|GLOBAL YOUTH BECOMING MORE HOMOGENEOUS CONSUMERS
NEW YORK, USA -- Teens around the world are becoming more and more homogeneous in terms of their consumer wants and desires, according to a research study conducted by PANGAEAR, International Consultants in 1995. This was the first global teen research study conducted on the internet -- in 10 countries simultaneously. Findings from 500 qualified teen respondents indicated that the youth around the world were becoming increasingly more alike, most likely due to their common exposure to media from television and music to computers as well as improvements in technology (i.e. telephones and airplane travel). Brands and styles preferred by teens in Israel to Hong Kong to the USA and elsewhere were surprisingly alike, although local preferences, of course, are still noted.
While brand and related icons are similar from country to country among teens, PANGAEA also found that teen concerns were similar across borders -- teens shared the same sorts of worries -- with some exceptions, mostly noted in Israel, where the realities of war affect their outlook and perspective. Aside from this, teens in Japan, the US, China and the seven other countries studied, were mostly worried about what they would be when they were grown, making money and other surprisingly mature issues, though US and Japanese teens were more focused on themselves than teens from other countries we studied. Teens in Israel and Europe, for instance, were more likely to focus on worries about the environment, trade agreements, etc. Also common among most teens was the focus on "me" the "individual" and on being different, yet still 'fitting in.' An interesting contradiction.
Five years later, these findings continue to be supported by 'traditional' research, in which retailers find these similarities when looking at even younger kids' shopping habits around the globe. According to retail experts from London to Hong Kong, children's preferences for the upcoming holidays are very much alike -- they include the small robotic toy dogs (i.e. Poo-chi), a scooter (Razor), mini monsters and Pokemon items.
Trends in buying habits have changed because of technology advances and the market environment which has created demand for marketers to release the same products simultaneously in various countries, according to NPD Inc., a US market research firm. The fashion industry has also recently launched a similar, simultaneous distribution stream.
We can expect these trends to become even more prominent as our cultures collide and collaborate through increasing exposure to multimedia channels and travel.
HANOI ,Vietnam -- According to Vietnam tourism statistics, international tourist arrivals to Vietnam were up nearly 20% in 2000 from the year before. This represented more than 2.13 million foreign visitors and US$1.2 billion. Vietnam's 2001 tourism goal is 2.2 million visitors. With improving facilities, changing perceptions and greater awareness/advertising, visitors are re-discovering such destinations as Nha Trang, Hue, and of course Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
TOKYO, Japan -- The New Year does not look like it will be any brighter for the Japanese economy. For the 44th month in a row, retail sales are down -- down 4.1% in November from the previous year, while Japan's unemployment rate reached (4.8%) its post-war high last month. And, spending by Japan's salary-earning households declined by 2.3% in November from a year earlier, following a 0.1% drop in October, despite a slight salary increase for the second consecutive month.
Consumers are spending less in this pessimistic climate. And as more companies restructure and downsize, workers are being forced into early retirement or to look for jobs in a shrinking market.
NEW YORK, USA -- Coca-Cola is looking into the milk beverages market to appeal to children under the age of 12, according to The Wall Street Journal. Coke is expected to test-market several milk-based drinks in the USA, Europe and Latin America.
Coke has consulted with nutritionists and pediatricians, and has done research among mothers and children, to develop a product that appeals to consumers on both taste and nutrition.
In addition to developing milk-based beverages, Coke is also
exploring possibilities for new youth-oriented juices and
|ONE OF WORLD'S MOST AFFLUENT COUNTRIES EARNS 37% MORE
|[continued, Affluent Countries...]
SINGAPORE -- One of the world's most affluent countries, Singapore, reports a 37% rise in income for the five years from 1993 - 1998. Average monthly household wages rose to 5,262 (Singapore dollars) from 3,829 in 1993. Spending rose only 22%, according to the Department of Statistics in Singapore. Of course, there is barely a middle class in this country where the split between the have's and have not's shows a remarkable disparity.
For example, families living in private homes earned between 12,667 and 15,014 Singapore dollars each month, while those who lived in government built homes earned household monthly wages of about 4,345 Singapore dollars. Nevertheless, in this affluent market, nearly three-quarters (71%) said they own investments or assets, up from 39% in 1993. Of those, 54% invested in the stock market in 1998, compared with only 8% in 1993. For more statistics, see our Country Comparison tables.
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