From solar-powered vegan Beet-BQs and sunglasses for dogs, to voice-enabled travel assistants and fermented condiments, the #SmileItsSummer Trends Report reveals the hottest products that look set to characterise summer 2018.
The independent report, commissioned by Amazon and informed by Steve Tooze from Stylus Innovation Research + Advisory, also reveals how the Great British summer will evolve in the years to come.
To bring the report to life and help customers make the most of the season, Amazon.co.uk has launched the #SmileItsSummer store, full of the latest on-trend products – including luxury outdoor sofas, dog sunbonnets and kimchi – expected to become a huge part of this year’s summer celebrations.
Steve Tooze, Trend Expert at Stylus Innovation Research + Advisory said: “This year, a travel tech revolution will propel our great British summer into the future. From Alexa finding our flights and checking the weather at our destination to bluetooth locators and smart fingerprint locks for our luggage, there is a high-tech gadget to make every element of our summer holiday easier. Which is just as well, as even our pampered pooches are getting in on the action, with sales of pet travel products like ‘doggles’ rocketing.
“And it’s not just technology that is evolving summer traditions. We’ll also see big changes in al fresco dining with the arrival of the ‘Beet-BQ’, as meat-free alternatives to traditional burgers and sausages enter the mainstream. Our choice of condiments is expanding too, with kimchi soon to be found on every picnic table and, as gardens are tended to by robotic mowers, there’ll be plenty of time to perfect these popular new vegan BBQ recipes.”
#SmileItsSummer Trends Report
AI ADVENTURE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
The travel industry is on the brink of a second revolution with future travel predicted to see at least three generations setting off together in search of high-adventure holidays that challenge both body and mind, according to Stylus.
From summer 2018 onwards, artificial intelligence and voice-enabled services, like Alexa, will find flights and hotels, check the weather, manage the packing list, check train schedules, order a cab and even remind you to pack your passport!
According to Stylus, in the future our AI travel assistants will be able to arrange everything from booking the hotel to choosing our preferred seat on the plane – all without needing our input. Meanwhile, smart luggage products from Amazon are already infusing modern travel with technology, including smart fingerprint luggage locks, bluetooth luggage locators and USB charging backpacks.
- Amazon Echo Dot: Thanks to Alexa, customers can now book and pay for a Virgin Train ticket by using just their voice and for those that are yet to book their travels, simply ask Alexa to open the Skyscanner skill to book flights at the best possible price. To avoid last minute travel panic, customers can also ask Alexa, “Alexa, remind me to pack my passport” before they leave the house.
- Adventure sandals: Forget the flip flop – being both fashionable and practical for travellers of all ages, sales of Tevas sandals have increased by 150% year-on-year with Ecco sandals also increasing by 200% year-on-year.
Pets will play an even-more important part in the lives of summer travellers who will insist on bringing four-legged friends on their holidays.
Airlines, restaurants and hotels are expected to adapt fast to accommodate our furry friends with recent research from EuroTunnel suggesting two thirds of dog owners (67%) will be planning to take their pet away with them this year.
According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, more than 320,000 pet passports have been issued since 2014 with 40,000 issued in 2017 alone.
Amazon.co.uk has also seen a rise in pet travel products, including dog cooling coats (up 109% year-on-year) pet bicycle trailers (up 233% year-on-year), dog sunbonnets (up 482% year-on-year) and dog seat belts (up 598% year-on-year) for summer jaunts.
Cat TV and Dog TV is even available as entertainment for our furry friends on long car journeys with dedicated programming on Prime Video.
- Doggles: Also known as dog sunglasses, doggles are becoming the new, must-have accessory to protect pets from UV rays.
- Dog cooling coats: Sales of jackets designed to keep dogs cool have doubled (up 109% year-on-year).
MEAT’S OUT FOR SUMMER
The Vegan ‘Beet-BQ’ will take the country by storm this summer, with plant-based ‘meats’ becoming more sophisticated, showcasing flavour profiles and textures almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
The report reveals some of the top selling vegan products such as coconut cheese, vegan burgers and vegan sausages on AmazonFresh over the past 12 months, suggesting many of the capital’s BBQs this summer will be meat-free.
WHO’S SQUEEZING WHAT, WHERE?
Condiments are a picnic table essential but this summer we’ll see the UK indulge in fermented flavours from across the world such as red cabbage (up 208% year-on-year) and Kombucha (up 189% year-on-year).
- Kimchi: Fermented foods, set to be a popular topping at barbeques this summer, are growing in popularity with sales of kimchi up 98% year-on-year.
The UK’s cities are divided on their sauce of choice with Amazon revealing the top toppings across the nation, based on year-on-year sales uplifts from each city.
- Edinburgh: Jack Daniel’s Barbeque Sauce (up 400% year-on-year)
- Manchester: Heinz Original Salad Cream (up 800% year-on-year)
- Cardiff: Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (up 200% year-on-year)
- Bristol: Frank’s Red-Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce (up 1,300% year-on-year)
- Brighton: Marmite (up 225% year-on-year)
- London: Morrisons Tomato Chutney (up 1,350% year-on-year)
- Birmingham: Heinz Sweet Chilli Sauce (up 275% year-on-year)
This summer is all about ‘flip living’, where customers bring the inside out and treat the garden as another ‘room’ to eat and entertain with family and friends. Sales of luxury outdoor sofas have already increased over 6,000% year-on-year, with sales of cast iron campfire Dutch Ovens doubling as Brits embrace alfresco cooking and dining.
- Inflatable hot tub: Sales of temporary family pools have increased by 490% year-on-year as Brits add instant inflatable luxury to their gardens.
BRACE YOURSELF – THE BUM BAG IS BACK
Summer fashion will see practical products becoming more popular with 80s favourite, the bum bag, seeing a 989% increase in sales year-on-year. Stylus research also predicts that Brits will begin wearing colourful headbands, pairing them with angular cat-eyed sunglasses, while lilac is named as the shade of the season.
TOP SUMMER READS
From page-turning crime to gripping non-fiction, healthy eating to compelling drama, Brits will continue to read across a broad range of genres whilst looking for great stories that will capture their imagination this summer, whether that’s by the pool or relaxing in their garden.
- Outsider by Stephen King
- Deliciously Ella: The Cookbook: Plant-based recipes from our kitchen to yours by Ella Mills
- Seven Bridges by LJ Ross
- Part-Time Working Mummy: A Patchwork Life by Rachaele Hambleton
- The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse
- Tom Gates: Biscuits, Bands and Very Big Plans by Liz Pichon
- Dead Lock by Damien Boyd
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
- Arnhem by Anthony Beevor
- Dead if You Don’t by Peter James
Charlotte Green, Lawn & Garden Store Manager, Amazon.co.uk said: “From luxury outdoor sofas to smart sprinkler systems, customers can find a huge variety of exciting new products for summer 2018 on Amazon.co.uk. Our #SmileItsSummer store selection and superfast delivery means customers can capitalise on those surprise sunny days that we all look forward to.”