ASEPRI (Spanish National Association for Children’s Products) and AIJU (Toy Technology Center) presented the unique publication on international trends in childcare at the KIND & JUGEND 2011.
The project brings together the most interesting proposals on the market, developed from the most influential trends, and highlights ideas and concepts which allow manufacturers to adapt a single product for different target groups.
In this respect, it not only identifies the most innovative trends in product development, but also reveals the aesthetic influences which have been brought to bear on the product, with proposals in the areas of fabric prints, colours, shapes and materials. It also sets out the principal marketing arguments for each trend and the market penetration index of each one.
The Childcare Products Trends Notebook 2011-2012 has been put together using different market research studies, fieldwork and sociological studies, which have resulted in five macro-trends in product development and eight concept proposals in aesthetics applications.
Convenience, Safety Obsessions, An Expression of Myself, Natural Instinct and Eco Good are the five macro-trends that consider particular values and high demands than influence in product design. They have a long term projection.
Convenience focuses on all those products which make parents’ daily lives easier, highlighting values such as product durability, multi-functionality, and time and space saving qualities; Safety Obsessions focuses on proposals in the sphere of child safety and protection, promoting comfort and encouraging children’s mental and physical development.
An Expression of Myself is a reference to products designed to enable parents to combine their role as parent with their lifestyle and leave space for their own values. This macro-trend brings together personalized products, products which reflect the aesthetics of the parent, and items which enable the parent to continue with their pre-parenting activities.
Natural Instinct recovers something of the Mother Earth ethic on child-rearing for mums, making use of organic materials and developing products which imitate their physiognomy or natural movements, to give just a couple of examples.
Lastly, Eco Good is an over-arching trend, given that the ecology and sustainability values are to be found in all the trends mentioned.
A wide variety of contrasting aesthetic trends defines the Spanish childcare products sector for 2011-2012. They have a more short term projection because they are more related to fashion, but enable products to be brought up-to-date, so as to reach more target groups, without having to change their essential function.
The childcare products notebook showcases eight aesthetic applications: Flashback, Flashforward, New masculine, New Feminine, Welcome Home, Hello World, Once Upon a Time, and Adult Connection.
The pair Flashback/Flashforward presents two different proposals connected with time. A nostalgic look at the past, retro, vintage, hand made, that coexists with a view towards the future, a friendly and organic future.
In New Masculine/New Feminine we see aesthetics closely connected with gender. The women are in the style of Lady Gaga, very feminine divas, with animal prints, lots of white, gold, silver, mixed with prints and luxury branded products.
New masculine, on the contrary, espouses a man who is a committed executive during the week, with a lot of black, and materials such as leather. He transforms at the weekend, and seeks relaxation, contact with nature, and to enjoy his hobbies and interests.
There are some characteristics that New Masculine/New Feminine share, such as the use of denim. For the new masculine, jeans even work for both the executive man during the week, and for the relaxed man at the weekend.
Welcome Home represents the return home, cocooning, the warmth and comfort of home. Versus the passion of getting away to visit other cities, or going to the countryside or travelling to exotic places, represented by Hello World.
Once upon a time/Adult Connection are two aesthetics that respond to two types of approaches concerning the vision of childhood: one from a child’s perspective, full of the fantasy of fairytales and imagination, and the other from the seriousness of the adult world. One trend is very elaborate, the other minimal.
At the end of each aesthetic trend it is proposed a colour, pattern and material guide to assist in applying these trends when it comes to developing products.