Trendy Tendencias: US & Mexico

Blog following and discussing new trends, specifically in the US and in Mexico.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Need a little time off...

I'm planning on taking a couple of days off of blogging, because I'm trying to prepare for my move, and I just don't seem to have enough hours in the day!

If anyone would like to "guest blog" here on Trendy Tendencias, I'd be glad to have you!

Otherwise you might want to browse around some of the trend sites that I have linked to on the sidebar. Don't forget that I am also now a contributor at PSFK, and you can check out some of my previous posts there.

Thanks, and if you'd like to contact me, just leave a comment and I'll get back in touch with you.


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Diabetes in Mexico

El Universal recently published an article discussing the sharp increase of Diabetes in Mexico. One of the biggest reasons this is happening is related to a previous post of mine on the increased consumption of Instant Soups - dietary habits are drastically changing, and not for the better.

From the article:

"According to the Mexican Health Secretariat, the number of patients with diabetes grew seven times in the last 20 years, making the disease the fourth highest cause of death in Mexico."
If this problem continues to grow, it will cause serious economic hardship for the healthcare system here in Mexico. Education is also going to be an issue, as it is estimated that 35% of diabetics in Mexico don't even know they have it. Of all of Mexico, the border areas are the most at risk and have higher rates overall of Diabetes and obesity.

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Monday, June 13, 2005

First Time DVD Releases: Mexican Films

Univision is getting into the DVD business and will be soon releasing some Mexican films from the 80s & 90s. The DVDs will be sold in stores such as Wal-Mart & Best Buy for $9.99. Basically, as the Sun-Sentinel article points out, the Hispanic market is no longer a "niche"...this is a real market segment with huge buying power.

From the article:

Jerilyn Kessel of Centris Research recently conducted research that shows
Hispanics bought slightly more DVDs per month than non-Hispanics and also rented
more discs per month. Yet only 1 percent of the 1 billion DVDs sold in the
United States last year were in Spanish.

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Friday, June 10, 2005

Hispanic Population Growth

Well, it's been all over the news this week that Hispanics are now 1/7th of the population in the US.

I doubt that it comes as much of a surprise. I grew up in Sarasota, Florida, and when I was in high school about (wow) 10-14 years ago, I knew ONE girl that was Colombian. ONE. That was the whole Hispanic population that I was familiar with. Sarasota is on the Gulf of Mexico, the opposite coast from Miami...and it was very different then. Now, on my recent trip home, I would go to the bank, Wal-mart, etc. and I was definitely hearing more Spanish spoken than English. Sarasota even has its own tortilleria now.

Things have changed. And from what I'm seeing, most people are embracing this change. That is great news!

So what does this big change in the US population mean? Well, it seems to me that we are really seeing the "Melting Pot" come to life again, as it did when my grandparents were growing up. I, an American, am married to a Mexican. I never thought of ourselves as an "interracial couple" but I guess we are. As some people and articles are saying the "face" of America is changing.

One thing I hadn't thought about until I was reading it this week, without this population burst from Hispanics, which is based partially on immigration and partially on child births, we would be a very "old" country right now. Our baby boomers are getting older, and without this growth in population, we would really have a different economic outlook on our hands - too many retirees and not enough young blood to support them. 73% of Hispanics are under the age of 40.

I'm looking forward to see what's in store for the US in the next generation or so. I expect a lot of changes, but I believe they will be for the better. Plus, it's always fun to see multiple cultures combine, hopefully drawing on the best aspects of each.

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In personal news, I am planning to move soon from Mexico to Miami, but will definitely be planning on keeping up with this blog. I also am now a contributing author for another trend site PSFK. Check it out.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Personalized Funerals

I wrote recently about the ultra-customization of all sorts of products and services, and how everything seems to be moving towards a niche market. People are demanding personalized services, such as this USA Today article discusses: Personalized Funerals.

This US trend is only just beginning. Options include sending ashes into space, using the ashes to create a cultivated diamond, and creating an artificial coral reef from the ashes. Customized caskets & memorial services, both created to represent the life of the deceased, are also increasingly popular. The trend is said to be because of the demands of the baby boomers.

Cremation is becoming increasingly popular, and it is estimated that over 40% of Americans will choose cremation by 2025.

In a comparison with Mexico, we recently had a death in the family, and I was amazed at the difference in the actions that we took. Once the body arrived to the funeral home, it was placed in a casket in a room that was for our family and friends. This occurred at about 9pm. Many people stayed all night long, others left late and returned early. Every once in a while a family member would recite the rosary. We were there until the scheduled cremation at about 2pm the following day. After the cremation was complete, we received the urn, and we all left. Most of Mexico is Catholic, and it is customary to have 9 days of mass following a death.

I don't see it likely that Mexico will follow this funeral personalization trend any time soon.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Piracy in Mexico, and many countries like Mexico has always been a big problem. A country where the law is at times very flexible & salaries are low...becomes a formula for piracy.

Here in Mexico City you can get DVDs of movies that are in the theaters, CDs, purses, and all sorts of other knock-offs. (Although I'm sure in New York you can find the same things.) However this recent article about piracy in Mexico I found quite interesting.

Tidbits of note from the article:
  • 300,000 people in Mexico are selling pirated products for a living
  • New products are now being pirated: Condoms (which imposes a health risk)
  • Pirated CDs account for 60% of music sales in Mexico

Mexico has recently engaged in what I think/hope will be a fairly successful anti-piracy campaign. The slogan that is kind of repeated throughout translates to the effect that Pirated movies look bad (quality of the picture), and by buying them, it looks bad (they are really showing how it's hard to teach your kids right and wrong if you bend the rules on things like piracy).

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Monday, June 06, 2005

Housing: Hotel-Condos

This hotel-condo hybrid is becoming very popular around the US. Basically, you can purchase a unit in a Four Seasons, for example, and when you are not using it, they can rent it out...and you can get about 45% of the income.

The media has been all over this in the last couple of weeks. Check out the USA Today article, this Chicago Tribune/Times Argus article.

The prices for these units are much higher than if you purchased a similar sized unit in the same city, and I believe that maintenance fees apply for when you are occupying the room (I imagine to cover your linen service, breakfast and other hotel services). People are buying them for the potential investment income, and the services.

With this business model the hotels are sharing some of the investment risk/burden with the private investors.

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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Wine Trends

I've been wanting to cover this topic for a while. It seems like every time I turn around the last couple of months, there are more changes going on in the wine industry. Here I have compiled a few items that go under the topic of "Wine Trends".

US Supreme Court allows direct shipping for out-of-state wineries.
This is great news...and should help the wine industry overall. Now you can order directly from your favorite winery and have it delivered to your door. It doesn't matter that the winery is in California and you are in New York. This will help the small "niche" wineries stay alive & grow, as well. I guess it helps all of these "Wine of the Month Clubs" as well!

Screw Caps are going to take over the market. Goodbye corks!
Okay, first of all I never knew that cork comes from special trees, and that it is quite a process to create a cork. And there is somehow a stigma attached to screw cap most of you think of Boone's Strawberry Hill? (On a personal side note, a friend called me up in college and said "I found the coolest thing, it's called Boone's, and you get a whole bottle for $1.50, and it doesn't even taste like alcohol!")

Anyway! They have just completed a 5 year study of Screw vs. Cork and found that the screw cap actually allowed the wine to age more evenly. It's time to stop associating these caps to cheap wine...many wineries are bottling even their reserves with this cap. There is still some debate, however, in how the screw capped wines will age over many, many years. Another article on the topic tells us that 95% of wines purchased are consumed within 8 apparently this aging topic will not be an issue for the "common" wine drinkers.

High Alcohol Wine
This trend is apparently being demanded by the consumers. This higher alcohol wine is created by leaving the grapes on the vine longer, so that they are "ultra-ripe", which in turn causes them to lose some of their water content. Basically what I understand from the article on the topic is that the smaller vineyards that are doing this are therefore not receiving as much product from the grapes, costs go up, and it's making it really difficult for them to make a profit.

Largest winemaker aims to pick off No. 2
Just some wine industry news that the #1 Winemaker is trying to buy #2.

I guess that's it for Wine Trends! We can't forget the recent film "Sideways" which I understand has really created a lot of demand on the wineries in the region that was visited in the movie.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005


I hadn't heard of this until I read the "My Days Are Numbered" article in Slate...and I can see what all of the fuss is about! Basically a numbers/logic game that is really hot in the UK right now is going to come to the US, and I assume the world, rather quickly.

The basics: The game is a grid that consists of nine boxes (3x3), and each box has nine squares (3x3). They pre-fill in some numbers for you, and then you need to fill in the rest, making sure that in each box, row and column the numbers 1-9 are used only once.

It's fun, and I can see that probably at least 50% of us will receive a Sudoku book, daily calendar, or some other Sudoku merchandise as gifts once the holidays roll around.

The fact that it's a numbers game will also going to help the craze go worldwide in no time, since no translations will be needed.

Where to check it out: Daily Sudoku, (which at the time of post is not currently working)

I'm still trying to figure out if there is any opportunity left in this market, as it will be big, and then it will fall...kind of like those pictures you had to look at really hard to see something else (I NEVER could), and Where's Waldo...Although I'm sure it will have it's lifelong fans, and maybe will live a long life next to the crossword and the word jumble.

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