crowd, and marketing trends would reflect that
While this is a continuing trend and not a new influence, Kurnit and Zolli agreed it would continue to have dramatic impact on the world.
As of June 20, 2004 This chart, tailored for the supermarket video market, is based on information taken from more than 1,000 supermarket rental locations serviced by Ingram Entertainment, La Vergne, Tenn.