„Mindfulness is no longer synonymous with disconnecting from the bustling world; it’s about actively engaging with the present moment.“
Last year, I freelanced my way through very various markets and categories, searching for clues of what comes next and contributing to cultural strategies accordingly. From F&B to tech, from gardening to sustainability, from luxury to mindfulness – each of my research projects seemed to reveal one big truth: we are slowly leaving the “less is more” mantra behind, in search for something indeed “more”, bountiful, intense, and truly immersive.
Let me explain.
Take for example the drinking industry, that has long been associated with the pursuit of more: more flavors, more blends, and, of course, more buzz. However, a subtle yet transformative shift is underway, challenging the conventional narrative. As we know, the Gen Z drink a lot less alcohol.
Traditionally, the mantra was clear: less alcohol meant a healthier lifestyle. The rise of low-alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages, once niche, is now a hard to ignore force shaping the future of social drinking. But it’s not merely about the absence of alcohol; it’s about the presence of a fuller experience. The drinking industry is inviting enthusiasts to savor the artistry of cocktails, the nuances of pairings, and the richness of human connections that don’t hinge on the buzz.
This trend extends beyond the glass. The concept of pairing drinks with food has transcended the traditional wine and dine culture. Now, it’s about exploring how unique flavors and aromas complement each other, with or without alcohol. It’s a shift towards a more conscious and intentional approach to consumption, where the focus is on the experience rather than the intoxication.
Speaking of pairing, I’ve also noticed something interesting when it comes to the food these fancy drinks go with.
When looking at health and nutrition, the narrative has long been dominated by the pursuit of „less“ – fewer calories, less fat, and the elimination of various groups of food to live a healthy life. However, a paradigm shift is reshaping our approach to well-being. The era of deprivation is making way for a nutritional renaissance that celebrates the abundance of what’s good for us. “Free from” becomes “Full of”: full of protein, extra calcium, high in fiber and so on.
Consider the revolution in dietary trends. The once-dreaded fat is now a hero in the realm of keto diets, where followers embrace healthy fats as a primary energy source. It’s not about fewer calories; it’s about the quality of those calories.
The focus has shifted from deprivation to nourishment, recognizing the importance of a balanced diet that includes essential nutrients rather than simply subtracting elements.
Even when looking at sustainability, once synonymous with doing „less“ harm, we see the behavior evolving into a powerful force for growth and regeneration. The shift is palpable: it’s not just about reducing our carbon footprint or cutting back; it’s about actively contributing to the health of our planet.
The traditional environmental narrative often centered around restraint—less consumption, less waste. While these principles remain vital, a new wave of sustainability focuses on positive action. It’s about replenishing what we take, nurturing the ecosystems we inhabit, and actively participating in the growth of a healthier, more resilient environment.
Take regenerative agriculture, for instance. It goes beyond sustainable practices, aiming to enhance soil health and biodiversity. Farmers are becoming stewards of the land, employing techniques that not only preserve, but actively restore the richness of our soils.
As we move from „less“ to more, sustainability becomes a journey of growth, restoration, and the cultivation of a world where our actions contribute to the wellbeing of our ecosystems.
Finally, I looked into “mindfulness”. Here, the traditional approach often leaned towards detachment – less possessions, less distraction, and less noise.
Today, mindfulness is no longer synonymous with disconnecting from the bustling world; it’s about actively engaging with the present moment. The emphasis has shifted from less distraction to more intentional presence. Instead of emptying the mind, the focus is on filling it with purposeful awareness and a deeper connection to the world around us.
The meditation landscape has evolved to embrace diverse techniques that go beyond the silence of traditional practices. Mindful movement, soundscapes, and even technology-assisted mindfulness are gaining popularity, offering practitioners a more expansive toolkit to cultivate mental well-being. It’s not about disconnecting from the world, but about engaging with it in a way that promotes balance and mental clarity.
I think I’ve made my point.
In 2024 and beyond, by embracing the “more”, we are becoming catalysts, co-creators of a narrative that unfolds with each choice, each sip, each positive action and each mindful moment—a narrative that celebrates the abundance of life in all its richness and in harmony with the world around.