The Rebel Company
Article / Beliefs

8 Emerging Trends That Will Shape 2019

Read less

2018 was a diverse year, with many trends and where “Bit-Coin” was the most googled search word, a robot named Michihito Matsuda ran for mayor in Tokyo, where insects became a socially-accepted menu item, and a huge number of Brits also asked google how to delete “Instagram” and “Facebook”.

Looking forward, here’s our pick of the top eight trends that will dominate our industry in the next year.

The Mega Trend:

Plastic-Free Wave.

The official word of the year for 2018 was “single-use”, People recognised and acknowledged the plastic waste issue in 2018, and it was the year that saw a plastic straw ban in most countries and a number of activists emerging on the issue.

The fact is that recycling is just not enough and in many cases, simply not possible. Great Britain’s Royal Statistical Society announced its statistic of the year, estimating that 90.5% of plastic waste ever made has never been recycled.

If 2018 was the year of awareness and contemplation, 2019 will be the year of action with single plastic-use becoming a firm social taboo this year.

Rebel’s Tip:

Check out our collaborator Dan Webb’s Everyday Plastic Campaign here, which casts a bright light on the enormity of the plastic problem in the UK and what we need to do about it.

Hotel Trends:


Hostels have been a part of the hospitality sector for years now, but are not yet widely acknowledged as being a direct competitor to hotels. However this is rapidly changing.

It’s not only backpackers who are interested in this type of accommodation. In an attempt to stand out from the crowd, hostels are beginning to integrate traditional hotel elements into their projects – such as barista bars, spas, rooftop pools and innovative interior design.

Will 2019 see the beginning of the slow death of traditional, price and function-focused hostel, making way for the unstoppable rise of the poshtel? Maybe not, however expect to see more brands playing in this space this year.

Rebel’s Tip:

Check in to Sydell Group’s FreeHand Hotels in cities across the US, Found Hotel in Chicago, Clink in Amsterdam & London, and Generator hostels in multiple European destinations.


The overall size of a hotel room is shrinking and research shows that millennials, which are business and design-conscious travellers, are interested in following the micro-hotel trend. They are searching for an experience that provides, authenticity, affordability and flexibility in the trendiest parts of cities around the world.

Rebel’s Tip:

Check out our previous blog post for the latests mico-hotel tips and trends here

The Lobby Change.

The lobby of 2019 is becoming a central clubhouse where people can explore various activities according to Hotel Propeller. This important hotel design trend has already caused hotel chains to completely update their lobbies into unique, personalised environments.

2019 will see further innovation in how hotels of all levels are looking to create community-centric lobbies that are so much more than places to just check-in, eat, drink and play.

Behavioural trends:

Joy Of Missing Out (JOMO)

Customers are rebelling against the “always-on” mentality of today’s digitally connected world, with behaviour shifting from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) to a desire to unplug; focusing on authenticity, privacy and the enjoyment of face-to-face and live experiences.

According to an article by Forbes, The JOMO trend is triggered because people only want to participate or attend something when the experience is really valuable and absolutely authentic, since 80% of millennials would choose to spend money on an experience over object.

In general, customers now expect their experience or food to include engaging elements and valued added surprises. If the experience isn’t adding value, consumers increasingly prefer to miss out on it all together. This trend is expected to grow even further in 2019, but specifically in countries like China and South-Korea, since this is where customers are hyper-connected and known for being the front runners of digital connectivity (Thestar, 2018).

Rebel’s Tip:

The bespoke travel company Black Tomato helps travellers disconnect from their ordinary lives by dropping them in secret and remote locations, which ultimately challenges them to find their way back to civilisation without Wi-Fi. See their video for the adventurous ‘Get-Lost’ holiday trip here.


The personalisation trend is on-going and will continue to influence businesses as guests expect to be offered exactly what they want and when they want it. The future predicts a next evolution of personalisation: “Know your guests better than they know themselves” (Hugh Fisher, 2017). If you’re not delivering it, you will fall behind.

Food and beverage trends:

Year Of The Vegan - Vegan Wines

A record number of people have signed up to Veganuary this year, a campaign whereby participants go vegan for the month of Jan and according to industry specialists, such as The Economist and The Guardian, 2019 will be the year of the “vegan”.

Even China is going vegan: research predicts that China’s vegan market will grow more than 17% between 2015 and 2020. And in Hong Kong, 22% of the population reports practicing some form of a plant-based diet.

In 2019, we expect to see a rise of vegan wines in the hospitality industry. Most mainstream and even boutique wines are not vegan at all, since animal products are used in the “fining” process part of the wine.

Rebel’s Tip:

Lidl’s has recently launched vegan wines in their stores, which are purse-friendly too.

Alcohol-Free Beer

We realised this was an important trend when we worked with BrewDog on a project last year. Beer in general continues to be a hot topic, but for 2019 we believe that the alcohol-free or low-alcohol beer will take the stage and conquer many hearts.

A late 2018 survey of beer specialists from the Netherlands revealed that there was a growth of 11% in alcohol-free beer sales in their domestic market. An additional study in the UK revealed that there was 13% domestic growth in the year of 2018 for alcohol-free beer.

Over half of the respondents believe that it is more socially acceptable to drink alcohol-free beer and the fact that most of the millennials are highly focussed on their health. 37% of 18-24 year olds are ‘often influenced’ by how a product affects their health and wellbeing when purchasing an alcoholic drink, and a staggering 34% of 25-34 year olds are ‘always influenced’, according to GlobalData’s 2018 Q3 UK Consumer Survey.

Rebel’s Tip:

Heineken 0.0% are one of the campaign leaders in this segment, the brand’s £6m “Now You Can” campaign is the biggest seen so far for a non-alcoholic beer. Since their launch in March 2017 and has quickly became the fastest growing brand in the alcohol-free segment, growing 187% in the last year.