Not surprisingly, October’s product trends have been dominated by inspirations from Halloween and the ultra-popular TV show Stranger Things as well as ongoing trends like mobile phone accessories, subscription services, and innovations in food packaging.
Here are 10 most important product trends in October based on a multitude of resources including crowdfunding sites and trend reports:
1. Halloween-themed products and marketing
Of course, October is Halloween and with it comes thousands of brands seeking to capitalize off the hype surrounding the festivities—always a smart marketing decision. This year, some of the best examples included an Xfinity home-security ad that a burlap sack-masked home invader, a bubble tea cafe in Toronto selling red fruit tea in a blood bag, social media character costumes like Snapchat’s dancing hot dog, VR World’s near-death VR experience based on a true story, and Krispy Kreme’s free doughnut giveaway for customers dressed in costumes.
2. Stranger Things-inspired products and marketing
Just like the hype around Halloween, it’s always a great opportunity for brands to take advantage of the buzz surrounding popular entertainment, especially of the kind like Netflix’s Stranger Things that is nothing short of a cultural phenomenon at this point. In fact, just having “Stranger Things” in a branded email’s subject line increases engagement by 74 percent, according to a recent report. The best season two inspired Stranger Things marketing and products include a Chicago pop-up bar based on the TV show’s incredible sets; hotel rooms, river cruises, and retreats that offer the most binge-able atmosphere; a Reebok and Stranger Things shoe collaboration; and Lyft’s app redesign that offered a Stranger Things twist.
3. Mouthpieces toothbrushes
Without a doubt, one of the most monotonous aspects of daily life is brushing our teeth. But now, brushing your teeth in fewer than 10 seconds is becoming a reality thanks to two popular automatic mouthpiece toothbrushes making huge waves on crowdfunding sites. The first of the two, and by far the market leader at this point, is Amabrush. The mouthpiece, which is branded as the “World’s First Automatic Toothbrush,” brushes teeth in 10 seconds flat and has already raised over $7 million in funding on Kickstarter and Indiegogo combined. The second toothbrush, the Unico Smartbrush is a more recent addition to the mouthpiece toothbrush market but is also making a significant splash, raising over $200,000, which is more than double its initial goal. The Unico Smartbrush’s 3-second brushing time sets it apart from the competitors.
4. Zero waste food packaging
As consumers and, in turn, brands become more and more eco-friendly every year, so does our food packaging. In fact, eco-conscious food packaging has been a major continuing trend for the last couple years and doesn’t look set to slow down. Brands are reimagining how food is packaged for delivery, takeout, storage, and even for grocery shelves. A few of the more innovative examples include edible food packaging made of seaweed, hemp takeout boxes, biodegradable seagrass packages, compostable bamboo fiber containers, beeswax food wrap, and wrapper free grocery shopping experiences.
5. Stylish smartphone cases
The days of bulky, oversized protective smartphone cases are thankfully over. Not only are consumers demanding smaller and equally durable cases, they also want them to look fashionable. Rather than the typical futuristic look, these trending smartphone cases are going for a more chic, refrained, and vintage look—think toned down colors and classy materials like leather and suede.
6. Masculine subscription deliveries
Ever since subscription delivery services like healthy-ingredient meal-kit packager Blue Apron and male-focused Dollar Shave Club and MeUndies hit the scene, it’s no doubt been a trend that’s here to stay. Taking these ideas one step further in terms of niche is Bespoke Post, which is delivering boxes of goods specifically curated for guys. The themed care packages focus on making any guy’s day easier and life more stylish by sending products tailored to male grooming, artisan mixology, and other manly endeavors.
7. Interactive mirrors
A very recent trend is touchscreen, app-stored enabled interactive mirrors that look straight out of a science fiction movie. Yes, they’ve been around for a few years now but the earlier models tended to be basic and weren’t user-friendly, to say the least. Now, products like the Eve Smart Mirror will allow customers to download 500+ apps to their mirrors and essentially enable it to do many of the same functions their smartphone and tablets can do. Accessing social media, messaging a friend, calling an Uber, checking the weather, or adjusting the temperature from your bathroom’s mirror is right around the corner.
8. Functional photography outerwear
Photographers often visit rugged, rough locations where they must constantly battle the elements to get the perfect shot. Functional photography outerwear specifically designed to help camera carriers to best extreme conditions is blossoming niche trend at the moment and shouldn’t be ignored. One product, the Pixentu Jacket, was created to help professional photographers weather conditions by coming with an extended hood to protect the camera from rain and many other specially designed compartments for photo enthusiasts.
9. Mobile workstation bags
For many of us, working on the go is a reality of life. But sometimes finding a proper workspace isn’t possible and completing your assignment, job, or project can be uncomfortable to say the least. Mobile workstation bags are a new niche product trend seeking to solve this problem. The bag’s built-in folding design easily creates a mobile workstation to accommodate your laptop and other essential items to increase productivity like pens, notepads, and coffee.
10. Millennial tech accessories
Much like the stylish phone cases mentioned above, consumers—especially young ones—are seeking out trendy and fashionable alternatives to the often bland and boring accessories we use every day. Urban Outfitters has read the tea leaves and is currently leading the charge with their new UO_TUNE_IN tech accessory line that showcases a range of eye-pleasing products, including a Bluetooth cassette boombox, beautifully designed iPhone chargers, and pastel power strips.