Forecasting vs. Trends analysis
Forecasting focuses on the birth and death of trends, not the statistics generated once a trend hits an industry. The birth helps to tell how weak or strong an influence it may have on an industry while it’s death can be used to predict how it may influence an upcoming trend’s birth or lifecycle. Profiling of a trend is used to map its lifecycle.
Akin to a Meteorologist
A forecaster acts as a meteorologist for an industry. For example, someone may look out the window and say “boy, it looks like rain”. But, a meteorologist is looking from a satellite point of view so he may say “not only is it going to rain, it will begin about 5pm, continue to early morning, and dump ¼ inch of rainfall so don’t water your lawns today”. He isn’t guessing - he just has a different vantage point.
Trends forecasting is a critical element for strategic planning groups inside corporate America. It allows for successful entrance and exit strategies and predicts the stability of a company. The effort of a company to participate in a trend relies largely upon having an appropriate response to the trend. If a trend is to be short lived a company may decide to limit resources and exposure or not participate at all. Another strategy may be to participate fully but have a fast acting exit strategy.
Culinary Tides tracks the movement of 23 industries to forecast upcoming influences on food, flavor, and health trends. Local, national, and global influences including lifestyle factors, social, technological, economical, environmental, and political factors are examined to aid companies with entrance, exit, and navigation strategies to a trend.
Many times food, flavor and health trends are born outside the food industry and also find their opponents and death there as well. So to only look at restaurants, food magazines, casual dining, and manufacturers you can easily miss a trends birth or worse, miscalculate its impact or time of death. Trends forecasting, if done well, is neither opinion nor guess work. Done correctly it is based on predictive analysis and allows forecasting to move from art to science.
Just as a criminal is profiled by the FBI or other agency to predict his next move, profiling can also be applied to a trend. In the case of a trend you are profiling a mass conscience, not an individual’s. Profiling looks at what is influencing a trend’s direction, what would cause it to change course, what would cause it to end or continue and morph from a trend to a society norm, etc.
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