Supply Chains Are Preparing for the Next Shock. These Are the Technologies Companies Will Use.
The Signal: When it comes to coronavirus-induced supply chain issues, toilet paper and masks quickly come to mind. But with the interconnected state of global commerce, there are many other notable supply chain disruptions affecting billions of dollars in goods (including smartphones and automobiles).
One study by VoxEU, the Centre for Economic Policy Research’s policy portal, set out to put a dollar figure on exactly how costly supply chain disruptions can be:
When Wuhan, one of China’s “Detroits,” was locked down, it is
reported that some automobile manufacturing plants in Japan shrank their production due to a lack of supplies of parts and components from China. When we consider the economic impact of a lockdown, we therefore need to take this propagation to other economies into account…The economic shock of a disaster propagates downstream to customers through lack of supplies, and upstream to suppliers through lack of demand.
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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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