TrendWatch: Bite-Size Indulgence

in Strategy & Trends | by David Capece

Moderation with a side of milk

Definition
When mom used to bake cookies, the aroma of chocolate and sweet dough baking into what might as well have been gold, is such an intoxicating memory most can’t recall it without salivating. Who didn’t take one when mom wasn’t looking? It was these simple pleasures we treasure as kids that stay with us our entire lives. Though much changes: $.10 doesn’t make you rich, or a Caramello Bar isn’t made of golden nuggets. We hold onto the simple pleasures that accent our childhoods to find the escape our busy lives crave today.

Spin
Getaway—Simple pleasures cannot be limited to chocolate or coffee. Simple pleasures can take the form of a favorite hobby or a bench to relax in the park. It can be the hour of World of Warcraft you enjoy on the weekend… or your morning run. It is a small allowance we need to stay focused and bring balance to our everyday lives.
Quality—As we re-prioritize our budgets, we’re shedding the excesses in our everyday lives. We’re finding what we need to get rid of and what needs to stay. Quality pleasures are going to stay, while the it-was-a-good-idea-when-I-bought-it pleasures are going to be thrown out. Foresight in product purchases is going to be key in our search for quality and longevity in our products. Consumers will pay more for a quality product with less frequency than a year ago, however still will still enjoy that one (or two) home-made, oven-fresh cookie(s). Consumers will say, “I can’t afford to renovate my bathroom but I can afford to buy the new bath salts and that will also give me pleasure.”

Examples
Infomercials—As major advertisers are cutting their airtime on television, formerly staples of the late night / early morning, infomercials are nabbing the top spots in major network airtime. As car sales and the stock market slump, products like ShamWow and Oxyclean are top-sellers. It’s the small indulgence the ShamWow or Oxyclean brings to our lives that makes everything seem not so bad. Cleaning products in particular might not have the desirability of a Rolex, but they add convenience and cleanliness to everyday life. In a world where 9-5 can be even more stressful, we like to have the pleasure of a clean house—a simple thing that just makes us feel good.
Momofuku Bakery & Milk Bar —“Milk and cookies, dear?” Think 1950’s suburbia with perfect houses and perfect lawns.  Or… think Manhattan today.  With all the change and uncertainty going on around us, urbanites are looking to the past for comfort classics.  Consumers seek a return to comforting classics, uniquely reinterpreted for today’s more discerning palate.  Perhaps a good old dose of milk and cookies is enough to settle the hearts and stomachs of both urban adults and kids alike.  “Please pass the cookies.”
Morsels—This bite-size eatery combines indulgence with moderation. Choosing just the right dessert shouldn’t be that big of a problem—as the treats are so small, and inexpensive, each dessert is more like a sample. Morsels capitalizes on the moderation trend, while still adding a little sweetness to the mix.

Key Words
Simple, Focus, Balance, Moderation, Nostalgia, Appreciation, Priorities

Donwload the full 2009 Trend Report in PDF format