The Popcorn Report

Since 1974, Faith Popcorn has been forecasting how people will think, work, and live. She predicted the well-known trend “Cocooning” (the stay-at-home syndrome), the fall of New Coke, the growing demand for fresh foods, and the success of four-wheel drive vehicles. Her company’s blue-chip clients have so successfully translated such prognostications into business strategies and new products that FORTUNE Magazine dubbed Popcorn “The Nostradamus of Marketing.” For ten years, she has been forecasting the “socioquake” that is now sprouting in our culture. This consumer revolt, she says, will “penetrate every cash register, corporation, and household in America” in the 1990’s. But Popcorn also maintains that those who anticipate the changes can survive them and profit.

Popcorn gleans information by carefully monitoring American publications, first-run movies, best-selling books, hit music, and new products. She also consults with on-call experts and interviews more than three thousand consumers annually. Her ideas about new products, new businesses, and new markets are based on TrendTracking, a system of market analysis that focuses on consumer moods rather than on consumer types. THE POPCORN REPORT discusses the top ten trends that will significantly influence tomorrow’s products, careers, and life-styles. These include “The Vigilant Consumer” (protesting market immorality), “Staying Alive” (taking back responsibility for your own health, “Fantasy Adventure” (taking risks that are actually risk-free), and “Small Indulgences” (choosing one small category in your life and buying the best you can).

According to Popcorn, when we change what we buy—and how we buy it—in our consumer culture, we also change who we are. She forecasts a turn toward optimism, perhaps as early as 1992. She predicts that consumers in this decade will experience “a new morality, new religions, new foods, new science, new medicine, new everything.” Ideas like these make THE POPCORN REPORT fascinating reading, not only for businesspeople but also for the rest of us who are curious and eager to see what life may hold in store.