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This is the second post in a five-part blog series focused on the consumer products industry.

Adaptability, innovation, and differentiation are three important qualities consumer product (CP) companies must uphold in order to be successful in the ever-changing global market. The North American market upholds these ideas well through adapting technological improvements and having a good feel for the market climate. In turn with these abilities, the countries also work well with meeting the demands of their consumers, working through consolidating markets and executing strategies proficiently.

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Most people have a basic knowledge of the types of makeup individual’s use such as lipstick, eyeshadow and bronzer. However, in the past decade, more and more options have been arising for all aspects of enhancing one's natural beauty. Beauty blenders, highlighter, lip plumping kits are just a few of new additions to the makeup industry. Additionally, over the last 14 years, the cosmetic industry has been experiencing a consistent growth as a whole of about four percent annually. In May of 2017, the beauty industry was valued at about $445 billion creating an affluent industry for individuals, mainly women, who want to have big success in a self-starting industry.

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Who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese sandwich, bowl of ice cream, or a freshly grilled hamburger? All of these crowd favorites and more have been continuing to take a larger chunk of change out of the consumer’s pocket due to a global rise in food prices. Food prices reached a two-year high this past June due to the climb of meat, dairy and wheat prices internationally. There has been a growing demand for meat throughout the globe with beef being the fastest-growing meat category in Asia which in turn has let the U.S. begin shipping supplies to the Chinese market for the first time in 13 years. Analysts have estimated this could open up a multi-billion-dollar market for American producers in the coming decade. Also, butter has been the fasting growing in the dairy category, even leading to a severe butter shortage in France. (To learn more about “Buttergate” check one of our past blogs here) In the realm of all things wheat, cereal prices have skyrocketed due to the record-setting harvests of corn in South America this past year.

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After a long day of rushing from work to the gym to taking their child to soccer practice, many individuals come home too exhausted to think about cooking which has created the epidemic of fast and prepackaged foods. This uptake in the use of single-use packaging has aided in creating our culture of convenience and waste. The UK alone produces about 170m tons of waste annually, and it can take some materials up to 450 years to break down and others are not biodegradable at all.

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Terrorism, a word that has been popping up all over the news in the past decade. With multiple different forms of this horrendous crime, they are affecting the world in many different ways. The economic impact of terrorism has reached an all-time high with larger security measures being implemented, more cleanups occurring and less traveling taking place due to fear which has been instilled.

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Days are growing shorter, the temperature is dropping and families are beginning to dig their snow boots out of storage. Winter is fast approaching which means the lucrative ski market will begin to rise again worldwide. In America alone, the winter sports industry is valued at approximately 12 billion dollars and is expected to grow in the upcoming decades. However, many people are beginning to grow weary of the industry due to the looming idea of climate change.

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2017 is quickly coming to an end with many major holidays approaching in the blink of an eye. People are beginning to search for the perfect gift for their significant other and grandmothers. Black Friday, and more recently Cyber Monday has played a large part in the purchasing of holiday gifts. Black Friday originated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the 1950s and expanded across the globe in the last ten years.

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The Olympics have been a household staple occurring biannually for multiple centuries now. In less than 100 days, PyeongChang, South Korea will join the ranks of other cities who have had the honor of hosting the Games. This event kicks off with opening ceremonies starting on February 9th, with competitive events beginning on the 8th, till the 25th with 102 events in 15 sports. This year will be the first year for big air snowboarding, which is replacing the parallel slalom, mixed doubles curling, mass start speed skating and mixed team alpine skiing. However, with the hype of Olympics still growing, through social media, ticket sales have not been following the same trend.

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In 2015, Netflix streamed 42.5 billion hours of programming an incredible rise from the "mere" 29 billion hours in 2014 with the numbers predicted to continue growing. This averages out to about 568 hours a person in 2015 or watching the 288 episode series of Criminal Minds two and a half times through. Currently, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are the three companies who hold the most stock in streaming however by 2019 Apple and Disney are predicted to get into the running as well. Since streaming has become a daily occurrence for many people, multiple companies are investing more money into the service. Recently, many of the streaming platforms have begun to produce their own shows in hopes of raising their income. Netflix predicts they will spend about $8 billion on filming and producing original content in 2018 and Apple estimating about $1 billion to be spent on their own shows. Additionally, there are fewer restrictions on the content they can display which is a large draw for many since the censorship guidelines, for live television, have been ridiculed as being “too strict” in the past.

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Recently, technology has been hitting many new sectors of everyday life from reading, media and now clothing. The bra industry plays a major factor in the economic impact of clothing and now is attempting to flourish even more with the new technology being implemented into innovative products.

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Part two of this week's five-part series on cash crops and the impact they have around the world. 

Cash crops are a major economic factor in almost every region of the world. In North America, there is a wide variety of cash crops that are grown and sold. The biggest cash crops in modern day America currently are corn and soybeans; which bring in about 50 billion dollars each. However, these fields have been ever-changing for the last two centuries. The first cash crop which helped America’s economy grow is tobacco. Tobacco grew very well in the early Thirteen British-American Colonies,  this crop was especially prevalent in Virginia, people would immigrate to come work in the tobacco fields. With the population growing and money coming back into the economy, the colonies began to grow rapidly. Cash crops were one of the main reasons the United States is where it is today. Production of tobacco was one of the major reasons the early British-American Colonies grew as large as they did due to the influx of money into their economy. By the year 1630, the amount of tobacco sent from the Colonies to Great Britain totaled about 1.5 million pounds a year.

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Technology is evolving rapidly in many realms of the world. Currently, the light is focused on the use of robots in warehouses. The autonomous mobile robotics (AMR) are emerging worldwide from numerous start-up firms. 

Currently, Amazon is the main company producing and using automatic robots. In 2012, Amazon bought Kiva Systems turning their AMRs into their own product and rebranding them as “Amazon Robots”. These robots are said to be the future of factory work. Also, Amazon has recently discontinued the sale of their robots to other competitors such as Walgreens, Staples and The Gap, leading to a scramble of other companies worldwide attempting to enter the field.

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In the world today, everyone is looking into shortcuts for everything from cooking to driving and now for payment methods. The world as a whole is becoming a paperless society. According to a Business Insider report, more than one trillion dollars are exchanged through peer-to-peer (P2P) payments applications such as Venmo and PayPal. This number is expected to grow exponentially in the next couple of years.

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In the past decade, technology has changed the way people operate dramatically. Uber has enabled a user to order a car to their house and see, in real time, their ETA (estimated arrival time). Grubhub has helped one order food from places which usually do not deliver so the individual can stay on the couch and continue binging on the newest Netflix hit. Founded in 2008, Airbnb has now taken the world by storm, connecting travelers to places to stay in over 65,000 countries and 191 cities. Travelers all over enjoy the vast availability of options they have at their fingertips, from a single bed apartment to spending a night in a castle. However, this has begun to cause strife with the American Hotel and Lodging Association and hotels all over the world.

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Growing up, many kids turned to ketchup to go with every meal, from hot dogs to mac and cheese to scrambled eggs. Now, the condiment of choice has turned into Sriracha. In the past 16 years, the hot sauce market, specifically Sriracha sauce, in America has increase by 165%, which makes the market one of the fastest growing industries in the United States.

Sriracha is now becoming a global phenomenon with over 200 tons produced a week worldwide. David Tran, the creator of the spicy condiment, never trademarked his creation which has created more success for his name sake. Many imitations are produced in countries such as France, China, and Australia, which are sold alongside the original sauce produced by Huy Fong Foods.

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A memorable part of most people’s childhoods is learning how to ride a two wheeled bicycle. Now that skill is becoming a vital mode of transportation for many in Beijing, China. There are multiple start up apps running the main front of this business such as Mobike and Ofo. All one must do is download the app and it will locate the nearest bike. This service costs only 7 cents for a half hour and has taken off in Beijing. However not everyone is happy about the healthy, cheap new mode of transportation.

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The United Kingdom recently announced that they could be leaping into space by 2020. Up until now, the UK has been dependent on countries such as the United States, India and Japan to help launch their satellites. However, the British have just announced a proposal, the Spaceflight Bill, which contains information on the establishment and operation of spaceports across the United Kingdom. This proposal is estimated to be worth over 30 billion dollars in the next 20 years, which will open up ample opportunities for British scientists to explore the possibilities of antibiotic and vaccine creation in a zero-gravity environment.  

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The Danish firm Novo Nordisk confirmed on Monday, January 30th its investment of 144.5 million dollars to employ about 100 academics and scientists to perform research and treatments for type 2 diabetes. This investment has helped raise the economic standard of the UK which has been on a decline since the announcement of the Brexit. The research will occur in Oxford, but any new treatments are likely to be developed and produced in Denmark. This will help both countries economically, and boost confidence for further investments. 

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China has been one of the largest economies in the world for many years, however its place near the top has been impacted in recent times because of its currency. The yuan, the national currency for China, has been depreciating in value and will continue to do so into the first quarter of 2017. This decline has been the biggest for the Chinese yuan in the last two decades. For the past 14 consecutive months, money has been leaving China, causing a slump in the nation’s central banks. About 1.1 trillion dollars of foreign currency has vacated the country since China devalued the yuan in 2015.