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A bigger supply of small

Some refer to it as the “shrinking tsunami” while others cut to the chase with the “smaller is better” era. If you haven’t already noticed, products, places and things are shrinking while the masterminds behind the mini boom declare smaller is indeed actually better!

Why? This trend is allowing consumers to either live within their means or indulge in their favorite brand experiences that include luxuries. Smaller portions equal palatable prices! 

Let’s take a look at a few of the players involved in the “smaller is better” wave.

Rental apartments

Shrinking space was doomed to happen as a logical response to housing prices, especially in higher-priced markets. A prime example? San Francisco, where the smallest allowable apartment space is being cut by nearly a third. The new 220-sq-ft (20.4-sq-m) minimum (compared to the former 290-sq-ft/27-sq-m minimum) does include the kitchen, bathroom and closet space and is about the size of a one-car garage. I believe the trend could transcend as a benefit to hotels, especially those who happen to be recipients of unpleasant comments concerning smaller-than-average guestrooms. Repositioning the smaller guestroom as a “pied-a-terre” or an “urban room” could make it a desired craving very soon.

As a side note, similar building trends in New York City have led Mayor Michael Bloomberg to announce a contest for developers to design a building of micro-apartments measuring no larger than 300 sq ft (28 sq m). The prize? The winner gets to construct his or her brainchild at a city-owned site!

Furniture

According to Better Homes and Gardens, consumers are looking for smaller, space-efficient furniture and storage. Smaller also means there is a demand for greater functionality, which is one reason we’re seeing dual-purpose solutions such as “storage beds” — a great options for hotels looking to eliminate the bulky, space-consuming dresser.

Packaging

Reducing capacity to either maintain or reduce price has been evident with companies such as Tropicana and Heinz, who pioneered the path of new, intriguing containers while the content capacity was actually smaller.

This has also become evident in hospitality with items such as amenity bottles, water glasses, bedding and even ice buckets shrinking.

In the luxury products arena, companies are conceiving smaller yet highly creative packaging for both appeal and affordability. Take, for instance, Wine in a Tube, which allows the experience of great wines at lower prices.

Automotive

The shrinking trend is also taking place under the hoods of cars. Reports of new engine designs indicate they will significantly improve fuel efficiency as the overall efficiency increases. This includes cost, which, by the way, will be at a fraction of today’s hybrid technology.

I have my own random discoveries of things shrinking along with a rather bizarre, yet related, experience I recently had dining with a friend. After my friend selected a local Italian restaurant and ordered a heaping mound of pasta saturated with not one but multiple thick and creamy sauces, she pulled a petite spray can out of her handbag and proceeded to douse the pasta with some sort of aerosol. After noticing I was literally speechless, she proceeded to tell me she now coats her meals with a miraculous, innovative, all-natural, good-for-you new product, and one “I should really try.” After I responding with, “Why would I do such a thing?” (hoping the chef at the table next to us didn’t catch a glimpse), she gave me the most dumbfounded glare before proudly declaring, “This spray will help you to shrink!” Only in California, right?!

I look forward to hearing about some of your “smaller discoveries.”

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