How to Spot Trends Before They Happen (Hint: Trend Spotting)

by Josh Howarth
November 16, 2022

Trying to identify emerging trends without trend spotting software is virtually impossible — you can follow all of the “best practices” (i.e., listen to what competitors are doing, monitor social media, read news sites, check what’s trending on online marketplaces), but even then, it’s hard to identify really early trends before they’re popular topics. Even the most experienced trend analysts need to employ the help of web scraping AI to monitor online sites and detect indicators of new opportunities.

That’s why investors, business owners, marketers, entrepreneurs, and other business professionals who don’t have an extensive background in trend research (or the resources to dedicate to the task) use trend spotting software like Exploding Topics. On our platform, you can explore, analyze, and track new trends that have already been identified and verified by industry experts. It’s easy to use and saves a ton of time — and you don’t have to worry about missing out on the next big thing.

So in our post, we explain our trend research methodology and talk about how to use our features to discover new trends in your industry, perform trend analysis, and monitor trend growth.

Exploding Topics Pro Trial gives you complete access to our trend database where you can explore new products, business ideas, startups, and more across dozens of industries. Get started today.

The Exploding Topics Two-Step Trend Research Process

We use a two-step method to identify and verify new trends:

  1. Exploding Topics AI covers the tedious online monitoring and looks for evidence of new trends. We’re constantly scraping news outlets, social media platforms, podcasts, review sites, and forums, and we look at consumer behaviors on eCommerce sites like Amazon to find new product ideas, early startups, and other new trending topics.
  2. Trend analysts review the data our AI pulls to gauge the viability of each opportunity. Our goal during the second half of trend research is to discern short-term fads from long-term trends. This way, every trend on our site holds future value for your business strategy and you’re not wasting time or money investing in trends that won’t be relevant a couple of months down the line.

We pull trends across a dozen plus categories so you can research trends across a wide variety of industries and find unique product ideas, investment opportunities, and other valuable insights to guide your business strategy. Some of the categories we cover include:

  • Beauty
  • Crypto
  • Design
  • Eco
  • eCommerce
  • Fashion
  • Fitness
  • Food
  • Lifestyle
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Software
  • Sports
  • Startups
  • Technology
  • Travel

Exploding Topics Trend Reports

You can stay updated on the fastest-growing trends with our weekly trend reports. We email these at the start of each week, and every newsletter covers ten trends (across a variety of categories). We include an in-depth analysis of every trend so you can gather more background on trends, understand their relevance, and forecast future interest.

Here’s a look at one of our recent trend reports with our write-up on Tremella Mushrooms and how they’re being used as a popular new skincare ingredient.


We also save trend reports in your dashboard so you can easily reference past reports. (And when you start a Pro subscription we give you access to up to 10 previous reports so you can look back at some of the popular trends we’ve already covered.)

Read More: Market Trend Reports (+ Trend Discovery, Analysis, & Tracking)

Exploding Topics Trend Discovery Features

In addition to our trend reports, we give you tools to research new trends on your own. These include:

  • Database
  • Trend search
  • Meta Trends Library

The trend database is where we store all available trend data — you can search trends by category and then filter down to find the earliest trends.

For example, if you want to look at the newest fashion trends, you would select Fashion, change the date range to “Past three months,” and update the status to Regular.


Then, you can access the trend search to look up trends you’ve heard about through other research methods. We’ll show you all of the available trend data with a list of related trends so you can explore other (lesser-known) opportunities.

For example, say you wanted to research creatine supplements to find new product ideas, you could type “creatine” in the search to see the general interest in the category.


Then, we show you a list of related topics and search queries so you can learn more about consumer interest in the product and what types of creatine supplements are becoming popular.


With all of this information, you can decide if this is a product you want to invest in, then do more digging to see which creatine supplements are valuable to offer customers.

Read more: 7 Google Trends Alternatives & Competitors (2022)

You can also start research from the Meta Trends tab to explore collections of related trends grouped by higher-level concepts — so instead of searching trends by category, you can get more specific in your starting point and look at types of products, technologies, or services.


Some examples of Meta Trends include AI-Powered Content Generating Tools, Visual Collaboration Tools, Talent Search Tech, DTC Pet Food, and DTC Self-Care Products.

We provide a quick background and analysis for each Meta Trend, then we display all of the related trends on an interactive diagram so you can see all of the trends that make up the Meta Trend alongside other closely-related trends. As you click around the diagram, you can view overview information for each of the trends listed.

So let’s look at DTC Self-Care Products as an example:


In our write-up, we explain how the self-care market is expected to grow over the next couple of years. In the diagram, we display the most popular self-care brands, like Skinkraft and Manscaped, closest to the center. On the outside, you can see other related trends, like PearPop and Booktok. Below, we list other related Meta Trends. That way, you can learn more about opportunities in the DTC Self-Care space and continue researching other market trends.

Then, when you find a trend you’re interested in, you can open the overview window to view all of the information we have on the topic.

How to Perform Trend Analysis in Exploding Topics

We gather data on trend search volume and calculate growth rates so you can understand the evolution of trends and make predictions for future growth.

When you open the overview window, you can see a quick description of the trend. We display search volume and growth rate above the interactive trend graph. As you review trend data, you can change the graph’s timeline and move your mouse to see metrics for different dates. The search volume is represented by the solid line, with the growth rate illustrated by the shaded slope.

Then, we assign each trend a status so you can gauge where it's at in its lifecycle:

  • Regular trends are the absolute newest trends. There isn’t as much data on these trends because they’re so new, but this is where the really early opportunities are.
  • Exploding trends are a little more well-known and becoming increasingly popular. Interest in these trends is growing fast, so it’s smart to jump on these opportunities before they’re saturated.
  • Peaked trends are businesses, products, etc. that are already very well-known. There aren’t a lot of new opportunities here, but when you look at related trends, you can find more unique opportunities.

We also display the related categories and other trends you might be interested in so you can pivot to other topics and explore those opportunities.

For example, here’s a look at the trend data for Playtomic, a new software that allows users to book sports courts and connect with other players nearby.


We can see that interest in the software took off around mid-2021, and as of July 2022, there were 87 searches per day for Playtomic. The slope shows steady growth in the next years, so we can predict that interest in the platform will only continue to grow.

Below the graph, we see Playtomic is an Exploding topic in the Sports and Technology categories, so it’s a trend that’s starting to take off and gain more popularity. So if you were interested in this platform, you’d want to start exploring opportunities and planning to take action.

Finally, at the bottom of the page, you can see other trends that relate to Playtomic, like Sportening (another sports app).

Exploding Topics Trend Tracking Dashboard

As you explore, you can click “Track Topic” to save trends to your dashboard and track trend growth. The Projects feature lets you segment and store trends by category so you can research trends in different categories and maintain an organized dashboard.

For example, in the screenshot below, trends are organized by “Luxury Organic Skincare” and “Design & Home Decor,” so this user can log in and find what they’re interested in without having to do much digging.


You can also set notifications for trend updates and we’ll send email alerts when search volume or growth rate spikes. This makes it easy to stay in the loop, so you never miss out on opportunities and can take action when the time is right for your business.

Exploding Topics also has an API so you can connect our web scraping API with your other business applications or reporting tools and leverage trend data in those systems. You can learn more about that here.

Get Started with a Pro Trial & Begin Researching Early Trends

If you want to spot new trends before they happen, you need trend spotting software like Exploding Topics because it can scrape online sites to find the earliest indicators of new trends (before you’d ever think to research them). You can start trend research with data that’s already been vetted and verified by our trend research group — and our user-friendly tools are intuitive enough to learn in an afternoon.

You can learn more about our trend research solution by starting a Pro Trial — we give you full access to our trend database and other trend discovery features. You can brush up on recent trend reports and start tracking trends that interest you. Get started today.

Related Read: 10 Best Sites for Market Research (2023 Guide)