Have We Reached Peak Cronut?

Traditionally, cultural waves around food would take a much longer time to spread, generate hype and spawn imitators and fade out-  but not at the breakneck pace that we are witnessing in 2013. 

In the mere 4 months since its introduction, we've witnessed Dominique Ansel's croissant-doughnut hybrid explode into popular consciousness, creating unprecedented cultural waves.

The pastry has incited ravenous demand, creating epic six hour lines in front of his New York Bakery, even inspiring numerous imitators around the world.  A special "white glove delivery service" will also wait on line for you, at $100 a Cronut.

It seems that we have hit “peak Cronut,” where hype, spread of imitators and cultural capital levels have reached a crescendo. What comes next? Look for imitators to continue to sprout up around the world and for the cool factor to shrink as the pastry becomes just another donut option.

But this really isn't about Cronuts. What this about is the SPEED at which culture moves right now. Traditionally, cultural waves around food would take a much longer time to spread, generate hype and spawn imitators and fade out-  but not at the breakneck pace that we are witnessing in 2013. The graph of change in general (see the harlem shake’s here) explodes and recedes at a much more rapid pace than they ever have in the past.

Why is this? Number one is social media. These potentially slow-moving localized only trends get amplified exponentially on social platforms moving from sub/micro/local cultures to the mall in record time. And number two, is that as a whole, culture desperately craves novelty. In our media saturated, always-on, everything on-demand world, ideas tend lose their sheen quickly. Difference/novelty needs to be increasingly weird or memorable to stand out, and then, will burn brightly until the next big thing comes its way. Brands who want to synchronize with the on the ground realities of culture need to be able to understand the life cycles, trajectories and subsequent evolutions/ spinoffs of cultural waves as to appropriately create content, services and products that will hit their mark.

sparks & honey is a next generation agency that helps brands synchronize with culture. Follow us on Twitter at @sparksandhoney to stay up to date on the latest high energy trends.



LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

Videos
  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
Keep reading Show less