For the last eight years, Pinterest’s researchers and data analysts have pored over user search terms and analyzed the findings to try and predict the future. And they think they’ve gotten pretty good at it.
According to Pinterest, 80% of its predictions about what people would be doing, trying and buying in 2021 proved accurate. The reason for the accuracy, it says, is the unique way so many of its more than 400 million monthly visitors use the site.
“People come to Pinterest to plan what they’re going to do next, so we see the future first,” said chief marketing officer Andréa Mallard. “By carefully analyzing the particular shape of search and behaviour data across our platform, we’re able to predict what’s going to be trending…months before it goes mainstream.”
The Pinterest Predicts 2022 report was published Tuesday, and includes more than 175 trends across 13 key consumer categories.
This year, Pinterest saw big increases in searches for “Rage Rooms” (no kidding), “Walking in nature” (makes sense), “Calming classroom décor” (also makes sense), “Trendy watches” (it’s about time), “Transparent nightgowns” (I see you), and “Goth baby clothes” (that’s dark).
Last week, Pinterest’s head of brand insights, Jenna Landi, provided a sneak peek during a webinar briefing for journalists. The report, she said, is compiled by a team of analysts and researchers rigorously qualifying the data, developing the predictive models and then crafting the insights.
“What you’ll see today started from a base of over 200,000 qualifying keywords that we’ve honed and developed into our report.” The 13 categories are Auto, Beauty, Celebrations, Fashion, Finance, Food and Beverage, Hobbies and Interests, Home, Parenting, Pets, Tech and Travel.
Landi provided some additional insight and context around some of the key trends for 2022.
“What we see is that people are eager to celebrate and bring joy back into their lives,” she said. But people are also getting creative and finding new reasons to celebrate, so one of the trends for 2022 will be “Alt bashes.”
“Millennials, Gen X and Boomers will embrace celebrations that mark fresh milestones and open new chapters. They’re going to organize bashes and add an alternative touch to it, with divorces, bad breakups, or kids leaving the house all turned into reasons to party.”
Pinterest found an 85% increase in searches for “Adopt a pet birthday party ideas,” a 55% increase in “Divorce Party Ideas,” while “Empty nest photoshoots” were up 40%.
Jewels and nature will be prominent in beauty next year, with Gen Z driving a trend toward accessories that go beyond earrings and necklaces, she said. Pinterest is calling this the “Be Jeweled” trend. “They’re getting creative and accessorizing the whole body, from tooth gems to crystal eye embellishments,” said Landi.
Searches for “Tooth gems” were up 85%, “Pedicure with rhinestones” up 150% , and “Crystal eye makeup” up 110%.
“And everyone’s desire to escape and travel again is reflected right up to their nails, and people will paint landscape style designs on their digits,” said Landi. Key search terms underlying the predicted “Nailscapes” trend include “Galaxy nail art” (up 115%) and “Desert nails” (up 105%).
Also in Beauty, Pinterest seems a coming trend toward “Puff love,” which will be a celebration of natural hair textures and big styles. “Basic trims are out, and Pinterest predicts people will celebrate their natural texture with big-hair styling techniques,” said Landi.
Fashion will be a hot topic in 2022, more than it has been the past few years, and one of the trends will be “Goth” going mainstream. Like very mainstream: “Think Goth baby clothes (+120%) and even some Goth business casual (+90%),” said Landi. Searches for “Goth pyjamas” were also up 185%
At the same time, Pinterest sees growing interest in vibrant colours like “Electric blue outfits” (up 140%), while searches for “Rainbow dress women” were up two times the year before.
Food and Beverage
Being stuck at home and having to cook so much during the pandemic has also had a big impact on people’s food and beverage interests and searches. “They are ready for more elaborate recipes and they’re really willing to create special moments around meals,” said Landi.
And tea will be big in 2022, according to Pinterest. “Afternoon tea, we’re learning, is more than a meal—[it’s] a moment, an aesthetic, it’s even a pose,” said Landi.
Searches for “high tea food ideas” were up 4X, and “Drinking tea pose” was up 2X, while “Vintage tea party” was up 70%.
People are also less interested in “over-the-top eating experiences,” and more interested in trying more traditional foods with family roots, said Landi.
“We see new search qualifiers like traditional, authentic and classic popping up across the food category,” she said. “It’s a move away from fusion and towards the origins, or as close as one can get, of a dish.”
Searches for “South African recipes traditional” were up 150%, for example, while searches for “Arabic food traditional” were also twice what they were the year before.
This is a category that has become more important than ever in the past few years, said Landi. “We see people willing to live more consciously and to take care of themselves and their loved ones.”
People are looking for low impact instead of high intensity workouts, ways to invest in and improve relationships and for other spiritual awakenings. “One of my absolute favourite themes from this year’s report is mindful menstruation. All of us were excited to see this rising all around the world,” said Landi.
Women, particularly Millennials, are educating themselves about their menstrual health. “We see people’s perception of menstrual cycles going from that time of the month taboo, to an actual opportunity to learn more about themselves and connect deeper with their bodies”
Searches for “Follicular phase” were up 70% and “Luteal phase” up 40%, while searches for “Period care” were three times what they were the year before.