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February 2015 Trends Tracker

Trends Tracker

Companies covered: AAPL, AMZN, ANGI, ARMH, CBS, CMCSA, CMG, EBAY, FB, FSLR, GME, GNC, GOOG/GOOGL, IHRT, KRX:005930, LNKD, MCD, MSFT, NFLX, NRG, P, PM, SCTY, SSYS, T, TGT, TMUS, TWC, TWTR, TWX, TYO:6752, TYO:6758, TYO:7733, TYO:7974, UA, VIA, VSLR, VZ, WBA, WEN, WFM, WMT, YELP, ZNGA


Click here to download the report (.pdf)

 

Introduction

Welcome to Blueshift Research’s and SurveyMonkey’s eighth edition of the Trends Tracker. This monthly research survey tracks roughly 20 of the most pressing topics affecting U.S. consumers as well as business and investment theses. We monitor trends to see how respondents’ opinions evolve and frequently update survey questions with new issues that emerge from our research and observations.

This month’s Trends Tracker comprises 1,058 respondents who represent a general sample of the U.S. public. SurveyMonkey utilizes Census data to balance respondents by gender and age so that the sample aligns with the U.S. population. This month we decided to make a major change going forward by rotating topics on a quarterly basis. This month we shelved Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s (BABA) 11 Main, the United States’ economic prospects, GMO product purchases and labeling, automotive infotainment, and car choice, but we will revisit these topics in April. We also added questions on products purchased via social media ads or based off of environmental factors, as well as 3D printers, Internet providers, and drones.

 

Summary of Findings

  • Facebook Inc. (FB) continues to be respondents’ primary social media site and also is their top site for ad-related purchases. Pinterest is rising in popularity, as shown in both our app and trends questions (21 and 22) and is the second most frequently cited site through which respondents have purchased an ad-related product.
    • Facebook (58.1%), LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD, 6.2%), and Facebook’s Instagram (4%) are respondents’ top social media platforms, rising 2.3 and 0.1 percentage-points and decreasing 0.6 percentage-points compared with six months ago.
    • 1% of respondents have bought a product through an ad on Facebook, and 1.9% have bought a product through an ad on Pinterest.
  • The number of respondents who already have adopted residential solar has doubled compared with six months ago although the number of future adopters has declined. Prices continue to drop for solar installations, and mind share among consumers is growing, as seen in Question 22. This trend is benefitting such companies as NRG Energy Inc. (NRG), Sunrun, Vivint Solar Inc. (VSLR), SolarCity Corp. (SCTY) and First Solar Inc. (FSLR).
    • 3% have already adopted solar power—almost double the number of respondents who had solar power six months ago.
    • 9% of respondents are likely to adopt solar power in the next six months, a 3.9 percentage-point decrease compared with six months ago.
  • Pandora Media Inc. (P) still leads the streaming music service pack but is showing weakness. More respondents reported using Spotify and Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iTunes Radio than in our January report.
    • 2% use Pandora for free, down 4.7 percentage-points from January; 25.9% use Google Inc.’s (GOOG/GOOGL) YouTube, up 0.5 percentage points; 13.5% use Spotify for free, up 1.7 percentage points; and 11.6% use iTunes Radio for free, a 1.3 percentage point increase.
    • Younger respondents reported primarily using Pandora’s free and One premium services, as well as Spotify’s free and Premium iHeartMedia Inc.’s (IHRT) iHeartRadio was favored by respondents ages 45 to 60.
  • 3D printing has been adopted by only 4% of respondents, and the market still has major barriers for entry, including price.
    • Only 4% of respondents have used a 3D printer in the last three months while 1.3% have purchased a 3D printed item.
    • Respondents most likely to use a 3D printer are ages 30 to 44 and with a household income above $150,000.

 

Topics

1) Facebook dominates social media use and advertising, but Pinterest will challenge its reign for ad-related purchases.

Facebook continues to dominate respondents’ social media use, particularly those 30 to 44 years old. Instagram is the only platform to be used mostly by millennials, ages 18 to 29. This month we asked respondents about their purchases of products advertised on social media sites; we found that only 12.4%, mostly millennials, purchase items through those ads. Such purchases were made primarily through Facebook (8.1%), followed by Pinterest (1.9%). The daily 3 billion video views via Facebook could push the market further. Pinterest also is upping its number of ads, with a more aggressive rollout of “paid-for pins” and promoted pins, which are expected to be more valuable than other social media ads. The site also is releasing more user data to allow better targeting for advertisers. Twitter Inc. (TWTR) is taking a different approach at gaining ad dollars by acquiring Niche, which connects brands with growing social media stars.

Which social media platform do you use the most?

  • Facebook (58.1%), LinkedIn (6.2%) and Instagram (4%) are respondents’ most used social media platforms compared with six months ago.
  • After Facebook, Reddit increased the most in terms of use, up 0.8 percentage points. Respondents’ use of Google+ decreased the most, down 3 percentage points.
  • Instagram is used primarily by those ages 18 to 29. Twitter and Facebook are used mostly by those ages 30 to 44, while Google+ and LinkedIn are used by those at least 60 years old.

Social-Media-Infograph-February-2015

Have you bought any products through a social media ad?

  • 1% have bought a product through an ad on Facebook, and 1.9% have bought a product through a Pinterest ad.
  • Younger respondents are the most likely to buy a product through a social media ad.
  • Respondents with household incomes of more than $150,000 and between $25,000 to $49,999 are the most likely to buy a product through a social media ad.

 

2) Residential solar installations double while likelihood of future adoption slows.

The likelihood of respondents adopting residential solar power in the next six months has declined, but those who actually have adopted solar power have almost doubled in number during the last six months. Higher-income households and respondents ages 30 to 44 are the most likely to adopt solar power. Residential solar power use is rising and will continue to see greater adoption as states like Massachusetts and Georgia offer loan programs or equipment leasing. Also, the price of residential solar power continues to decline, already down 75% from 2009 according to an IRENA report. Deutsche Bank expects the price of solar power to drop by 40% during the next three to four years and to be cheaper than coal and oil-fired plant energy in two years. Companies in the residential solar market are consolidating to strengthen their presence in the market. NRG, the fifth largest residential solar installer in the United States, has acquired Verengo Solar, the six largest installer of residential solar power. Other acquisitions include Sunrun’s purchase of REC’s residential solar unit; Vivint and Solmetric; and SolarCity’s purchases of Paramount Solar, Common Assets, Zep Solar and Silevo. Meanwhile, First Solar has landed an $850 million deal with Apple for a solar power plant in California.

How likely are you to adopt solar power in your home during the next six months?

  • 9% are likely to adopt solar power in the next six months, a 3.9 percentage-point decrease compared with six months ago.
  • 3% already have adopted solar power—almost double the number of respondents who had solar power six months ago.
  • Respondents ages 30 to 44 still are the most likely to adopt solar power compared with six months ago. Interest in solar among those ages 45 to 60 has declined.
  • Higher-income households are the most likely to adopt solar power.

Solar-infographic-February-2015

 

3) Pandora usage slips as Spotify picks up the pieces.

Pandora still leads the streaming music service pack but is showing weakness. The number of respondents using Pandora has fallen since January while streaming services from Spotify and iTunes have picked up users. Pandora and Spotify are going head-to-head as they attract the same group of consumers: millennials. Pandora’s recent earnings came in below guidance, and it faces a royalties battle with BMI. Pandora is investing heavily in its sales force, marketing and advertising. Meanwhile, Apple has plans to launch a revamped streaming music service in the spring. Spotify now has 60 million users (only 16.5 million fewer than Pandora) and has landed a deal to become the streaming music service in Sony Corp.’s (TYO:6758) new PS4.

What streaming music services do you use?

  • 2% use Pandora’s free service, down 4.7 percentage points from the previous month. Meanwhile, 25.9% use Google’s YouTube, up 0.5 percentage points; 13.5% use Spotify’s free service, up 1.7 percentage points; and 11.6% use iTunes Radio for free, a 1.3 percentage-point increase.
  • Younger respondents reported using mostly Pandora’s free and One premium service as well as Spotify’s free and Premium services. iHeartRadio is favored by respondents ages 45 to 60.

Music-streaming-infographic-February-2015

 

4) 3D printing adoption still minimal, but analysts remain positive on the market’s growth story.

Only 4% of respondents have used a 3D printer in the last three months, while 1.3% have purchased a 3D printed item. Respondents ages 30 to 44 were the primary users of the printers. High prices, a lack of essential applications, and complex designs are reasons why this new technology has yet to take off. Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS) is feeling the pinch of lackluster adoption, with its sales coming in below expectations because of decreased sales of its consumer-facing MakerBot printer. Still, some industry specialists predict rapid growth for the consumer 3D printer sector.

Have you used a 3D printer in the last three months?

  • Only 4% have used a 3D printer in the last three months, and 1.3% has purchased a 3D printed item.
  • Those ages 30 and 44 and with household incomes above $150,000 are the primary users of 3D printers.

 

5) Cable cord cutting continues as streaming services feel a rising tide.

31.5% of our millennial respondents do not use a pay-TV service in their homes, which is more than last month. Roughly 1% of consumers cut the cord each month; this trend is expected to continue as the FCC ruled to redefine broadband Internet as having minimal download speeds of 25 megabits per second and upload speeds of 3 Mbps, a major shift from 4 Mbps for downloads and 1 Mbps for uploads. Cord cutting is benefiting online streaming services. In particular, use of Netflix Inc. (NFLX, 49.5%), YouTube (30.6%), Amazon.com Inc.’s (AMZN) Amazon Instant Video (20.8%), and Hulu (10.9%) has increased 3.6, 1.2, 4, and 0.5 percentage points, respectively, quarter to quarter. Market leader Netflix is largely focused on international markets. Consumer Intelligence Research Partners found that Prime subscribers used Amazon for video roughly 13.4 times a month, compared with Netflix users who use the service 12.7 times a month. This is due to Amazon’s dual offerings of a la carte video for purchase and its subscription-based streaming service. Netflix wins out if Amazon’s streaming service is only considered. Amazon increased its Prime user base by 50% last year, and pumped $1.3 billion into its streaming service. Sling TV became available to the public recently and will be added to our poll next month. It is in the process of adding AMC to its lineup. Time Warner Inc.’s (TWX) HBO Go standalone service is still pending but is expected to reach consumers in April. It could be the linchpin to a lot of potential cord cutters. Meanwhile, Viacom Inc.’s (VIA) Nickelodeon announced it will enter the TV streaming business, with a large focus on mobile.

Do you use pay-TV in your household?

  • 5% do not use pay-TV in their households, a 2.4 percentage-point increase compared with the previous month. This is due to the 2.3 percentage-point rise in respondents who cut the cord more than a month ago.
  • 1% canceled their pay-TV service in the past month, the same as in the previous month.
  • 4% use a pay-TV service that includes add-ons, a 3.1 percentage-point drop compared with the previous month.
  • Younger respondents are the most likely to have never had a pay-TV service and to have canceled their pay-TV subscription more than a month ago.
  • Respondents older than 45 are the most likely to have pay-TV with add-on services.

Which online streaming TV services do you use?

  • Netflix (49.5%), YouTube (30.6%), Amazon Instant Video (20.8%) and Hulu (10.9%) are the top four online TV streaming services, up 3.6, 1.2, 4, and 0.5 percentage points, respectively, quarter to quarter.
  • Crackle, free online forums, and CBS Corp.’s (CBS) CBS All Access were the only online TV streaming services to decrease in use quarter to quarter.
  • Younger respondents, specifically those ages 18 to 29, are the primary adopters of online TV streaming services.
  • Respondents ages 45 to 60 are increasing their use of online TV streaming services, primarily Netflix and Amazon.
  • Use of online TV streaming services is greater in higher-income households than in lower-income households, a shift from last quarter when those with incomes less than $24,999 were the most likely to use an OTT service.

 

6) Comcast tops all Internet providers.

Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) is the top Internet provider in the United States, followed by AT&T Inc. (T), Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ). The FCC is proposing a Title II regulation, which would allow the Internet to stay open and would ban the blocking to legal content, applications, services, and unharmful devices, giving wireless carriers an level playing field. Google Fiber is thought to be challenger due to its higher speeds and massive reach. The merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable still is pending approval.

Who is your current Internet provider?

  • 7% have Comcast, 14.7% have AT&T, 10.8% have Time Warner Cable, and 8.9% have Verizon.

 

7) Digital wallet use declines slightly overall but continues to grow among millennials.

Digital wallet use is slightly down quarter to quarter based on lower use among older respondents, but has grown among those ages 18 to 29. Almost 2% of respondents have started to use a digital wallet in the last month, which is consistent with the previous quarter. A FICO survey of North American bank customers found 32% of millennials were likely to use a mobile wallet service like Apple Pay or Google Wallet in the next 12 months, and 56% are using an alternative payment service like Venmo and eBay Inc.’s (EBAY) PayPal. Our findings fall right in the middle at 41.4%. Apple Pay continues to gain partnerships, such as JetBlue and Starbucks. Google is doing a similar deal with WePay, and is rumored to be in talks to buy Softcard.

Have you used a digital or mobile wallet in the last month?

  • 6% have used a digital wallet, a 2.4 percentage-point decrease compared with the previous quarter.
  • Respondents using digital wallets on a regular basis or more than once both dropped roughly 1 percentage point. 1.9% started using a digital wallet only recently, relatively the same percentage quarter to quarter.
  • Those ages 18 to 29 are the most likely to use a mobile or digital wallet. 41.4% of our respondents in this age group have used the new technology, a 1.3 percentage-point rise quarter to quarter. We noted lower use in all other age groups.

 

8) Consumers’ excitement for and adoption of wearable technology are growing.

Respondents’ interest in wearable technology is on the rise compared with six months ago, and those who already have adopted the new technology have increased in number as well. Millennials are the most likely to adopt wearables. The market is estimated to be worth $22.7 billion in 2015 and to grow to $173.3 billion by the end of 2020. The Apple Watch is set to break onto the scene in April at a price tag of $349. This announcement was confirmed after this month’s poll was conducted, so next month will better reflect respondents’ anticipation and possible adoption of the device. Some estimates have sales of the Apple Watch reaching tens of millions in its first year of sales, while a survey from Quartz found 5% of iPhone users very likely to buy the device. Google’s Android Wear may release 15 devices by the end of 2015. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (KRX:005930) has six smart watches on the market, and will use these products to connect to its rollout of connected home products. Competition in the space is at an all-time high, as seen by the number of entries for the upcoming Wearable Technology show in London.

How likely are you to adopt wearable technology in the next three months?

  • 7% are likely to adopt wearable technology in the next three months, a 4.3 percentage-point jump compared with six months ago.
  • 8% already have adopted wearable technology, a 3.3 percentage-point rise.
  • Those ages 18 to 29 are the most likely to adopt wearable tech, but we also noted greater interest from all other age groups compared with six months ago.

 

9) Specialty grocery stores continue to grow as big-box retailers scramble to stay on top of trends.

More than one-half of respondents shop at local stores for most of their groceries, a slight drop from six months ago. Specialty grocery stores are gaining traction among higher-income households, younger shoppers and, recently, those ages 45 to 60. Big-box retailers are losing some footing in the grocery channel, but are gaining some traction among younger respondents and those with household incomes of $25,000 to $49,999. Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT) is rolling out its online grocery-shopping service to two other markets. Meanwhile, Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM) posted 10% sales gains in its recent quarter. It also is cutting its prices to be more in line with competitors.

Where do you shop for most of your groceries?

  • 60% shop at local stores for most of their groceries, a 1.1 percentage-point drop compared with six months ago. Older respondents and those making between $50,000 to $99,999 use local grocery stores more frequently. Younger respondents and those making above $150,000 are moving away from local grocery stores.
  • 5% shop at specialty stores for most of their groceries, a 1.5 percentage-point jump compared with six months ago. Although our youngest respondents are the most likely to shop at specialty grocery stores, 45- to 60-year-olds also have increased their use of such stores by 6.7 percentage points compared with six months ago. Wealthier households are the most likely to shop at specialty stores, but those with incomes of $25,000 to $149,999 also saw an increase in frequenting these retailers.
  • 23% shop at big-box retailers, a 0.6 percentage-point decrease compared with the previous six months. Younger respondents are the most likely to use big-box retailers—a shift from six months ago when respondents ages 45 to 60 were the most likely to frequent these stores. Households with incomes of $25,000 to $49,999 are the most likely to shop at big-box retailers.

 

10) Environmental impact is a key factor in consumers’ purchasing decisions.

Respondents are interested in a product’s environmental impact, and Whole Foods has benefited from this. Other analysis has shown that consumers are paying more attention to ethical and environmental issues, and are willing to spend roughly 71¢ more for ethically sourced and environmentally friendly food, up 10¢ from two years before.

How likely are you to buy a product that is better for the environment over another product that is slightly cheaper?

  • 36% are very or extremely likely to buy a product that is better for the environment over a slightly cheaper product.
  • Respondents older than 60 were the most likely to buy a product that is better for the environment over a slightly cheaper product, followed by those 30 to 44 years old.
  • Those with household incomes below $24,999 and above $150,000 were the most likely to buy a product that is better for the environment over a slightly cheaper product.

 

11) iPhone domination continues.

The iPhone continues to dominate the smartphone market. The number of respondents using an iPhone increased compared with six months ago. Samsung came in second and lost a little bit of ground. iPhones are gaining in popularity among respondents ages 30 to 60 as well as those with higher incomes. Lower-income households were more likely to favor Samsung phones. Apple crushed its previous record sales of iPhones by selling 74.5 million devices in its recent quarter. iPhone chip maker ARM Holdings plc (ARMH) also has benefited. Samsung’s upcoming release of the Galaxy S6 Edge will have three separate screen panels on the front, the first of its kind.

Who made the smartphone you currently own?

  • 38% own an Apple-made smartphone, a 2.4 percentage-point rise compared with six months ago.
  • 4% own a Samsung-made smartphone, an 0.8 percentage-point decrease.
  • Respondents using a Google-made smartphone rose 0.5 percentage-points compared with six months ago.
  • More respondents ages 30 to 60 have an iPhone than six months ago, while iPhone use fell among those younger than 29 and older than 60.
  • Respondents with higher incomes are more likely to have an iPhone while those with lower incomes are more likely to use a Samsung smartphone.

 

12) Verizon showing fatigue as the top wireless carrier; AT&T ramps up the competition.

Verizon is the top wireless carrier but is showing some weakness. The company is starting to lose profits as it has been deeply discounting phones and tablets to retain customers. AT&T is closing the gap, while Google is adding to the competition by entering the picture as a MVNO. Verizon (771) fell behind AT&T (786) and T-Mobile US Inc. (TMUS, 777) in customer care index ratings from J.D. Power. AT&T could overthrow Verizon in the near future with its latest acquisition of Lusacell, which covers roughly 70% of subscribers in Mexico.

Who is your current wireless carrier?

  • 6% have Verizon for a wireless carrier, a 1.1 percentage-point decrease quarter to quarter. 29.9% have AT&T for a wireless carrier, a 2.9 percentage-point jump.

 

13) Google remains the most trusted review site.

Google remains the most trusted site for reviews on merchants, followed by Yelp Inc. (YELP) and Angie’s List Inc. (ANGI). Respondents’ trust in Facebook grew compared with the previous month. Younger respondents are more trusting of Yelp and Google, while older respondents trust Angie’s List and Facebook. Google is launching its “Local Guides” program, a direct competitor to Yelp’s “elite squad members.” Meanwhile, Yelp is cracking down on restaurants that reward reviewers, is making its platform more valuable to consumers through its purchase of food ordering service Eat24, and is ramping up its sales force to appease customers seeking to run ads through its service.

Which site do you trust the most for consumer reviews on merchants?

  • 27.9% trust Google the most for consumer reviews on merchants, a 0.1 percentage-point drop month to month.
  • 23.11% trust Yelp, a 1.8 percentage-point decrease.
  • 15.5% trust Angie’s List, a 1.3 percentage-point decrease.
  • Yelp and Google are trusted primarily by younger respondents, while Angie’s List and Facebook are trusted more by older respondents.

 

14) Health trend takes bite out of fast-food profits, and may do the same to herbal supplements.

Roughly 2.5 times the number of respondents have improved their living habits as those who have let their living habits decline. We found a large jump in the number of respondents maintaining their living habits. Fast food is taking a hit from the rise in health consciousness. McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) sales continue to decline, which led to a new “build your own burger” format and the departure of a top executive. Wendy’s Co. (WEN) is shifting its store formats to be more inviting, while fast-casual dining companies that push fresh ingredients, such as Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG), continue to roll forward. Consumers also may be moving away from supplements. New York-based investigation into the ingredients in multiple name-brand supplements from GNC Holdings Inc. (GNC), Target Corp. (TGT), Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) and Walmart, revealed that they did not include the herbs listed on their label. This could take a chunk out of the estimated $6 billion (in 2013) industry.

Compared with six months ago, how have your living habits (diet, exercise, sleep, etc.) changed?

  • 1% are improving their living habits, a 6.2 percentage-point decrease compared with six months ago, while 16.6% of consumers reported a decline in their living habits, a 0.8 percentage-point rise compared with six months ago.
  • 3% are keeping their living habits the same, a 5.4 percentage-point jump compared with six months ago.

 

15) Tobacco use continues to decrease.

Roughly 85% of respondents do not smoke tobacco, an increase from the last quarter. Respondents who do smoke still favor manufactured cigarettes over other forms of tobacco. A new proposal in Ohio could increase cigarette taxes by $1 a pack. Also, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver just created a new antismoking mascot that is targeted against Philip Morris International Inc. (PM). Respondents’ ecigarette use is relatively stable quarter to quarter. Those with household incomes of $150,000 or more now represent the primary user of ecigarettes. Ecig use is tempered by questions of the product’s effect on health, including the immunity system.

How do you smoke most of your tobacco?

  • 7% do not smoke tobacco, a 3.8 percentage-point rise quarter to quarter. All forms of tobacco except handrolled cigarettes and hookah decreased in use quarter to quarter.
  • All age groups saw a drop in the use of tobacco. Respondents 30 to 44 year olds were the top users of tobacco. Younger respondents are the most likely to use ecigs, a slight shift from last quarter.
  • For the first time, respondents making above $150,000 were the most likely to smoke and use ecigs.

 

16) Computer gaming remains dominate, but tablet gaming gets a boost.

Computer gaming continues to lead all forms of video games played in the market, but has declined in use compared with six months ago. Smartphone gaming also decreased slightly, while tablet gaming received more mentions from respondents. The rise of app gaming is benefiting all three formats, with computer gaming getting a boost from Facebook. Console gaming use is stable compared with the previous quarter and has captured the attention of consumers ages 18 to 29. Console gaming has shifted from Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT) Xbox One, which was the top-selling video game console in November and December, and back to Sony Corp.’s (TYO:6758) PlayStation 4. Overall hardware sales decreased $54 million compared with last year, but software and accessory sales are up $12.4 million and $5.4 million, respectively. Nintendo Co. Ltd. (TYO:7974) is generating excitement with new colors for the 3DS XL; GameStop Corp. (GME) already has sold out of preorders for the handheld device. To compete with online shopping and to attract millennials, GameStop is rolling out “beacons” that will deliver real-time promotions, ratings and reviews to consumers’ smartphones. The company also will start collecting user data from its app.

How do you primarily play video games?

  • 4% play games mostly on a computer, a 0.6 percentage-point decrease compared with six months ago. Smartphone gaming decreased 1.4 percentage points, console gaming stayed relatively the same, while tablet gaming jumped 1.3 percentage points.
  • Console gaming is still done primarily by 18- to 29-year-olds, while those ages 30 to 44 use their smartphones for gaming. Respondents playing games primarily through their tablets shifted slightly from 45- to 60-year-olds to 30- to 44-year-olds.
  • Lower-income households are the primarily users of game consoles, while those making $25,000 to $49,999 play smartphone games. Still, the income levels are separated by only 4 percentage points.

 

17) Insect-based products currently serve a niche crowd.

Roughly a quarter of respondents are likely to purchase an insect-based product, though this number has declined since January. Millennials and those with household incomes of $24,999 or less are the most likely to buy an insect-based product, but respondents ages 45 to 60 have become more interested in these products as well. Suzy Badaracco, the president of food trends consultancy Culinary Tides, believes insects are the food of 2015 based on three growing trends: foraging, the invasivore movement, and more protein. Also, some U.S. chefs have offered recipes for insect dishes. This bodes well for insect-based product companies like Exo, which got its start among CrossFit enthusiasts and consumers on the Paleo diet. Amazon consumer reviews of Exo protein bars are largely positive. Also, Exo’s Facebook ads should help spread appeal and mind share (see picture below).

How likely are you to buy a product with an insect-based ingredient (cricket flour, insect protein powder, etc.)?

  • 27% are likely to buy a product with an insect-based ingredient, a 3.8 percentage-point decrease from January.
  • Respondents ages 18 to 29 are the most likely to buy an insect-based product. Those ages 45 to 60 were the only age group now more likely to buy an insect-based product, jumping 4.6 percentage points since January.
  • Households making less than $24,999 are the most likely to buy an insect-based product, up 2.6 percentage points compared with the previous month.

 

18) Consumers’ stance on marijuana is clear: legalize it.

Respondents in all age groups except those 30 to 44 years old have increased their support for marijuana legalization. Lower-income households continue to be the most supportive of this change, although more than 40% of respondents in all household-income levels approve of legalization. The overall legal marijuana market grew 74% from $1.5 billion in 2013 to $2.7 billion in 2014, and is expected to grow roughly 30% to a $3.5 billion market in 2015. Colorado collected $50 million in tax revenue for the first year that marijuana was legal in the state, and may have to pay some back to its residents.

What should the current law be regarding marijuana?

  • 8% believe marijuana should be legalized, a 1.1 percentage-point rise compared with six months ago.
  • 30- to 44-year-old respondents were the only age group to decrease their support for legalizing marijuana compared with the previous quarter.
  • Lower-income households are still the most in favor of marijuana legalization.

 

19) Few consumers own drones.

Drones have been adopted by few respondents and mostly by those ages 30 to 44 and with household incomes above $150,000. Still, interest in the devices is evidenced by this year’s new drone show. Personal drones have made national headlines in recent months, such as one that almost hit a commercial jet. They have been used by real estate agents and in aerial camera shots and videos. To increase its product line, DJI is teaming up with Olympus Corp. (TYO:7733) and Panasonic Corp. (TYO:6752) in the Micro Four Thirds interchangeable-lens alliance.

Do you own a drone?

  • 9% of respondents own a drone.
  • Those 30 to 44 years old and with household incomes above $150,000 are the most likely to own a drone.

 

20) Those against childhood vaccinations have grown in numbers but still represent a small portion of the population.

A growing number believe children should not be vaccinated but represent only 5.5% of our respondents. Younger respondents are the most likely to be against child vaccinations, and a YouGov poll also found that millennials are the most likely to believe that vaccines cause autism. President Barack Obama and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are trying to change these beliefs. On Twitter Clinton wrote “The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue, and #vaccineswork. Let’s protect all our kids.” Fourteen states had measles outbreaks in January.

Should children be vaccinated?

  • 5% believe children should not be vaccinated, a 1 percentage-point rise compared with six months ago.
  • Younger respondents are the most likely to believe children should not be vaccinated, up 4 percentage points compared with six months ago.

 

21) Top recommended apps: Trivia Crack, MyFitnessPal, Minecraft and Pinterest

To address the viral nature of apps, we now ask respondents which apps have been recommended by friends or family members and also have been downloaded.

In the last month, which apps/mobile games have you installed that were recommended to you by a friend or family member?

 

22) Top trends: drones, 3D printing, wearable technology, and grocery home delivery.

What is the most interesting new trend you have seen in the last month?

  • Vaccination debates
  • 3D printing
  • Drones
  • Gas prices
  • Facebook Place Tips
  • Wearable technology (specifically for fitness purposes)
  • Pinterest
  • Home solar panels
  • Google Fiber
  • Grocery home delivery
  • Concerns about the environment
  • Driverless cars
  • Microsoft’s HoloLens
  • Paying it forward
  • Cricket flour
  • Paleo and vegan diets
  • Selfie sticks

 


Analysis by Mason Rudy