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Trendspotting

Feelin' the groove with the latest trends in 2000

HOT: Deep-fried fare. Market research firm NPD Intellect Group Inc. reports the number of deep fryers sold in 1999 was up 32 percent from 1998, while sales of steamers remained flat.

NOT: Battling the bulge. "Low-fat is out," insists Phyllis Ann Marshall of Costa Mesa, California, food-industry consulting company FoodPower. "People are just sick of it!"

HOT: Dream rooms. Treating work as a lifestyle has turned the conventional office on its ear. New York City PR firm Quinn & Co., for one, has softened harsh corporate standards by replacing its conference table with a comfy, purple sofa-and dubbing it "the dream room."

NOT:Conference rooms: "Office environments are becoming more home-like," says Florence Quinn, president of Quinn & Co. "Calling it a conference room is too harsh and corporate-sounding. We also have candles lit at our desks and dress casually, but that has been going on for a while."

HOT: Full-service restaurants. According to the National Restaurant Association, dining out at traditional, well-managed restaurants is expected to play an even bigger role in our everyday lives. Sales at full-service restaurants this year are projected to grow 5.9 percent (from $121 billion to $128.1 billion).

NOT: Themed eateries. The eye-catching monstrosities set up in high-traffic tourist traps; the cheesy, logo-emblazoned paraphernalia; the overly decorated walls; the outrageously priced diner-style meals-all have lost favor among 21st-century consumers, leaving themed restaurants in the dust as an official '90s fad.

HOT: Latin flavor. Beverage expert Robert Plotkin says Caribbean rums, mojitos and sangria are all big trends for the new millennium. The same goes for Latin rock clubs, such as the Jimmy Smits Congo Room in Los Angeles.

NOT: Cigar culture. Humidors and cigar clubs have lost their potent flavor. Though famous faces Demi Moore, Jim Belushi and Arnold Schwarzenegger are still seen puffing on stogies, USA Today reports industry sales are expected to fall at least 10 percent this year.

HOT: Group cycling. Group fitness activities have taken center stage, based on results from a trend report released by the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). According to an IHRSA survey, 61 percent of health clubs offered group cycling classes in 1998, up 46 percent from 1997.

NOT: Stationary bikes. Don't delude yourself-riding at home alone in front of the TV does not make you sweat like a group spinning class.

HOT: Form-fitting fashion. It's all about simplicity and good form in fashion these days, according to Young & Rubicam Inc.'s Brand Futures Group (BFG). Clean-lined clothes that show off the well-sculpted bods among us will be seen all over the place this year, predicts BFG trendspotters.

NOT: Unisex looks. Ditch the drippy cargo pants. BFG reports baggy and uniform looks are waning. It's all about individuality. Think simple . . . not singular.

HOT: Motorcycles. American Demographics notes that new registrations of large motorcycles are up more than 150 percent since 1991. Chris McIntyre of EagleRider Inc., a Harley Davison rental franchise, says, "With a Harley, you're able to integrate with society and truly experience the American dream. The whole thing is about enjoying life and experiencing it. That's what a Harley is."

NOT: Boats. Setting sail on the open sea isn't the norm anymore, according to American Demographics. Boat sales have grown a mere 25 percent since the end of the recession in 1991, paling in comparison to the two-wheeled hog.

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This article was originally published in the April 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Trendspotting.

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