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Business Trends for 2008

Business trends for 2008

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California Green Chemistry Initiative Entrepreneur's 2008 Hot List includes:

Hot List of Food & Beverages

  • Spirits, Wine and Beer: Over the past 15 years, there has been a trend toward people drinking less but drinking better
  • Enhanced Beverates: Millennials--individuals under age 30--are looking to beverages to cure everything from fatigue to hangovers. Steer clear of caffeine, as consumers are craving sustainable energy
  • Special Needs Food: There's a growing category of special needs food that means adding terms like gluten-free, low-glycemic and allergen-free to your vocabulary--and your offerings.
  • Gastropubs: English-style pub that serves high-quality cuisine.
  • Upscale Frozen Desserts: Ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt and even shaved ice concoctions

Hot List of Health & Seniors

  • Biotech and Health Tech: The industry is being driven by aging baby boomers and the cost of health care with a shift more toward early screening, early diagnosis and monitoring
  • Health-Care Staffing: Along with a growing aging population, we're seeing an increasing amount of ailments. With all those extra health issues, we need as many medical professionals as we can get.
  • Senior Services: By 2030, the number of adults age 65 and older will double to 70 million. No one is feeling the crunch more than baby boomers, who now find themselves in the "sandwich generation"--caring for both their children and their aging parents. Address this dilemma in terms of health care, stress management, financial planning and problem-solving for elderly parents.
  • Senior Products: products that help seniors keep their mental edge are growing in popularity.
  • In-Home Nonmedical Care: 90% of seniors want to stay in their homes as they age--and in-home nonmedical care companies provide services to help them do just that.
  • Gyms Targeting Seniors: the number of health club members over age 55 increased 314 percent from 1990 to 2005. Entrepreneurs need to educate seniors on the myriad benefits of fitness and the longevity and health protection it provides. A key talking point for seniors: It's never too late to start. Also check out the American Senior Fitness Association ( for info on the industry.
  • Boomers heading for the city: If you're seeking an affluent, concentrated market, get ready to embrace the growing number of city slickers.
  • Boomer staffing: As the oldest of the 77 million U.S. boomers begin retiring, their open positions will offer younger boomers new opportunities. Smart executive recruiting firms will target these seasoned workers.

Hot List of Other Trends

  • Mobile content: Everything from web browsers to digital music libraries are squeezing down to cell phone size.
  • Kids and Teens: Some of the country's biggest spenders are barely out of grammar school. Tweens (ages 8 to 14) have a combined annual purchasing power of more than $40 billion
  • College Planning Consultants: more than 17 million students who apply to college every year are a hot market for entrepreneurs.
  • High School Athletes: With more than 7 million participants, high school athletics is a hot market that's scoring big for entrepreneurs.
  • Tech Training & Enrichment Courses: In today's digital age, educators continue looking for standard yet individualized ways to implement new technology, and parents are looking toward advanced tutoring and supplemental education--a market projected to hit $28 billion by the 2008 school year.

Hot List of GREEN

  • Green Apparel: Whether it's fashion-forward, eco-chic or conscious clothing, one thing is certain: Green apparel is hot. Each process, each material used is being looked at with new eyes.
  • Green Business Services: It's reasonable to assume most entrepreneurs start businesses to see the green--the big bucks. But as more business owners consider their impact on the environment, entrepreneurs are seeing the importance of going green, from working with recycled materials and eco-friendly suppliers to using green packaging and PR.
  • Solar Energy Products: The solar energy industry is already a $15 billion industry worldwide, and investments in solar rose 210 percent last year to $1.4 billion
  • Pets: Healthy, organic and environmentally friendly products are hot, as are diets for overweight companions. And don't overlook baby boomers with pets.

Hot List of Technology

  • Tech Consulting: about one-quarter of small and midsize businesses are increasing their spending on outsourced IT.
  • Web Apps: Today's web application companies are lean, mean services and advertising revenue-generating machines. Entrepreneurs are starting businesses armed with little more than a big idea and a credit card. But when it comes to really making a mark on the web, it takes business smarts, a flexible development approach and some intelligent marketing. Social media entrepreneurs ask how they can deliver value to a very specific demographic that has some passion or need and do it in a clever way that will have some element of viral distribution.
  • Home automation: This $3.8 billion industry is getting attention with greener systems that control lights and sprinklers. Integrated electronics and entertainment packages connect with plasmas and flat screens in each room.
  • Household Management for the Rich: 29% of surveyed individuals with an average net worth of $3.1 million owned a second home. Managing such estates is a full-time job, creating a variety of opportunities for entrepreneurs: upscale concierges, household and estate management services, cleaning services, and household help training and placement services.
  • Executive Recruiting: While some niches within the industry wax and wane in popularity, the need for high-level, talented employees never ceases.
  • Crafts and Handmade Goods: The exploding craft market--now $30 billion per year, is inspiring a new breed of entrepreneur. There are 65,000 sellers currently on Etsy, and the site has facilitated more than $20 million in sales since 2005--showing quite a market for handmade goods. Retailers, take note: While craft supplies like jewelry kits, knitting supplies and scrapbooking materials are popular sellers, so are the end results of those crafts.

Get the details for these trends at

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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