Trend and Zeitgeist Analysis

The fashion next year, kitchen styles in 2 years, home decoration in the next 1-4 years, tendencies in the entertainment industry and shopping are all examples of areas affected by trends. The list is inexhaustible because more and more of our consumer habits are affected by fashion. That is why analyses of trends have become more and more interesting for many businesses and organizations.

Analyses of trends and zeitgeist are always based on three sources of understanding of development

  • Past – and the historical development
  • Present – the tendencies that are in their infancy, what are firstmovers doing?
  • The Change – Understanding that tendencies also develop their own counterparts

Organic produce as an example

A trend analysis of the sales of organic produce over the coming years after 2002 has to be based on the fact that there has been an increase in numbers since 1992.

Additionally it has to be noted that the trendsetting stakeholders - chefs and the leading producers of gourmet – are more focused on product quality than if it is organic. Considering also that young people today have been raised with organic produce and that youths distance themselves from what their elders are trying to push on them, as well as the fact that we no longer think of it as newsworthy, may all lead to the following trend: In the coming years we will see a change in the produce area where there will be a move from organic produce towards more quality oriented produce and also that the sales of organic produce at current prices will decline.

If the three elements are applied to, for example, the English, Swedish or German market, the conclusion is different. There are indications that some of these markets might face a breakthrough of similar proportions as the Danish market in the early 90s.


An important part of trend analysis is often to nail down the spirit of the times. It is a collection of ideas and values that are widely adopted at the time. When one zeitgeist is dominating, the next is always underway. It’s also important to understand that any moment carries its own opposite within itself. Changes won’t always come because something has been changed, but because over time we need a new perspective on changes.

Generation gaps in society automatically carry this process forward.

Use of scenarios

If you’re in a situation where there’s a lot of uncertainty concerning the coming trends, e.g. in fashion and decorating, scenarios can be used to work on this uncertainty. You make a number of scenarios of the trends of the coming years in for example decorating and in this way work through a variety of different and probable trends. The actual outcome will be a combination of several trends in a slightly different version than the scenarios worked with. But through the work with the scenarios you’re more prepared for the possible changes and won’t be caught unaware once the trends change.

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