Here's a #protip for future entrepreneurs and anyone running businesses: sell it to the millennials.
Born with a desire to return to an age they didn't grow up in, this group of vinyl-slaying, fixie-riding boys and girls are always on the hunt for a lifestyle that screams "I'm on the latest trend, but don't call me mainstream."
Over the past few years, we've seen the 'revival' of some forgotten delicacies and hobbies by sharp-eyed business owners banking on the money that hipsters would throw at them. From 'Raindrop Cakes', fusion Poke bowls and mason-jarred everything, to hipster bak kut tehs (the youngsters call it BKT now) and 'speakeasy' bars that aren't that secretive in our own backyard, you know the money in it is good.
Photo credit: http://www.tasteoftravel.at/ahi-poke-bowl/
Malaysia without a doubt has a lot of old forgotten gems waiting to be resurrected; so much so, that us folks at INKA looked into the crystal ball of trend-prediction to inform you of the top 5 Malaysian favourites that will trend among Malaysian hipsters in the next few months.
You can't possibly talk about hipsters without talking about coffee. But let's be real — no single origin nor signature blend coffee can ever top our homegrown kopitiam coffee!
So, what is artisanal kopitiam, you ask?
Picture a new wave of kopitiams where you can taste the best coffee Malaysia has to offer. From the silky smooth white coffee of Ipoh to the dark, aromatic, almost espresso-like black coffee from Kluang, these artisanal kopitiams will serve the best coffee of each state seasonally. Just like the other hipster coffee shops, but truly Malaysian.
The Moleskine and the Buku Nota 555 have 1 thing in common: millennials swear by the first and went through their school days with the latter. What if we marry these 2 things and make THE BEST NOTEBOOK THAT ALL OF MALAYSIA HAS EVER SEEN?
Combining the high-quality watercolour paper that Moleskine is well-known for, adorned with the signature 555 on the cover, Moleskine 555 is sure to invoke a thousand zaman sekolah memories. Don't worry about tearing up as you sketch on these notebooks, the watercolour paper can handle your emotions!
Step aside, Penang White Curry Noodles — enter the Black Curry Noodles. What began as an urban legend that sprouted up from local university social media platforms caught nationwide attention as bold students and brave foodies gave it a try.
While instant noodle manufacturers are still competing to recreate the success of Mykuali Penang White Curry Noodles, we're predicting that this peculiar combination of Milo and Maggi Curry will take hipster restaurants by storm in the next few months. Let the Black and White Curry War begin.
How can we talk about nostalgia without talking about toy boxes such as Ding Dang and Tora? Using mystery as their strategy and novelty toys as their allure, these things were staple in every Malaysian's childhood.
Using the same marketing strategy these companies employed, we can recreate the hype for these things via the "subscription box" business model which has seen growth since 2016, with success stories like Sprezzabox and 1up.
In other words, every subscriber receives a monthly subscription box which contains an array of nostalgic items, such as these:
Open up to a trip down memory lane.
Imagine walking into what you thought was a sushi bar just to be pleasantly surprised by the fact that they're serving some of your favourite childhood snacks like Mamee, Choki-Choki, Nini Chocolate Dip, and many more. For a small price, you get to eat as many Malaysian snacks as you want! Isn't that brilliant? #genius
There you have it, 5 things we believe will trend among Malaysian hipsters in the near future. Let us know if you think something belongs on this list!
From all of us at INKA, selamat Hari Kebangsaan! Merdeka!