Riding the greenest wave around town: carbon neutral mentions
The signal: In 2019, the European Union voted to ban single-use plastics, including phase out plans for plastic straws, bags, bottles, and even less obvious items like cotton bud sticks. The union is not the first to implement legislation encouraging or enforcing alternatives… Rwanda was one of the first to ban plastic bags in 2006, alongside other countries like South Korea and Colombia.
As the world turns their attention toward saving the planet, companies are increasingly focused on “greenwashing,” whether for altruistic motives or a little brand boost. One focal point for many companies has been transitioning to be “carbon neutral.” According to CBInsights’ earnings call tracker, the phrase “carbon neutral” was mentioned more frequently than ever last year, including in reports like this Bank of America press release. 2019 was the year that “carbon neutral” strategies didn’t just make their way into marketing copy, but started to be an important signaling tool to investors.
The opportunity: If turning the world “green” was so easy, this turtle wouldn’t end up with a straw up his nose. :’( But luckily, many companies are coming up with biodegradable solutions… some pretty high tech and others #notsohightech.
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Don’t press snooze on this opportunity: sleep supplements
The signal: As meditation becomes mainstream, people may be surprised to find that searches for sleep apps double their meditation counterpart. As people invest in getting a better night’s rest, there’s opportunity abound, including physical products like weighted blankets or premium PJs, supplements, popular insomnia drugs having their patents expire, companies paying their employees to sleep better, marketing for sleep specialists, or online sleep education (ex: sleep apnea test has 27k searches per month).
The alternative milk market is getting frothy
The signal: As more people wave goodbye to dairy, alternative milk is slowly taking over; it has already cornered 13% of the market. With the exception of soy milk, all of the alt-milks have been on the up, with some of the newer entrants including hemp milk and pea milk. Other alt-products are getting attention, including cashew cheese, with 18100 searches per month.
Capitalizing on the Airpods market, making more money than Shopify
The signal: Since killing the headphone jack, Apple has graced the world with AirPods, which did an estimated 60m units in 2019. That means AirPods alone are bringing in approx ~$10b in revenue, more than Twitter, Shopify, or Spotify, to name a few popular tech giants. Opportunity lies in Apple opening up SiriOS or the wave of iPhone accessories (including cases, cleaning kits, hooks, and keychains) which have shown “hockey stick” growth alongside their hardware predecessor.
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