TrendWatch Feb 2022

Welcome back to TrendWatch! In the Feb 2022 TrendWatch I’ve curated and researched 10 long-term, interesting trends from thousands that were flagged by the data engines at SISTRIX. This month is heavy on cultural trends, with a YouTube channel, slang, a few culinary trends and we even take a look at the darker side of Instagram.


18 month trend graph – boujee (USA)

According to Urban Dictionary, bougie means people who pretend to be rich, or people who think they’re rich when really they’re not. On the other hand, boujee can also mean the actual high class and elite, the ones with swagger. 

The word has returned to the zeitgeist thanks to the track “Bad and Boujee” by trap artist Migos. In one verse, rapper Offset spits, “I’m young and rich and plus I’m boujee (Hey) / I’m not stupid so I keep the Uzi (Rrah) / Rackaids on rackaids, got back-ends on back-ends / So my money makin’ my back ache (Aagh).”

As a result of the popularity of this song, the word “boujee” became part of African-American Vernacular English to describe the kind of folks who would have been called “yuppies” back in the 1980s. In Utah it was the most googled slang term of 2021.


18 month trend graph – ksi (UK)

KSI is an interesting example of what modern celebrity looks like. KSI’s career began in 2008 as a YouTuber, focusing on comedy and gaming. He has since used the platform to explore various career paths, and provided fans with a personalised channel to connect. 

Stemming from an online grudge match, KSI launched an amateur boxing career in 2017, which turned professional in 2019. After winning his match against Logan Paul II, KSI declared that he was done with boxing and moving on to other things. Which turned out to be a rapping career. 

Today he is well known as a rapper, and has a recent hit with established rapper Lil Wayne. To date, this has over 24 million views on YouTube alone. 

KSI has had several successful careers which have continued to build his online community. With 32.5 million YouTube subscribers, he was an early adopter of using social media to make genuine connections with his audience, who then became invested in his journey. KSI is an example of a modern grassroots celebrity. 

From our social platform data we’ve also pulled out the data on KSI’s follower growth on TikTok:

Air Fryer

18 month trend graph – air fryer (USA)

It’s taken some time for people to realise that marketers were in charge of naming this device. Patented by Philips Electronics Company in 2010, the air fryer claims to mimic the results of deep-frying with nothing more than hot air and little or no oil. In reality, an air fryer is basically just an amped-up countertop convection oven, with no frying involved.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m jumping on the bandwagon after witnessing my mom replace 90% of her cooking with this thing. For her, its selling point is the “frying” basket, which is easier to clean than all the pots and pans she’d normally cook with. Plus, the air fryer is fast, heats up instantly, and is so easy to use. 

An air fryer has a top section that holds a heating mechanism and fan. The food is placed into a fryer-style basket below and when it is turned on, hot air rushes down and around it. This rapid circulation makes the food crisp. It has a different shape to a countertop convection oven and this new design means the air fryer is much louder, but works quicker.  

For clarity, I wish they had marketed the air fryer as:

 “A countertop convection oven with a different shape. It’s really good at making things crispy and is the ultimate reheating device.”

This gadget has surged in popularity over the last few years – nearly 40% of US homes had one as of July 2020, according to the market research firm NPD Group. The weird marketing might have turned people like myself off. However, the more people that have them, the more word-of-mouth marketing they’re getting. The kitchen gadget that initially seemed like a fad is now a stable trend. 

Steve Paine