Innovation. Excitement. Speed.
These, say trend forecasters, will be the main drivers of 2014.
We’ll be working longer and later, bugging our guts in a bid for better health, reshuffling traditions and finding ourselves gratified more instantly than ever before.
This according to professional trend predictors with New York marketing and advertising firms — Marian Salzman, CEO of Havas PR and Ann Mack, director of trendspotting for JWT. We asked them, along with experts in food and design, what 2014 will bring.
What does life after 60 mean this year? More work.
Don’t be surprised if the meaning of "senior" changes significantly, says Salzman. As we hold onto jobs longer — past 65 and 70 — we also raise children later in life.
"At 60, maybe you’re dealing with a teenager," she says. Rather than a milestone, the age becomes a "middle year."
But that doesn’t mean youth won’t mold working life. Out: The agrarian work day. In: The Millennial habit of toiling whenever and wherever. The idea that the working day must correlate with a morning-to-evening schedule will be less of a certainty, says Salzman. Instead, expect employees to log hours "when it’s good for them and the business."
Times are a’changing, even in the segments of culture associated with hallowed tradition. Take religion.
Pope Francis, Time Magazine’s person of the year, got a lot of attention for making progressive statements after he was chosen to lead the Catholic Church.
"He’s gotten out there and said, ‘Hey, we have to be a more modern organization,’" Salzman says. So, too, will we find other traditions, "remixed," says Mack.
Consider, for example, ritual gatherings that lack a deity, like those of Calgary Secular Church. Even without a supreme being at the helm, people are finding the value in shared community. And tools used in those efforts can diverge from dogma, Mack says.
"Some churches are using beer."
As ever, this year will be about "recording the moment," says Mack. That could mean sharing a picture of your lunch with Facebook and Twitter, posting the first breaths of a newborn to Instagram, or using your smartphone to document a concert.
Sometimes, though, we’ll actually power down. And not just because we’ve boarded a plane. Why the change? "Our constant push-pull with technology," says Mack. We need it, want it, can’t be without it, then wish we weren’t on it.
Engagement now increasingly means more than a trade in social media. It’s a return to the present.
Mack points to artists including Bjork, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Jack White, that have encouraged audiences to put their phones away.
As much as there’s been talk about how mobile technology is shaping our brains, TV is a prime example of how technology is shaping the medium. Though we’ll stay active in real-time reception to live TV events (Twitter and social TV), we’ll simultaneously hop on the binge-watching bandwagon, says Salzman, whether that means Netflix original series or shows that can be streamed. Because they’re free of commercial time constrictions, we can watch at will — and in long-form — for extended periods.
Ills and cures
Privacy. What privacy?
"Consumers are both passively and actively uploading more data than ever before," says Mack, who calls one 2014 ailment "The end of anonymity."
With ever more ways to find out where and who we are — and news about government surveillance — "we are as much the victims as the perpetrators," says Mack.
Still, when we want something delivered, we’ll clamor for business to know our location, and fast. Hear about the Amazon Prime drones, promising package drops within the hour? These crafts may not be hovering over your house anytime soon, but look for delivery windows to shrink. Home Depot will add same-day shipping, says Mack, and our impatience with wait times will grow testier.
Looking for speed elsewhere — in our immune system — we’ll turn to prebiotics, says Salzman (they’re available in supplement form, but chicory root and asparagus are two food sources).
A prebiotic is indigestible by our stomachs, but able to draw beneficial bacteria to the body. With medical professionals playing up the merits of good bugs in the digestive tract, these health aids will venture beyond existing probiotic regimens to equip our health defenses.
Color and design
What’s the color for 2014?
Radiant Orchid. And oh yes, it’s radiant.
A splash of pink-purple, this is a color "that would inspire people to be more creative," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. She’s been with the Carlstadt-based purveyor of color trends since 1985, each year crowning a new pigment supreme leader.
Radiant Orchid, she says, is the lively friend you bring to a boring party.
"The purple family in general speaks to that," she says, of our need for creative spice. "It is truly a magical color, an enigmatic color. It excites the imagination." We are still reacting to hard times. We’re still stressed. But invigoration, not calm, is the color palette’s remedy, says Eiseman.
While finding a "natural home in women’s cosmetics," Radiant Orchid can also be used in the stripes of men’s shirts, pairing well with the greens that were 2013’s big draw. The orchid also can mesh with sister shades — lavender, other purples, and pink, says Eiseman, and can liven up gray, beige and taupe.
"The easiest way to integrate this color into the living room is by adding some purple decorative toss pillows and possibly a throw on the sofa or chairs as accent pieces," says Jenny Zhu, president and chief design officer of Triangle Home Fashions in Dayton. Since Zhu considers the purplish hue representative of "health and royalty," a good bathroom use for the shade would be in a shower curtain, she says.
Montvale-based Benjamin Moore’s 2014 winner for color is "Breath of Fresh Air," a light blue, accompanied by a springy pastel palette.
"It’s uplifting," says Ellen O’Neill, creative director. The fun range of colors marks "a shift away from neutrals," she says. "People want pretty again."
When it comes to what we eat, don’t expect specialty items to fade into the horizon. Instead, Salzman anticipates "artisanal overload," since we’ve been experiencing a collective ennui with what she calls "mass-produced blandness." Look for the homemade, for products from small-scale operations. For Brooklyn-bred delicacies like beer-brined pickles.
And produce formerly considered "ugly" — a gnarly carrot or misshapen spud, for instance — will be embraced as natural, Mack says.
Ralph Romano, executive chef at Red Knot Restaurant, at Kenilworth’s Galloping Hill Golf Course, thinks the farm-to-table approach will stay relevant, too, along with a zest for local and seasonal.
"Proteins are going to have to start sharing billing with the vegetables and the light starches," he says. Our love affair with potatoes, says Romano, will endure, but we’ll be seeing loftier applications, like parsnip puree — with brown butter "when nobody’s looking, of course" (because cooking without a lot of salt and butter is still in style). Rutabaga is another root vegetable option.
"The proteins are not really the star anymore," agrees Peter Larsen, executive chef of Edgewater’s Haven Riverfront Restaurant & Bar. What veggie will rise to the top of the trendy crop?
"I still think kale is there," he says. We may also notice an infusion of eclectic carbs. "Grains as a whole are still going to be a hot thing," he says. Faro is one. Rare varieties of rice and quinoa are others, Romano says. And enter adzuki beans, a vegetarian-friendly protein.
As for dining, expect restaurant counters to edge out communal tables, says Romano. Speed, again, is a big factor. Too-clever, overlong menu descriptions out, too, since, as with many elements of 2014 — we just don’t have the minutes to spare, he says.
"I don’t know anyone who has three hours for lunch or dinner anymore."
What’s happening in 2014A brief list of some notable events coming this year
• Super Bowl XLVIII is at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on Feb. 2, the first cold-weather outdoor Super Bowl in history.
• February (7 to 23) also brings the 2014 Winter Olympics (XXII Olympic Winter Games), broadcast from Sochi, Russia.
• On TV: Jay Leno retires from "The Tonight Show," and gets replaced by Jimmy Fallon, who is in turn replaced by Seth Meyers on "Late Night" (Feb). In May, "24" returns from the dead to live again on Fox. "How I Met Your Mother" takes a final bow on CBS in March, and "Californication" exits Showtime this summer.
• At the movies: Bible-centric films will be all the rage, with Russell Crowe starring in "Noah" and Christian Bale (as Moses) in "Exodus." A new Jesus Christ movie is on the way, too, in "Son of Gd" (Roma Downey is Mother Mary).
• In music: Big acts converge in Jersey. Jay Z is at the Prudential Center Jan. 22. Miley Cyrus comes to the Izod Center in April. May sees a return of the Electric Daisy Carnival to MetLife Stadium after the EDM festival left New Jersey for a year. Boy band One Direction will play the stadium, too, in August. A smaller venue, the Stone Pony, marks its 40th anniversary in Asbury Park this February.
• In theater: Opening on Broadway — "The Bridges of Madison County" (Feb.); "Rocky," the musical, "Aladdin" and "Bullets over Broadway," all in March.