MONDAY, April 15, 2024

Innovative dining, extinct aromas, absurdist holidays just some of the top 2023 trends

Innovative dining, extinct aromas, absurdist holidays just some of the top 2023 trends

“Feel-Good Feeds” and “Absurdist Stays” are some of the business trends predicted in this year’s Wunderman Thompson Intelligence report “The Future 100: 2023”.

“Community, creativity and colour vibrantly paint 2023 as last year’s boundless optimism shifts to an exuberant need for uplift and play,” explained Emma Chiu, global director of the creative consultancy agency Wunderman Thompson Intelligence.

Here are some of the trends that promise businesses a splash of colour, inspiration and an insight into the unfolding year.

Tech & Metaverse

#16 Feel-Good Feeds

People are shifting more into the virtual realm, with 76% wanting an avatar in the Metaverse to express their individuality in ways they cannot in the physical world, according to Wunderman Thompson Intelligence’s “New Realities: Into the Metaverse and Beyond” report.

“Identity traverses both the physical and digital. I see identity design as the next important step to how we communicate and interpret multiple selves in the Metaverse,” said identity designer and beauty futurist, Alex Box.

Travel and Hospitality

#22 Absurdist Stays

Travellers are becoming more adventurous as the weird and wonderful take centre stage.

The top three destinations for 2023 have been identified as Morocco, Kyoto and Tanzania.

With its mild climate, rich history, desert, beaches, and relative affordability, Morocco is attracting a new wave of remote workers.

Kyoto, meanwhile, is offering a more meaningful experience through a more tailored itinerary to tourists, including private tours of castles, celebrating local tastes and small excursions.

Tanzania is “perfect for solo travellers, particularly women who may not feel comfortable alone”, said Chanice “Queenie” Williams from the “Fly with Queenie” site in an interview in the Washington Post.


#53 Resurrected Ingredients

Brands are using rare flowers and forgotten sensory ingredients for their latest creations. One project aims to revive lost scents by engineering fragrances from DNA extracted from samples of extinct flowers.

The Odeuropa project in Europe is using artificial intelligence to recreate aromas going back to the 16th century to identify “how the smell was expressed in different languages, places, events and linking them to emotions”, Odeuropa says.

Resurrected ingredients simultaneously help preserve nature as it is today, while securing its history for future generations.


#76 Wellness Guilds

Luxury brands are pushing the boundaries of reality by looking into the magical and mystical world for inspiration along with reflecting a desire for exploration as well as wonder.

Luxury brands like Gucci and Burberry are venturing into the unknown with campaigns that are inspired by mystical encounters, mythological places, fairy tales and otherworldly creatures.

“It’s not a hieroglyph for an elite; it talks about life. It’s a mirror,” says Gucci director Alessandro Michele.


#91 Rewirement

Artificial intelligence (AI) is fast becoming a vital tool for companies as they seek to improve efficiency and automate tasks.

Chinese gaming company NetDragon Websoft, which operates multiplayer online games and apps, has even appointed an AI-powered virtual humanoid robot as CEO of its subsidiary company, Fujian NetDragon Websoft.

The virtual CEO will be tasked with streamlining the company’s processes, enhancing the quality of its outputs, improving the speed of execution, as well as supporting daily decision-making.

Virtual leadership “will change the world as we know it, forever”, says Marek Szoldrowski, president at Dictador Europe.

Apart from these topics, the report also addresses other subjects, such as Culture becoming more vibrant and empowered with “Elevated Expressionism”, Brands and Marketing introducing “Meta-inclusivity”, with a trend towards authenticity, and “Intrepid Dining”, with innovative menus, theatrical preparation and extreme locations.

Similarly, Retail and Commerce trends focus on “Cocreative Commerce” as brands adjust to the changing consumer landscape by reimagining the presentation of products, and Health, with a new focus on the “Superself” as populations age and people get “supercharged” with self-care.