Our annual The Future 100 report dives into the trends, innovation, and cultural changes that will drive the next year. How did last year’s predictions fare? Below, we look back at our most accurate predictions in branding, food & drink, beauty, and retail.

Gen Xers: The forgotten generation (#35)

Last year, we predicted that marketers would take a fresh look at Gen X, the 35-55-year-old generation largely overlooked in favor of millennials. A bridge between digital-native millennials and true adulthood, Gen X today is exerting its influence in categories from media to parenting.

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Friends From College.
  • New shows like Friends from College or This is Us offer bracingly authentic portrayals of 40-something protagonists, fleshing out the realities and challenges faced by today’s Gen Xers.
  • Hypekids from Hypebeast, launched in July, takes a Gen X approach to parenting, encouraging parents and their offspring to bond over individuality and edgy fashion.
  • Gen X is emerging as the face of a new political generation. From influential startup founders (Peter Thiel, Elon Musk) to celebrities (Russel Brand, Scooter Braun) to politicians themselves (Kirsten Gillibrand, the Castro twins), Gen X is set to put its spin on the next decade of politics.
  • The 2017 reboot of the classic Nintendo Entertainment System sold out instantly, with 40-something gamers racing to buy the nostalgic hit.

Marijuana: the new rosé? (#44)

In 2016, we explored the shift in perception of female weed smokers—and cannabis users overall. Today, the industry is exploding, with sales projected to rise from $2.6 billion in 2016 to $11.2 billion in 2020, according to New Frontier Data. New cannabis-themed media and products show the drug clearly doesn’t carry the same stigma it used to.

  • Launched in November, Broccoli magazine is written by and for women who love cannabis. The first issue is already sold out. According to the website, the magazine “explores and shapes modern stoner culture by looking at cannabis through an art, culture and fashion lens.”
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Broccoli magazine
  • Luxury cannabis brand Beboe launched this year and was coined the “Hermes of marijuana” by the New York Times. Products include vaporizers and cannabis pastilles.
  • Lifestyle website The Hemponair hosted a speakeasy event during New York Fashion Week for fall 2017, drawing a fashionable crowd to bid on accessories inspired by marijuana.
  • California-based Vertly has even launched a lip balm infused with cannabidiol, giving a light sensation from the effects of the plant.

The new nude (#53)

Last year, we predicted beauty brands would not only add visual diversity to their campaigns, but expand their offerings to include shades for all skin tones. This year, new launches with diversity baked into their mission, not tacked on as an afterthought, set a new standard for “nude” beauty. Increasingly discerning consumers make this a trend to keep watching.

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Marena Beauty, available on Marjani Beauty
  • Rhianna’s Fenty Beauty brand launched in September with 40 shades of foundation, a hugely diverse array of spokesmodels, and $72 million in earned media in its first month.
  • Huda Beauty, from Dubai-based mega-influencer Huda Kattan, launched its #FauxFilter Foundation in October. The collection offers 30 different shades of foundation and primer.
  • Too Faced beauty brand is teaming up with Vlogger Jackie Aina to expand their Born This Way foundation line and include darker shades.
  • New platforms like Marjani Beauty or Black Girl Beautiful curate the ever-growing market of products aimed at women of color.

Shipping wars (#68)

Consumers show no sign of slowing their delivery expectations, and companies are scrambling to keep up—overshadowed, of course by the looming threat of Amazon. This year, delivery start-ups found success and expanded their reach.

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  • This month, retailer Target Corp is set to acquire delivery start-up Shipt for $550 million, in a bid to better its same-day delivery service and keep up with Amazon.
  • US on-demand delivery service Postmates expanded to international territory in Mexico City this November.
  • Amazon flexed its upgraded delivery muscles by offering free one-day shipping service during the holiday period to over 8,000 cities and towns.
  • While San Francisco cracked down on delivery robots, Washington, DC extended the city’s delivery robot program for another 90 days. The extension came about after the DC Council unanimously voted to keep the program running to be at the helm of innovation.

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