We all know women are powerful drivers of trends. So what’s on the top of their lists right now? The NPD Group highlights 5 Trends Worth Watching for this year and next.

1—Vintage Vibes. Buyers of instant film and nearly two-thirds female—and young. Sales were up 8% year-over-year and peak during the holidays and in June.

2—Backpacks. We first reported on the backpack trend last May (also based on The NPD Group data). Obviously the trend is lasting—The NPD Group says, “Backpacks are fast becoming the new prominent work bag among women. Sales of handbags and totes declined, while sales of fashion and lifestyle backpacks grew 13% and 7%, respectively.

3—Emphasis on Ingredients. The NPD Group’s recent Women’s Facial Skincare Consumer Report shows almost 50% of women are researching skincare products online before heading to a store to buy them. They’re also relying on online reviews and ratings and social media influencers as their sources of information.

Women are supporting “brands that offer natural ingredients and transparency. In fact, 46% of facial skincare users report purchasing products free of sulfates, phthalates and/or gluten”—a  6 point rise in the past two years.

4—Girl Gamers. The NPD Groups says with the increasing popularity of e-sports and video game streaming services, gaming is fast becoming one of the hottest opportunity areas  for businesses to engage with Gen Z. And their data shows 9.3 million girls (ages 13 – 17) play video games, compared to 11.4 million boys.

Girls are more likely than boys to play mobile games (95% for girls vs. 90% for boys), and less likely to play on consoles and PCs. The most popular games among girls: Minecraft, Candy Crush Saga, and Pokemon Go.

5—Older, Wiser and More Active. Almost all women have embraced wearing women’s active apparel, but Gen X shoppers are the fastest-growing segment in this category, accounting for 25% of women’s active sales in the past year.

The NPD Groups says this is a great opportunity for retailers to “target premium active products to Gen X consumers who, on average, have a higher income than millennials and Gen Z—two groups that historically have dominated the category.”

And now that women are wearing activewear every day and not just for exercise, the door is opened “for more products that are comfortable yet fashionable.”


Girl gamer stock photo by Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock