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Rapidly Trending Topics, Insights, and Analysis Update on August 31, 2022


Baijiu is a sorghum-based spirit (although other types of grains are sometimes used.)

The beverage is very popular in China. In fact, in terms of gross amount consumed, baijiu is the most popular spirit in the world.

However, the drink is still relatively unknown in Western markets.

Previous attempts to popularize the product among Western markets have failed, mainly because baijiu has a distinct flavor that people new to the drink aren’t used to.

However, demand for baijiu is starting to grow. Largely thanks to the fact that startups are testing innovative ways of introducing the product to consumers.

For example, Ming River is one of the startups behind the recent spike in interest for baijiu.

The startup sold over 4,000 cases in the US and over 1,000 cases in the EU last year. And Ming River forecasts 50% and 100% growth for this year in these markets, respectively.

What’s Next

Baijiu is part of the East Asian Alcohol meta trend.

We’re seeing rapidly-growing interest in East Asian alcoholic beverages.

As is the case with baijiu, new startups are branding, marketing and selling these drinks in ways that make East Asian alcohol accessible to new audiences.

Makku and Lunar are examples of trending East Asian alcohol startups.

Whereas makgeolli and soju are two examples of trending drinks that originate from East Asia.

Self-sovereign Identity

Self-sovereign identity is a framework that allows individuals to gain control of their digital data.

Many digital platforms (especially social media) ask users to essentially trade their personal data in exchange for access to the platform.

However, an increasing number of people are becoming concerned with the way their data is handled (approximately 79% of Americans are concerned about how their personal data is used.)

While the idea of self-sovereign identity has existed for years, the rise of blockchain technology has made implementation practical for the first time.

Which explains why the blockchain-based digital identity market is forecasted to grow to $1B by 2024, compared to only $100M in 2021.

What’s Next

Self-sovereign identity is part of the Decentralized Privacy meta trend.

The idea of decentralized privacy has been attracting attention since the first version of decentralized identifiers (searches for decentralized identifiers have increased by 5x over the last two years) released in early 2021.

Decentralized identifiers are identification vehicles that make it possible to verify data without a third-party having access to the data.

Importantly, the World Wide Web Consortium recently unveiled plans to create a standard for decentralized identifiers.

This means that startups can start creating standardized solutions that will work across the web.

Weighted Eye Mask

Weighted eye masks are a cross between sleep masks and weighted blankets.

Like all eye masks, a primary function is to block out light.

But weighted masks also offer the potential to help with stress relief.

(Like weighted blankets, this relies on the idea of deep pressure stimulation.)

Anecdotally, users report that weighted masks can also help with headaches and migraines.

Texas startup Talking out of Turn sells a selection of weighted eye masks. Designed to be heated up or frozen, the masks claim to offer “muscle-melting tension relief”.

And Gravity sells a weighted headband meant for use as a sleep aid. The brand raised $4.73M on Kickstarter for its initial product.

What’s Next

Weighted eye masks are part of the sleep optimization products meta trend.

28% of people worldwide suffer from insomnia.

And the “sleep economy” is worth an estimated $488B. That space is forecast to rise to $585B by 2024.

Sleep gummies are an extremely fast-growing product category (searches are up 1860% over the last 5 years).

Klova is a specialist sleep brand. It sells gummies, as well as sleep patches and weighted blankets.

In a sleep study, 92% of participants reported falling asleep faster with the Klova patch. And every participant recommended the product.

The patches generate an estimated $48.15K per month through Amazon.

Other topics in the meta trend showing strong growth include sleep oxygen monitors, melatonin and Neorhythm (a headband that emits electro-magnetic pulses).

Remote Patient Monitoring

Remote patient monitoring, often known as RPM, is a healthcare approach that uses new technologies to gather and monitor patient data.

Seeing as to how the telehealth space is forecasted to continue to grow (CAGR of 36.5% through 2028), many startups are starting to develop more advanced RPM solutions to supplement telehealth.

These solutions vary from wearable health devices to telehealth systems using AI for diagnosis.

Interest in RPM solutions is very likely to continue its growth — 30 million US patients are forecasted to use at least one RPM solution by 2024 (up from 24 million in 2021).

What’s Next

Remote patient monitoring is part of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) meta trend.

Searches for “IoT healthcare” have increased over 10x over the last 10 years. Which shows that healthcare providers and consumers are demanding more advanced, tech-focused medical solutions.

In fact, one survey found that 80% of American patients are in favor of using IoT devices in healthcare settings.

Shampoo Massager

Shampoo massagers are designed to stimulate and exfoliate the scalp while shampooing.

This product category is largely trending due to the fact that many believe that shampoo massagers can help stimulate hair growth (although this has not been confirmed by actual studies).

This product category is also trending across beauty TikTok (the #scalpmassager hashtag has over 22.2 million views on the platform).

Heeta and Maxsoft are examples of trending shampoo brush brands.

What’s Next

Shampoo massagers are part of the Scalp Detox meta trend.

Searches for “scalp detox” have increased by 217% over the last five years.

A scalp detox refers to the process of using cleansers, moisturizers and other products to deep clean the scalp.

As with many other beauty trends, interest in scalp detox is mainly because this routine has gone viral on TikTok.

In fact, videos mentioning scalp detox have over 27.2 million views on the platform.

Scalp exfoliators, scalp serums and scalp scrubs are examples of trending scalp detox products.

Crystal Boba

Crystal boba, also known as agar boba, is a specific type of bubble tea pearl.

These bubble tea pearls are made from Konjac, a plant found in Taiwan.

Unlike traditional boba pearls, which don’t have a strong flavor, crystal boba has a natural citrus flavor.

However, the main reason behind the increased interest in crystal boba is the fact that they can be easily colored with food coloring.

This is why crystal boba has gone viral on TikTok, with videos mentioning the product gathering over 1.5 million views on the platform.

What’s Next

Crystal boba is part of the Taiwanese Tea meta trend.

Taiwan is well known for its teas, especially its high mountain teas.

In fact, many tea connoisseurs say that “Taiwan is to tea as France is to wine.”

And many of these niche teas are starting to gain traction in the Western world.

While bubble milk tea is perhaps the currently most popular Taiwanese tea. But other teas like ice cream milk tea, pudding milk tea and brown sugar milk tea are rapidly trending.

The Fabricant

The Fabricant is a digital fashion house whose clothes are designed to be “worn online”.

Specifically, when buying an item, people don’t buy a physical piece. Instead, they’re getting a digital item designed to fit onto their digital pictures.

The startup also offers NFTs of their digital fashion items to ensure uniqueness and exclusiveness.

The startup is especially popular among fashion influencers because The Fabricant allows them to update their feeds with new clothes without having to actually own the physical items.

The Fabricant’s most expensive item to date has been their Iridescence Digi-Couture Dress which went for $9,500.

What’s Next

The Fabricant is part of the Virtual Closet meta trend.

Virtual closets, also known as digital clothing, is an emerging tech trend that aims to replace textile clothes with pixel clothes.

Digital clothing’s biggest selling point is that it allows people to “update” their closets through more environmentally sustainable practices. And “wear” those clothes on social media, where most people will see the items anyway.

This trend is still in its infancy. However, the massive virtual skin market in the gaming space (Fortnite etc.) has shown that digital clothing can become a sizable market.

IoT Security Software

IoT security software refers to software that controls access to IoT networks through data encryption.

They usually come in the form of cloud-based solutions that handle entire IoT networks.

Interest in this product category is increasing because IoT adoption rates are on a rapid uptick (there will be an estimated 84 billion IoT devices by 2024).

However, this also means that IoT cybercrime is on the rise (the number of IoT breaches doubled last year).

FortiNAC, AppSealing and Armis are examples of trending IoT security software.

What’s Next

IoT security software is part of the IoT SECaaS (Security-as-a-Service) meta trend.

The SECaaS market is expected to double within the next five years.

However, increased IoT adoption rates mean that demand for IoT-specific SECaaS will grow at an even faster pace (this market is expected to increase 3x in the next five years).

Traditional IoT security solutions were usually packaged in a way that provided a certain firewall or antivirus designed to make it harder for people to hack into the devices.

SECaaS solutions go beyond that: they also actively monitor and assess device security to find potential gaps that could be exploited by hackers.


BookTok is a social media trend where people post short book review videos on TikTok.

The #booktok hashtag has generated an impressive 69 billion views on the platform to date.

And the trend has already helped several books (and authors) climb to the top of the Amazon charts.

The trend has become so influential that it is often described as the “world’s largest book club.” In fact, Barnes & Noble now curates a list of TikTok-famous books.

What’s Next

BookTok is part of the EverythingTok meta trend.

TikTok hashtags have become active communities where people with similar interests interact with one another.

For example, the #cartok hashtag has over 24.5 billion views. While many of these videos are people shooting videos in their cars, a fair number of #carsoftiktok videos are people showing off recently-purchased car accessories.

Another example is the #skintok hashtag, which has over 5 billion views on the platform.


Typedream is a no-code website builder designed for users already familiar with Notion.

(In fact, the platform’s tagline is “easy as Notion, pretty as Webflow”.)

Their website builder is essentially built to turn Notion data into HTML.

Typedream gained significant traction on launch (it reached the #1 spot on Product Hunt’s product of the month list). And has seen steady search interest growth since.

To date, the startup has raised one funding round via Y Combinator.

What’s Next

Typedream is part of the No-code Startups meta trend.

The market for no-code platforms is expected to increase 5x over the next six years.

The no-code tool boom was initially driven by enterprises looking to reduce IT and development costs.

However, no-code platforms are quickly becoming the de facto tool that startups use to rapidly deploy MVPs.

And considering that a record number of people are opting to start a new business (the number of new business applications increased by 25% last year), this trend is poised to continue.


Batocera is an open-source, retro-gaming distribution system.

A big reason why the platform is trending is that it can be used across a variety of devices (handheld devices, PCs, Raspberry Pis, etc.)

Batocera has almost 12,000 members on its Discord server.

The platform has approximately 1,000 stars on GitHub.

What’s Next

Batocera is part of the Retro Gaming Comeback meta trend.

The average price for a Nintendo 64 game has doubled over the last 5 years.

The growing interest in retro games is largely due to the fact that retro gaming has gone viral on popular live-streaming platforms. For example, the retro gaming category has over 1.3 million followers on Twitch.

While Gen Xers are the main demographic behind this meta trend, retro games are also gaining popularity among Gen Z.

This has resulted in surging demand for vintage games, consoles, and arcade cabinets.

Plant Based Lamb

Plant-based lamb refers to lamb meat alternatives made from plants.

As with other types of plant-based meat, plant-based lamb caters primarily to vegans and those following plant-based diets.

One of the first startups to offer plant-based lamb, Black Sheep Foods, closed a $5.2M funding round in January.

Their product is made from soy protein and coconut oil and, according to the startup, tastes essentially the same as an actual lamb.

What’s Next

Plant-based lamb is part of the Faux Niche Meat meta trend.

Most growth in the plant-based meat space has come from faux chicken, pork, and beef.

But this is starting to change with many startups starting to offer faux niche meats, like lamb, turkey and rabbit.

For instance, there’s an increasing number of brands offering plant-based turkeys (Field Roast, Tofurky, and Quorn, to name a few).

And demand for plant-based turkey products is rapidly increasing. In fact, it is estimated that 10% of the entire 45 million turkeys sold during Thanksgiving last year were plant-based.


Psychobiotics are bacteria that impact the bacterial-brain relationship.

Probiotics and prebiotics are both examples of psychobiotics.

Multiple studies have linked consuming psychobiotics to better sleep quality, lower stress levels and improved mood.

Rising levels of stress and anxiety have also fueled increased interest in psychobiotic products.

Furthermore, demand for psychobiotics is expected to grow considerably as over 50 million Americans already suffer from various sleep disorders. And, according to the National Institute of Health, this number is set to increase in the coming years.

A popular psychobiotic product generates approximately $296K/month on Amazon.

What’s Next

Psychobiotics are part of the Microbiome Therapeutics meta trend.

The number of microbiome therapeutic studies published increased by 15% last year, suggesting that the space is getting more attention.

And the amount of clinical trials involving the microbiome increased by more than 20%.

Synbiotics, prebiotics and postbiotics are examples of trending microbiome therapeutics.

And it’s looking like this space has plenty of future growth — the market for microbiome therapeutics is expected to increase 10x in the next five years.

Mister FPGA

Mister FPGA is an open-source project that simulates the functionality of classic PCs and other arcade consoles through FPGA (field-programmable gate array) technology.

The device is often called the “ultimate retro computer.”

What makes Mister FPGA different from traditional emulation?

Traditional emulation is software-based, meaning that people use software to run retro games on their modern devices.

However, Mister FPGA is hardware-based, meaning that its hardware technology actually runs these games. This, in turn, better simulates the original console’s experience.

What’s Next

Mister FPGA is part of the Retro Gaming Comeback meta trend.

The retro-inspired game, Animal Crossing, led Nintendo’s 462% YoY growth in revenue last year.

Furthermore, several retro games are being re-released, which is fueling increased interest in retro gaming. In fact, the Final Fantasy VII remake was one of the Playstation 4’s all-time fastest-selling game launches.

But video games are not the only part of the retro gaming trend. Vintage devices like retro arcade and pinball machines are also seeing considerable demand.

While Gen Xers–and their nostalgia–are the main demographic behind this meta trend, demand for retro games is also being driven by younger generations.

For instance, Gen Z is surprisingly interested in retro games. The reason? TikTok videos mentioning retro gaming have amassed over 2.1 billion views to date.

Mushroom Gummies

Mushroom gummies refer to gummies that contain mushroom ingredients or extracts.

Boosted immunity, lower levels of stress and better mood are some of the desired health benefits of consuming concentrated forms of mushrooms.

However, many dislike the flavor of actual mushrooms, which is why many people are turning to gummy-containing mushrooms.

One highly-rated pack of mushroom gummies generates approximately $10K/month on Amazon.

What’s Next

Mushroom gummies are part of the Therapeutic Mushroom Supplements meta trend.

Thanks to mushrooms’ adaptogenic properties, we’re seeing increased demand for mushroom-based therapeutic products.

According to the Mintel database, there was a 38% increase in the number of products launched last year containing mushroom or mushroom extracts.

Lash Serum

Lash serums are formulas designed to stimulate lash growth.

The product is currently trending largely thanks to multiple TikTok influencers documenting their lash growth journey on the platform.

Videos mentioning lash serum have attracted over 321 million views on the platform.

Maybelline’s lash serum is one of the major brands driving this trend.

In fact, videos mentioning the Maybelline serum have more than 2.6 billion views on TikTok.

What’s Next

Lash serums are part of the TikTok-first Products meta trend.

TikTok has become a massive force for new DTC product categories.

TikTok videos tend to be short, engaging and informative–all the three components to create an effective product “infomercial”.

For instance, a product called The Pink Stuff has been on the market for more than 15 years, bringing around $2.6M in lifetime revenue.

The product went viral on TikTok a year ago, which resulted in 10x revenue growth.

The #tiktokmademebuyit hashtag has over 17.1 billion views on TikTok, illustrating how much engagement products that go viral on this medium can get.

Kakadu Plum

Kakadu plum is an antioxidant-dense fruit found mainly in Northern Australia.

The Kakadu plum has approximately 55 times more vitamin C than an orange, making it a potent antioxidant skincare ingredient.

We’re seeing a growing number of Kakadu plum-based skincare products being launched.

In fact, the Mintel Global Products Database estimates that nearly 1% of all new skincare products launched last year contained Kakadu plum.

A highly-rated pack of Kakadu plum-based gel brings in an estimated $2K/month on Amazon.

What’s Next

Kakadu plums are part of the Fruit-based Skincare meta trend.

Approximately 78% of US consumers are interested in trying fruit-based skincare products.

Which is leading to an increasing number of startups and companies launching fruit-based skincare lines.

Strawberry serums, blueberry cleansers and watermelon masks are examples of trending fruit-based skincare products.

Module Federation

Module Federation is a JavaScript architecture that allows two different codebases to share code and dependencies. The architecture is specifically used on micro frontends.

(Micro frontends split an entire frontend of an app into smaller, more manageable pieces that work together.)

Module Federation architecture makes developing micro frontends more efficient because it can dynamically share necessary code between micro frontends. Which removes the need for code duplication or external custom library management.

The new architecture has around 3,500 stars on GitHub.

What’s Next

Module Federation is part of the Micro Frontend Revolution meta trend.

Searches for “Micro Frontend” have increased by 3133% over the last five years.

Applying a micro frontend design allows developers to build more interactive, more manageable and more scalable frontends.

Specifically, micro frontends are better suited for large frontend projects. Instead of working with the entire frontend architecture for changes or updates, micro frontends allow developers to target precisely what they want to change without even “touching” the other parts of the architecture.

Which is why companies such as Fiverr, IKEA, Microsoft, Starbucks, etc., are increasingly relying on micro frontends for their applications.

Delta Extrax

Delta Extrax is a DTC startup focused on the THC space.

The startup’s focus on Delta-8 products are the main reason this startup is trending.

Delta Extrax is also unique in that they publish third-party lab tests conducted on their products.

All this is why CBinsights estimates that Delta Extrax’s sales grew more than 2x last year.

What’s Next

Delta Extrax is part of the Delta-8 Goes Mainstream meta trend.

Searches for “Delta 8” have increased by 3000% over the past five years.

Interest in Delta 8 products is growing mainly because it has notably fewer side effects compared to traditional THC.

However, being a relatively new substance, it had been living in a gray legal area, with many states looking to ban it.

Recently, interest in Delta 8 has exploded because many states that have legalized marijuana have also cleared Delta 8, meaning that people can use it freely.

This has helped Delta 8 become the fastest-growing segment of the THC industry.

Metaverse Art Gallery

Metaverse art galleries are art exhibitions built on various metaverses.

The initial version of NFT exhibitions came in the form of NFTs that were presented in real-world settings.

However, NFT exhibitions have started to move to the metaverse, giving NFTs a new medium of display.

This category is gaining traction because several metaverses are launching gallery spaces.

And new artists are starting to use these galleries to display their art, often in the form of NFTs.

However, the major reason behind the increased interest in this category is the fact that major auction houses are starting to utilize these spaces by moving their galleries to the metaverse.

For instance, Sotheby’s has launched a virtual art gallery in the Decentraland metaverse in Decentraland’s Voltaire Art District.

What’s Next

Metaverse art galleries are part of the NFT Galleries meta trend.

Searches for “NFT gallery” are up 4400% in the last 24 months.

Major players (museums, architects and more) are jumping on the NFT gallery trend, which is accelerating interest in the trend.

For instance, the famous architecture firm Zaha Hadid Architects launched a virtual art gallery “NFTism” displaying a variety of NFTs and virtual architecture pieces at Art Basel Miami.

But NFT galleries have also become a profitable medium for aspiring NFT artists as exhibits displayed in a gallery tend to see rapid price increases.

For example, the price of the “Portrait of an Era” NFT exhibition increased 3x after its exhibition.

Alex Lim is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. He has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Alex has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. He is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Alex lives in London, England with his wife and two children. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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