Tribal Gaming Operations

Gaming - RouletteThe year 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of federally regulated tribal gaming in the United States. President Ronald Reagan signed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act on October 17, 1988. It established the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) and the regulatory structure for gaming on tribal lands.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Native American communities opened bingo parlors to provide economic opportunities to those living on the reservations. State law allowed bingo parlors in California and Florida, but the industry was heavily regulated. Some tribes did not comply with these regulations and the states tried to shut down the operations. The tribes, however, claimed the states had no jurisdiction on the reservations. The Supreme Court affirmed reservation sovereignty in the 1987 case California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians. The court ruled unless a state prohibits all gambling, that state cannot prohibit or regulate gaming on reservations. As a result, more tribes began opening gaming establishments. At the same time, states lobbied the federal government to pass laws that would allow them to regulate such businesses. The regulations, they argued, would help prevent organized crime. They also wanted to tax tribal gaming revenue.

Congress’s response was The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. It established three classes of gaming and separate regulations for each. Class I gaming includes traditional gaming used in celebrations and ceremonies and social gaming for small prizes. These are exclusively regulated by the tribes themselves. For Class II gaming, which includes bingo and non-banked card games, tribes have the authority to conduct, regulate and license such businesses, but all regulations are subject to approval by the NIGC. Class III games are usually found in a casino: slot machines, blackjack, and roulette, for example. Tribes are restricted in their ability to regulate such gaming. Among other requirements, the tribe must enter into a compact with the state in which the casino will operate and this compact must be approved by the Secretary of the Interior.

Today’s market size shows the number of tribal gaming operations in the United States and total gross revenues for 1997, 2007 and 2017. In 1988 tribal gaming grossed $110 million. In 2017, $32.4 billion. The 494 gaming operations in existence in 2017 were owned by 242 federally recognized tribes.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 1997, 2007 and 2017
Market size (number of operations): 266, 391 and 494, respectively
Market size (gross revenue): $7.5 billion, $26.1 billion and $32.4 billion, respectively
Sources: “Gross Gaming Revenue Reports,” National Indian Gaming Commission, available online here; “Indian Gaming Regulatory Act,” Wikipedia, August 20, 2018 available online here; “2017 Indian Gaming Revenues Increase 3.9% to $32.4 Billion,” National Indian Gaming Commission Press Release, June 26, 2018 available online here.
Image source: GregMontani, “luck-lucky-number-17-roulette-839037,” Pixabay, July 12, 2015 available online here.

Diabetic Shoes

Diabetic shoesAccording to the World Health Organization, more than 400 million people in the world were living with diabetes in 2014, up from 108 million in 1980. The International Diabetes Federation predicts this number will reach 645 million by 2040. Type 1 diabetes, sometimes called juvenile or childhood-onset diabetes, occurs when a person’s immune system attacks the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. As a result, people living with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin on a daily basis. There is no known way to prevent Type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs when a person’s body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Most of the people with diabetes have this form of the disease, including 90-95% of people with diabetes in the United States. People with excess body weight and who are physically inactive are at a higher risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes as are those with a family history of Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes, but in recent years this condition has been seen in children also. While some people with Type 2 diabetes can control their blood sugar with diet and exercise, others need medications to do so. Some classes of medications to treat Type 2 diabetes either help the body secrete more insulin or improve the body tissue’s sensitivity to insulin in order for the body to use it more effectively. In some cases, those with Type 2 diabetes have to take insulin also. Other types of diabetes include gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy and goes away after the baby is born; monogenic diabetes, which is an inherited form of diabetes; and cystic fibrosis-related diabetes.

If a person’s blood sugar is not properly controlled, high blood glucose levels can contribute to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, dental disease, nerve damage, poor circulation and foot problems. Because of poor circulation, any injury to the foot may take longer to heal or lead to infection. If there is nerve damage, a person may not realize that they have a foot injury and the problem could be exacerbated. Nerve damage can also change the shape of the foot making regular shoes feel uncomfortable. Diabetic shoes are a type of orthopedic shoe for people with neuropathy, nerve damage, a foot deformity or an existing foot injury. They are designed to relieve excess pressure on the foot, reduce shock, reduce joint motion and provide extra room for custom orthotics. These shoes can be custom-made from a mold of a person’s foot to provide a better fit.

Today’s market size shows the total global sales of diabetic shoes in 2015 and projected for 2024. In 2015, more than half of sales—$2.54 billion—were in the United States. As the number of people with diabetes increases, the population ages, disposable incomes rise, and innovations in design create more comfortable and stylish shoes, the market for diabetic shoes is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.1% from 2016 to 2024.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2015 and 2024
Market size: $5.0 billion and $9.9 billion, respectively
Sources: “Diabetic Shoes Market,” Transparency Market Research Report Preview, February 2017 available online here; “Diabetes,” World Health Organization, November 15, 2017 available online here; “What is Diabetes?” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, November 2016 available online here; Stephanie Watson and Kathryn Watson, “Do I Need Diabetic Shoes?” Healthine, July 15, 2016 available online here; “Type 2 Diabetes,” Mayo Clinic available online here.
Image source: Brainy J [CC0], from Wikimedia Commons, July 8, 2014 available online here.

Women’s Footwear in China

Women's footwearWhere were your shoes made? More than 60% of shoes sold globally are manufactured in and exported from China. In China, the market for women’s footwear has seen a compounded annual growth rate of 8.7% over the past 5 years. As disposable income rises, many consumers want to buy higher quality footwear. Several foreign luxury brands such as Bally, Christian Louboutin, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton, to name a few, are courting the Chinese consumer by using social media marketing and partnerships with Chinese influencers and celebrities, as well as employing Chinese actresses as spokespersons in order to increase their market share. Today’s market size shows the total sales of women’s footwear in China in 2016 and 2018. The figure for 2018 is projected.

Geographic reference: China
Year: 2016 and 2018
Market size: 224.7 billion RMB ($33.8 billion) and more than 260 billion RMB ($39.1 billion), respectively
Sources: Christine Lee, “Fashion Houses Fight for Market Share in the Booming Chinese Shoe Market,” Jing Daily, July 19, 2018 available online here.
Image source: Capri23auto, “high-heeled-shoes-pumps-2812638,” Pixabay, November 2017 available online here.

Firewall as a Service

cloud computing security firewallA firewall prevents unauthorized access to a network based on a defined set of security rules. For more than two decades firewalls have been used to provide network security. Firewalls can be hardware-based or software-based or both.

Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) is a cloud-based service in which an organization’s firewall is centralized to monitor traffic coming from multiple locations within the organization, from mobile users and the internet. Without using FWaaS, employees in a company’s IT department may spend time maintaining multiple firewalls in multiple locations. Besides responding to cyber threats, this includes updating hardware and software to thwart new threats or to comply with new government regulations and verifying that security rules are consistent throughout the network. FWaaS creates a centralized point of access for network traffic with the ability to automatically scale the service depending upon need, adding more network locations or adding bandwidth capabilities. The provider of these services is responsible for maintaining the firewall infrastructure. FWaaS providers have dedicated security teams that monitor systems, provide necessary updates and respond to network security threats.

Today’s market size shows the amount spent globally on FWaaS in 2017 and 2022. Data for 2022 are projected. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 24.9% from 2017 to 2022. An increasing need for more sophisticated network security, the ability to rapidly upgrade firewall protocols, and reduced operating costs are some reasons the demand for FWaaS is expected to increase over the next 5 years. Major vendors of FWaaS are Barracuda Networks, Cato Networks, Check Point Software Technologies, Cisco Systems, Forcepoint, Fortinet, Juniper Networks, Palo Alto Networks, WatchGuard, and Zscaler.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2017 and 2022
Market size: $0.56 billion and $1.70 billion respectively
Sources: “Firewall as a Service Market Worth 1.70 Billion USD by 2022,” Cision PR Newswire, March 2, 2018 available online here; Dave Greenfield, “What is Firewall as a Service and Why Do You Need It?” Cato Networks, April 16, 2018 available online here; Alan Zeichick, “Understanding Cloud-Based Firewalls,” enterprise.nxt, February 20, 2017 available online here; “What is a Firewall?” Cisco, available online here.
Original source: MarketsandMarkets
Image source: wynpnt, “cloud-computing-network-internet-2001090,” Pixabay, January 23, 2017 available online here.

Web Application Firewalls

CybersecurityA web application is a computer program that uses an internet browser as a client interface. Some examples of web applications are email clients such as Gmail; productivity applications such as G Suite and Microsoft 365, which include word processors and spreadsheets; and multi-player online gaming applications. Online banking and investing websites that allow users to access their accounts and perform transactions are also examples of web applications. As these applications have gotten more complex and the storage of sensitive data has gotten more prevalent, the need for sophisticated security has increased.

One type of security measure is a firewall. A firewall prevents unauthorized access to a network based on a defined set of security rules. For more than two decades firewalls have been used to provide network security. Some types of firewalls include packet-filtering, state-inspection, unified threat management, and next-generation. Early firewalls examined the packets that came through the network, but they couldn’t distinguish between valid application layer protocol requests, data, and malicious code disguised as valid traffic or data. The need for application layer protection became necessary as attacks against web servers became more frequent. Benefits of application layer firewall protection include being able to block specific content or websites, control the execution of files and control the handling of data by specific applications.

Today’s market size shows the amount spent on web application firewalls globally in 2017 and projected for 2023. Governmental organizations and e-commerce companies are the top two targets of cyber attacks. The organizations themselves are not the only ones vulnerable to attack. The malware that infects the web application can infect the users’ computers also.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2017 and 2023
Market size: $2.37 billion and $5.92 billion respectively
Sources: “Global Web Application Firewall Market 2018-2023 – Segmented by Component, Organization Size, Industry Vertical, and Region –,” Business Wire Press Release, May 14, 2018 available online here; Margaret Rouse, Casey Clark and Michael Cobb, “Firewall,” TechTarget, February 2018 available online here; “What is a Firewall?” available online here; Daniel Nations, “What Exactly Is a Web Application?” Lifewire, February 22, 2018, updated by Elise Moreau available online here.
Image source: JanBaby, “security-secure-locked-technology-2168233,” Pixabay, March 23, 2017 available online here.

Bitcoin Ransomware Payments

RansomwareAccording to the 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, in 2017 there were 53,308 cybersecurity incidents worldwide with more than 2,200 data breaches. As a percentage of all malware incidents, ransomware incidents have risen dramatically since 2013. More than 40% of malware incidents involved ransomware in 2017. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that prevents a user from accessing their computer or mobile device, either by disabling the operating system or encrypting files, until a ransom is paid. The ransom usually totals a few hundred dollars per infected computer. Ransomware can infect servers as well as individual devices. People clicking on an infected email attachment, visiting infected websites or clicking on ads that contain malware are some ways that computers can get infected. Ransomware targets vulnerabilities in software. Updates to software attempt to remove these vulnerabilities so that cybercriminals can’t exploit them.

According to the FBI, ransomware infects more than 100,000 computers worldwide per day and payments to cybercriminals total nearly $1 billion per year. However, the cost of a ransomware attack goes beyond the payment to the attacker. Even after paying the ransom about 20% of companies do not get their data back. The costs associated with business downtime, recovery of files and increased spending on cybersecurity are many times greater. According to Kaspersky Lab, in 2016 the average ransom demand was $300, but the average cost to a small to medium-sized company due to a ransomware attack was $99,000. Globally, the cost of cybercrime is expected to reach $6 trillion by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. Today’s market size shows the minimum amount of ransom paid to cybercriminals in Bitcoin from 2013 to mid-2017 based on analysis of 35 ransomware families. As of May 2018, there were more than 500 known families of ransomware that demand Bitcoin as payment.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2013 to mid-2017
Market size: $12.8 million
Sources: Alex Lielacher, “Size of Bitcoin Ransomware Market ‘Overhyped’ in the Media,” Brave NewCoin, April 23, 2018 available online here; “Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein Delivers Remarks at the Cambridge Cyber Summit,” The United States Department of Justice, October 4, 2017, updated October 6, 2017 available online here; Masara Paquet-Clouston, et. al., Ransomware Payments in the Bitcoin Ecosystem, May 2018 available online here; 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, 11th Edition, Verizon, April 2018 available online here; “The Cost of Cryptomalware: SMBs at Gunpoint,” Kaspersky Lab Daily, September 7, 2016 avalable online here; Tamara Chuang, “Inside the Profitable Underworld of Ransomware,” Government Technology, March 5, 2018 available online here.
Image source: TheDigitalArtist, “ransomware-cyber-crime-malware-2320941,” Pixabay, May 18, 2017 available online here.

Summer Enrichment Programs

summer enrichment programs, summer campWhat did you do on your summer vacation? The ubiquitous question that’s asked of children and young adults as they return to classes in the fall. The responses may differ greatly depending upon what country the student lives in or how wealthy their parents are. Many students may say they attended summer camp. When parents and grandparents in the United States think of their experiences at summer camp they may remember rustic cabins, swimming, canoeing, arts and crafts, and sitting around a campfire in the evenings. However, increasingly in the U.S. and around the world summer camps, or summer enrichment programs as they are sometimes called, cater to niche interests or focus on in-demand workforce skills. According to the American Camp Association, the percentage of camps offering science, technology, engineering, and math programs grew from less than 25% in 2014 to more than 33% in 2017. Demand for such camps is increasing as more affluent parents want to give their children not only an enjoyable experience but also a competitive advantage in school and in the workforce, even if many of these students are still in elementary school. As summer enrichment programs become more specialized, exclusive, and expensive, fewer students from lower- and middle-income families will be able to take advantage of these opportunities.

In China, many wealthy parents send their children abroad in the summer to take advantage of study tours in the hopes of broadening their children’s view of the world and preparing them to attend college in other countries. Today’s market size shows the estimated amount Chinese parents will spend on study tours abroad in 2018. An estimated 1 million Chinese students will take these tours this year. According to Chu Zhaohui, a researcher at the National Institute of Education Sciences,1 the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia are the top three destinations for study abroad tours.

1 The National Institute of Education Sciences is a research division of the Ministry of Education in the People’s Republic of China.

Geographic reference: China
Year: 2018
Market size: $4.5 billion
Sources: “Mutually Assured Distraction,” The Economist, August 11, 2018, page 47; Ma Xuejing, “Study Tours Abroad More Hype Than Substance,” China Daily, June 22, 2018 available online here.
Original source: Ctrip, a Chinese travel agency
Image source: davidraynisley, “paddle-summer-camp-camp-summer-3414020,” Pixabay, May 2018 available online here.

Organic Food

Organic foodSales of organic food have grown considerably since 1990 when the Organic Food Production Act was signed into law. That law authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program. One of the many responsibilities of this program is to develop standards for organically-produced agricultural products that have the USDA organic seal, ensuring that products meet consistent, uniform standards. These standards, along with the USDA organic seal, were first implemented in 2002. The program also maintains a list of certified organic operations and helps farmers and businesses learn how to get certified. In 2017 there were more than 24,000 certified organic operations in the United States. Between 1990 and 2002 sales of organic food products increased nearly 9-fold, from $1 billion in 1990 to $8.6 billion in 2002. In 2017, sales were more than $45 billion.

While still a small portion of overall food sales, organic food sales growth has outpaced overall food sales growth in each of the last ten years. Sales of organic food grew 17.5% in 2008, the highest growth in the last decade. That same year overall food sales grew 4.9%. In 2008, organic food sales made up 3.1% of all food sales in the country. By 2017, organic food sales grew to 5.5% of total food sales. Growth in the organic food sector that year slowed to 6.4%, but it was still well above the 1.1% growth in the overall food sector.

Fruits and vegetables were the largest organic food category in 2017, with sales of $16.5 billion, followed by dairy and eggs. However, the dairy and egg sector faced competition from the growing popularity of non-dairy milk alternatives and the USDA’s withdrawing of regulations in the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule in 2017, which caused many consumers to question the meaning of the USDA seal on these products, reduced demand. Growth in organic beverage sales outpaced overall organic food sales growth by 64% in 2017. Sales of organic fresh juices alone jumped 25%, reaching $1.2 billion or slightly more than one-fifth of total organic beverage sales that year.

Today’s market size shows the total sales of organic food for the years 2008 and 2017. According to a study conducted by Nielsen, 82% of households in the lower 48 states regularly bought organic food in 2017. This is up considerably from just 3 years earlier when a Gallup poll reported that 45% of households actively try to include organic foods in their diet.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2008 and 2017
Market size: $20.4 billion and $45.2 billion respectively.
Sources: Maggie McNeil, “Maturing U.S. Organic Sector Sees Steady Growth of 6.4 Percent in 2017,” Organic Trade Association Press Release, May 18, 2018 available online here; “National Organic Program,” United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Marketing Service avalable online here; Nate Birt, “Study: 82% of U.S. Households Buy Organic Food Regularly,” AgWEb, March 24, 2017 available online here; Rebecca Riffkin, “Forty-Five Percent of Americans Seek Out Organic Foods,” Gallup, August 7, 2014 available online here; Laura Batcha, “Organic Farming Has So Many Benefits for People,” Lansing State Journal, July 22, 2018, page 9A.
Image source: ErikaWittlieb, “vegetables-supermarket-market-food-1100198,” Pixabay, December 22, 2015 available online here. Use of image does not constitute endorsement of supermarket shown.

Airbnb Market in the Finger Lakes Wine Region of New York

Finger Lakes Wine RegionFrom the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, consumption of wine in the United States trended downward, however, since 1994 wine consumption has been trending upward. That year about 400 million gallons of wine were consumed. In 2016, 790 million gallons were. In the early 2000s, wholesalers began moving away from selling wine from small producers because demand for wine could be met by larger producers. As a result, owners of small vineyards began focusing their marketing efforts on tasting room experiences and direct-to-consumer sales to promote their products. In 2017, 60% of winery sales on average came from direct-to-consumer sources, more so the smaller the winery. For the largest wineries, less than 10% of sales were direct-to-consumer.

Agritourism, defined as “a commercial enterprise at a working farm, ranch, or agricultural plant conducted for the enjoyment of visitors that generates supplemental income for the owner,”1 of which winery tours are a part, grew in popularity around this time as more people became interested in experiential travel, healthy eating, learning about the food that they consume, and learning about rural, agricultural life. State and local tourism agencies began promoting wine trails, groups of wineries in close proximity that a tourist can visit in a day, as vacation destinations. These trails also offer themed events throughout the year in some cases pairing wine with food and art to appeal to a variety of visitors to the region. Restaurants, hotels, motels and other lodging options such as those offered on Airbnb2 also are benefitting from wine tourism. Today’s market size shows the amount Airbnb hosts in the Finger Lakes Wine Region of New York earned in 2017. Most of the 26,600 tourists who booked Airbnb lodging in this region came from nearby cities such as New York City, Rochester, and Buffalo. The Finger Lakes Wine Region is centered around Keuka, Seneca and Cayuga Lakes and includes more than 100 wineries, distilleries, and breweries. For comparison, Airbnb hosts in the Niagara Wine Region of Canada earned $12.9 million and welcomed more than 163,000 guests.

1“What is Agritourism?” University of California Small Farm Program, June 1, 2012 available online here
2Mention of the company and its market size does not constitute an endorsement.

Geographic reference: Finger Lakes Wine Region, New York
Year: 2017
Market size: $3.8 million
Sources: The Citizen Staff, “Airbnb: Finger Lakes Wines a Draw,” The Citizen, June 3, 2018; Rob McMilan, State of the Wine Industry 2018, Silicon Valley Bank, 2018 available online here; “What is Agritourism?” University of California Small Farm Program, June 1, 2012 available online here; “Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail,” America’s Wine Trails, LLC available online here; “Taste,” Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism and Marketing Association, 2018 available online here.
Image source: By Flickr user: Valerie Knoblauch Canandaigua, New York [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Amusement and Theme Parks

Number of amusement parksWithin the economic sector Arts, Entertainment and Recreation is the Amusement and Theme Park Industry. According to the U.S. Census Bureau “[t]his industry comprises establishments … primarily engaged in operating a variety of attractions, such as mechanical rides, water rides, games, shows, theme exhibits, refreshment stands, and picnic grounds. These establishments may lease space to others on a concession basis.” As the graph above shows (click graph to enlarge), the number of amusement and theme parks fluctuated from 1998 to 2016. Some years there were fewer than the previous year; some years there were more. However, overall the number trended downward. There were 37.7% fewer amusement and theme parks in 2016 than there were in 1998. Employment in this industry also fluctuated during this time period, but in this case, the trend was upward. There were 37.1% more people employed in this industry in 2016 than in 1998: 157,336 and 114,786 respectively.

Fewer amusement and theme parks employing more people would indicate that overall these parks were larger in 2016 than in 1998. In 1998, the top 3 states with the most amusement and theme parks were Florida (87), Texas (82) and California (81). By 2016, Texas had the most parks with 74, followed by Florida and California with 59 and 54 respectively. However, of these three states, Texas employed the fewest workers in this industry, 8,965; Florida the most, 58,187. In 1998, Florida also employed the most workers in this industry, 38,844, followed by California (31,330) and Texas (12,352). How much did employees earn? In 1998, the average yearly salary for an amusement and theme park worker was $16,378. In 2016, $26,427, a 61.4% increase. Adjusting for inflation, the increase was not as large, 11.3%, but still outpaced inflation.

Today’s market size shows the revenues amusement and theme parks in the United States earned in 1998 and 2016. Revenues increased 131.2% during this time period, or slightly more than 59% when adjusting for inflation.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 1998 and 2016
Market size: $7.4 billion and $17.1 billion respectively
Sources: 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2016 Service Annual Survey, various publication dates available online here; County Business Patterns, various publication dates available online here; “Table B-3: Quantity and price indexes for gross domestic product, and percent changes, 1967-2017,” Economic Report of the President, February 2018 available online here; “2017 NAICS Definition: 713110 Amusement and Theme Parks,” North American Industry Classification System available online here.
Image source: Created in-house using data from County Business Patterns. Click graph to enlarge.


Polypropylene recycling symbolPolypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer made from propylene monomers and catalysts. It was first polymerized in 1951 by Philips petroleum scientists Paul Hogan and Robert Banks. In 1954 Italian chemist Giulio Natta perfected and synthesized the first polypropylene resin. By 1957 it was in widespread commercial production across Europe. Currently, it is one of the most commonly produced plastics in the world.

Because polypropylene can be combined with other polymers, the types of end uses can vary widely making it a versatile material with which to work. In 2016 global demand was 45 million metric tons, 30% of which was used in the packaging industry. Some other uses include automotive parts, furniture, dishwasher-safe plates, toys, carpets, upholstery, laboratory equipment and medical devices.

Today’s market size shows the estimated global sales of polypropylene in 2017 and projected for 2022. Polypropylene homopolymers are expected to be the fastest-growing type during this time period due to increasing demand in the automotive and medical industries, especially in the Asia Pacific region. The market for polypropylene is expected to grow the fastest in China, followed by India and South Korea from 2017 to 2022.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2017 estimated and 2022 projected
Market size: $75.40 billion and $99.17 billion respectively
Sources: “The Polypropylene Market Size is Estimated at USD 75.40 Billion and Projected to Reach USD 99.17 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 5.6% Between 2017 and 2022,” CISION PR Newswire Press Release, February 1, 2018 available online here; “Everything You Need to Know About Polypropylene (PP) Plastic,” Creative Mechanisms, 2016 available online here; and “Polypropylene,” Wikipedia, April 23, 2018 available online here.
Image source: OpenIcons,”recycle-5-pp-recycling-plastic-98858,” Pixabay, April 1, 2013 available online here.

Fatty Amides

Plastic food packagingFatty amides, organic compounds derived from fatty acids, are used as slip agents and anti-blocking agents in polyolefin film processing. They’re added to the polymer from which the film is made. When the film is pressed, the fatty amides come to the surface and decrease the coefficient of friction between the film and the machine rollers to aid in the processing of the film. The fatty amides also prevent the layers from sticking together so that the rolls of film can be more easily unwound for further processing. Erucamide, oleamide, stearamide, and behenamide are the most commonly used fatty amides. Oleamide is widely used in food packaging and as a dispersing agent in printing inks and dyes. Erucamide had the largest share of the fatty amide market in 2016. It’s used as a slip agent, anti-fogging agent, and lubricant for polyolefin films used in food packing.

Today’s market size shows the total worldwide sales of fatty amides in 2017 and projected for 2022. The increasing demand for bio-based products, as opposed to petroleum-based products, is expected to fuel growth in this industry in the next 5 years. However, price volatility is expected to impede this growth during this time period. The market for fatty amides in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow the fastest due to the rising population and increased demand for packaged foods.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2017 and 2022 projected
Market size: $320.7 million and $391.5 million
Sources: “The Fatty Amides Market Size Will Grow From USD 320.7 Million in 2017 to USD 391.5 Million by 2022, at a CAGR of 4.07%,” CISION PR Newswire, March 8, 2018 available online here; “Fatty Amides Market,” Global Market Study on Fatty Amides: Increasing Demand from Film & Sheets Industry to Drive Growth of Market During the Forecast Period 2016 – 2022, Persistence Market Research Press Release, March 2016 available online here; Kenneth J. Longmoore and Edward K. Bullock, “Slip Agents and Polypropylene Films Prepared Therefrom,” United States Patent, No. US 6,497,965 B1, December 24, 2002 available online here.
Image source: ToddTrumble, “green-beans-plastic-bag-vegetable-1377124,” Pixabay, May 11, 2016 available online here.

Fitness Studios

Fitness studios are businesses that specialize in fitness activities such as personal training, Pilates, yoga, indoor cycling, small group training and martial arts. Dance studios are also considered fitness studios. In 2015, 22.5 million people in the United States were members or regular clients of fitness studios. Prior to 2010, many health-conscious consumers would visit large commercial health clubs, public recreation facilities or the YMCA to exercise. Since then there has been a shift toward wanting more specialized exercise programs. In addition, connecting with others who share their fitness interests has become a priority for many people. Fitness studios are smaller than traditional health clubs, offer personalized service and small class sizes. More than 88% are independently owned. In 2015 most were personal training studios (offering small group training in addition to personal training) and mind/body studios (offering yoga, Pilates, and barre classes). While people want specialization in their fitness routine, they are not limiting themselves to just one type. A majority of fitness studio members—64% to 91%, depending on studio discipline—belonged to more than one type of fitness studio in 2014.

Today’s market size shows the total revenue earned by fitness studios in the United States in 2015. There were more than 100,000 fitness studios operating in the United States that year. In 2014 most were located in the Pacific region, followed by the South East and Mid-Atlantic regions. The Pacific, Mountain, and Mid-Atlantic regions all had a higher percentage of fitness studios than health clubs. According to the Association of Fitness Studios 2018 Trend Report, some large health clubs are creating studio-in-the-club spaces in order to capitalize on members’ trending preferences for a fitness studio experience.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2015
Market size: $22 billion
Sources: “Fitness Studio Fact Sheet,” Association of Fitness Studios available online here; AFS and ClubIntel, 2015 Fitness Studio Operating & Financial Benchmarking Report, Association of Fitness Studios, 2015 available online here; Association of Fitness Studios Trend Report: Top 12 Fitness Studio Trends for 2018 available online here.
Image source: GabrielaLitschi, “yoga-practice-woman-health-876744,” Pixabay, August 7, 2015 available online here.


Bookmobiles GraphBookmobiles, mobile libraries in vans, trucks or other large vehicles, reach underserved populations in the community. In many parts of the country, especially in rural, remote areas, people live too far from a library branch to take advantage of its services. In poor neighborhoods, children may not have access to the public library. Their parents may not have time to take them to the library after a long day’s work or may not make reading at home a priority. Seniors in assisted living facilities and nursing homes are two other groups served by bookmobiles. Besides providing books and movies, bookmobiles also provide high-speed internet access to people who may not have access otherwise.

Today’s market size shows the number of bookmobiles in the United States in 1990 and 2015. As the graph above shows (click the graph to see more detail), the number of bookmobiles across the country has been on a steady decline since 1991. When library funding is cut or does not keep up with increasing expenses, many times bookmobiles are one of the first services to go. But some libraries see the advantages in having bookmobiles when budgets are tight. Bookmobiles provide outreach to the community, a “way to reach more patrons and prove their worth … as people become more accustomed to having goods and services delivered to their doors.”1 Some counties in Washington, Oklahoma, New York, Lousiana, and Virginia have added more than one bookmobile in the past decade.

1 Jen Fifield, “Yes, Bookmobiles Are Still a Thing,” The Pew Charitable Trusts, March 28, 2018

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 1990 and 2015
Market size: 1,102 and 647
Sources: “Bookmobiles in the U.S.,” American Library Association available online here; “Table 3. Number of Public Libraries with Branches and Bookmobiles, and Number of Service Outlets, by Type of Outlet and State: Fiscal Year 2015,” Supplementary Tables: Public Libraries Survey Fiscal Year 2015, Insititute of Museum and Library Services, September 2017 available online here; and Jen Fifield, “Yes, Bookmobiles Are Still a Thing. (We Checked),” Stateline, The Pew Charitable Trusts, March 28, 2018 available online here.
Image source: Created in-house using data from the American Library Association and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Click on the image to see more detail.


Woman wearing leggingsWhat’s old is new again. This can be said for leggings, the current and sometimes controversial fashion trend. Leggings, in some form, have been around for centuries. Originally leggings referred to leg coverings of various sorts, not necessarily pants. In the past, some Native Americans wore leggings that looked like high-top moccasins or boots. They were made out of deer, elk, and other game animals. This clothing protected the legs and ankles from plants and animals. It also served to cover women’s ankles for proper etiquette at the time.

In Europe and Colonial America, leggings referred to something resembling thick stockings. In the 18th century, in order to keep their legs warm men wore leggings that covered the leg from a few inches above the knee down to the top of the foot. These were made of wool, linen or leather. Military leggings of various forms were worn by soldiers from the late 19th century until the first part of World War II in order to prevent dirt, sand, and mud from getting into soldiers’ shoes. They also provided ankle support. In 1943 field boots replaced leggings in the U.S. Army. However, other branches of the military continued to use military leggings until the 1960s.

During World War II, due to the high demand for rubber, chemical companies were trying to invent a rubber alternative. In the process, DuPont chemist Joseph Shivers invented Lycra, also known as spandex, in 1959. In the 1960s more women were wearing pants and casual dress was trending. Fashion designers started using this new fabric in their pant designs. Leggings became “tight-fitting trousers made of a stretch fabric, worn especially by women and girls,” according to the 1970s version of the Oxford Dictionaries. Modern leggings are made of cotton, polyester, spandex, nylon, or leather.

After waning in popularity, leggings became popular in the 1980s again, this time as part of the gym-wear-as-fashion trend influenced by Jane Fonda and the aerobics craze. According to anthropologist Kaori O’Connor, leggings “became closely associated with workout culture and youth.”1 In the 2000s, leggings, or yoga pants, became popular with all ages of women and not just to wear to the yoga studio. Leggings are now worn at the gym, as casual wear around town, and in dressier situations, including at the office. In 2007 at the Marni Men’s show during Fall 2007 Fashion Week leggings designed for men were introduced, but this never caught on with the wider public.

Today’s market size shows the expected revenue earned from the worldwide sale of leggings in 2018 and projected for 2023. In 2017, the United States imported more women’s elastic knit pants than women’s blue jeans according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Since 2010 the sale of women’s blue jeans has been declining by 3.9% annually in the United States. Sales of elastic knit pants grew 25.7% per year on average during this same time period. In response to customer preferences, some blue jeans companies are adding stretch and moisture-wicking properties to their denim. Who manufactures leggings? Traditional athletic wear companies, such as Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas; high-fashion labels such as Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein; and even traditional lingerie brands such as Victoria’s Secret, just to name a few.

1 Olivia B. Waxman and Melissa Chan, “How Leggings Became the Most Controversial Pants,” Time, March 27, 2017

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2018 and 2023
Market size: $23.17 billion and $30.87 billion
Sources: Stephan Marwa, “Global Leggings Market Size to Worth USD 30.87 Billion by 2023,” Healthcare Journal Press Release, April 9, 2018 available online here; Olivia B. Waxman and Melissa Chan, “How Leggings Became the Most Controversial Pants,” Time, March 27, 2017 available online here; “Leggings,” Wikipedia, April 17, 2018 available online here; David Yanofsky, “The US is Now Buying More Stretchy Pants Than Blue Jeans,” Quartz, March 1, 2018 available online here; and Audie Cornish, “Denim Companies Stretch to Compete With Leggings,” All Things Considered on NPR, April 9, 2018 available online here.
Image source: By Nicole.elocin [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Halal Nutraceuticals and Vaccines

NutraceuticalsAccording to recent research, more than 60% of the 1.8 billion Muslims around the world consume nutraceuticals in some form daily.1 Nutraceuticals are products that provide health benefits in addition to their nutritional value. They are thought to improve overall health, delay the aging process, prevent chronic diseases and increase life expectancy. They can be in the form of fortified foods and beverages or dietary supplements. In 2016 the global nutraceutical market was valued at nearly $200 billion. Not all nutraceuticals are halal, however.

Halal, translated as “lawful” or “permitted”, is a set of dietary guidelines based on the Qur’an. By definition, halal foods (which include dietary supplements and vaccines) are “free from any component that Muslims are prohibited from consuming according to Islamic law” and “processed, made, produced, manufactured and/or stored using utensils, equipment and/or machinery that have been cleansed according to Islamic law.”2 Many nutraceuticals contain beta-carotene, gelatin, stearates, glycerine, enzymes, emulsifiers and flavors that may be derived from unpermitted, or haram, ingredients such as pork. However, companies can substitute plant, fish or other permissible foods in the manufacture of these ingredients in order to make them halal and permissible for Muslims to consume.

Vaccines have become less popular among Muslims as evidenced by several outbreaks of preventable diseases such as polio, pertussis, and measles in majority Muslim countries in recent years. While some of the hesitancy about vaccines is due to misinformation spread by social media and influential celebrities, a majority of parents who fail to vaccinate their children cite concerns about the vaccines not being halal. Islamic law, however, does recognize that in dire and necessary circumstances, necessity outweighs prohibitions. “The Fatwa Council in Malaysia and internationally have ruled that vaccination is permissible for the purpose of treatment and prevention, and refusing vaccinations will result in greater harm.”3 Before 2018, there were no halal-certified vaccines available globally. The pharmaceutical company AJ Pharma Holding Sdn Bhd is expected to open a facility in Malaysia sometime in 2018 that will create halal vaccines and export them around the world. According to the company, the worldwide halal vaccine market will be worth between $1.3 billion and $1.4 billion by 2020. Overall, the global vaccine market, of which the halal vaccine market is a part, is expected to reach $34.7 billion in 2020, according to Evaluate Pharma.

Today’s market size shows the expected revenues earned from the sales of halal nutraceuticals and vaccines in 2018 and 2023 worldwide. Leading companies in these industries include Abbott Laboratories, AJ Biologics Sdn Bhd, PT Kalbe Farma Tbk, Amway, NoorVitamins, Chemical Company of Malaysia Berhad, Agropur Inc. and Kotra Pharma (M) Sdn Bhd.

1 “Halal Guidelines,” Halal International Certification Pvt Ltd., 2016.
2 “What is Halal? A Guide for Non-Muslims,” Islamic Council of Victoria.
3 Ali Ahmed, et. al., “Outbreak of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in Muslim Majority Countries,” Journal of Infection and Public Health, March-April 2018, pages 153-155.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2018 and 2023
Market size: $39.3 billion and $81.2 billion
Sources: Stefan Marwa, “Global Halal Nutraceuticals & Vaccines Market Size to Worth USD 81,207 Million by 2023,” Healthcare Journal, April 9, 2018 available online here; “Halal Guidelines,” Halal International Certification Pvt Ltd., 2016 available online here; Conrad Hackett and David McClendon,” Christians Remain World’s Largest Religious Group, But They Are Declining in Europe,” Pew Research Center, April 5, 2017 available online here; Hamid Nasri, et. al., “New Concepts in Nutraceuticals as Alternative for Pharmaceuticals,” International Journal of Preventative Medicine, December 2014, pages 1487-1499 available online here; “What is Halal? A Guide for Non-Muslims,” Islamic Council of Victoria available online here; Ali Ahmed, et. al., “Outbreak of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in Muslim Majority Countries,” Journal of Infection and Public Health, March-April 2018, pages 153-155 available online here; Salama, “AJ Pharma to Turn Malaysia into Halal Vaccine Hub,” Halal Focus, January 6, 2018 available online here; Pearl Liu, “Annual Hajj Points to Untapped, Growing Halal Vaccines Market,” BioWorld available online here; and “Global Nutraceuticals Industry Report: 2017-2021 – Analysis of the Multi-Billion Functional Food and Beverage Industries – Research and Markets,” PR Newswire Press Release, March 13, 2017 available online here.
Image source: kerkanno, “acupuncture-alternative-aroma-906144,” Pixabay, August 28, 2015 available online here.

Alpha Olefin Market

Alpha olefin word cloudAlpha olefins are organic compounds created by the processing of ethylene, a flammable hydrocarbon gas that occurs in natural gas, coal gas, and crude oil. It’s also a gas given off by ripening fruit. There are two types of alpha olefins: branched and linear. Linear alpha olefins, such as 1-butene, 1-hexene, 1-octene, and 1-decene, are created industrially by one of two processes: the oligomerization of ethylene or Fischer-Tropsch synthesis followed by purification. Three manufacturers’ processes have dominated alpha olefin processing: Chevron Phillips Chemical (CPChem), Ethyl (owned by INEOS) and Shell.

Today’s market size shows the total revenue earned from alpha olefin sales in 2016 and forecast for 2025. In 2016 North America produced the highest percentage of linear alpha olefin worldwide, 40%, followed by the Middle East (19%) and Western Europe (16%). That same year global demand for alpha olefin was more than 4.3 megatons. Demand is expected to increase to more than 6.3 megatons in 2025. Alpha olefins are used in the manufacture of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), lubricants, plasticizers, detergents, metalworking fluids, oil field chemicals and personal care items, such as shampoos and bath and shower products.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2016 and 2025 projected
Market size: $8.26 billion and $12.58 billion respectively
Sources: “Report Summary,” Alpha Olefin Market Analysis by Product, (1-Butene, 1-Hexene, 1-Octene, 1-Decene, 1-Dodecene), by Application (Polyethylene, Detergent Alcohol, Synthetic Lubricants), by Region, and Segment Forcasts, 2018 – 2025, Grand View Research, November 2017 available online here; “Alpha Olefin Market Size Worth $12.58 Billion by 2025 | CAGR 4.8%,” Grand View Research Press Release, November 2017 available online here; “Linear Alpha-Olefins,” Chemcial Economics Handbook, IHS Markit, March 2017 available online here; “Alpha-olefin,” Wikipedia, September 6, 2017 available online here; “Linear Alpha Olefin,” Wikipedia, November 8, 2017 available online here; “Table of Contents,” Alpha Olefin Market: By Type (1- Butene, 1-Hexene, 1-Octene, Others); By Application (HDPE, LLDPE, Lubricants, Plasticizers, Detergents, Paper Sizing, Oil Recovery, Metalworking Fluids and Others); By Geography – With Forecast (2016-2021), IndustryARC, February 15, 2016 available online here; and Saroja Narasimhan and Jon Toliver, “Examining Tomorrow’s Surfactant Personalities: Alpha Olefin Sulfonate in Personal Care,” Cosmetics & Toiletries, January 8, 2018 available online here; “Sodium Alpha-Olefin Sulfonates,” Cosmetics Info available online here.
Image source: Word cloud created in-house using Wordle™ available online here.

E-Commerce in Pakistan

Pakistani rupeeAs a percentage of total retail sales in the country, Pakistan’s e-commerce market is quite small, 0.34%, but is expected to grow as adoption of technology becomes more widespread. As of January 2018, there were 52 million subscribers to broadband internet, up from 44.5 million a year before. The number of online payment merchants increased nearly 60% during this time period, from 571 to 905. Banks are starting to allow debit and credit cards to be used for online purchases. However, fewer people have bank accounts than have broadband internet. And, fewer still—21.1 million— have either a debit or a credit card. Currently, 4 out of 5 online orders are cash on delivery. Several online payment gateways allow nearly every Pakistani to pay for their online purchases with cash.

Today’s market size shows the amount of e-commerce revenue in fiscal year 20171 and the projected revenue for fiscal year 2018. According to Adam Dawood, head of Yayvo, an online shopping portal, the most growth will be seen in areas that currently are the biggest inconvenience for customers, such as ordering bus tickets or obtaining national ID cards. Pakistanis no longer have to wait in line. They can now do these things online.

1Pakistan’s fiscal year is from July 1 to June 30.

Geographic reference: Pakistan
Year: FY 2017 and FY 2018 projected
Market size: $622 million and $1 billion respectively
Sources: Usman Sheikh, “Pakistan’s E-Commerce Market Size Set to Cross $1B This Year,” The Express Tribune, March 19, 2018 available online here; “Economy of Pakistan,” Wikipedia, April 11, 2018 available online here.
Image source: By Babloyi [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], from Wikimedia Commons

E-Commerce in India

E-CommerceSales in India’s overall retail sector totaled Rs 49 trillion during the 2017 fiscal year.1 Small to medium-sized independent businesses and mom-and-pop type stores make up the greatest share of this market, with chain stores, franchises, and large stand-alone stores making up a mere 7%. The e-commerce sector has an even smaller share, 1.5%, despite its share tripling in the three years prior. Currently, three-quarters of total e-commerce sales come from major cities in India.

Today’s market size shows the total e-commerce revenue earned in India in the 2017 fiscal year and projected earnings for fiscal year 2020. The largest segments of e-commerce in India are the apparel, mobile phone, and grocery sectors. In the next three years, the grocery sector is expected to grow the fastest, quadrupling its revenue to Rs 100 billion by fiscal year 2020. In 2017, Amazon, Flipkart, D-Mart and Reliance joined established online grocers BigBasket and Grofers to offer groceries online.

1 India’s fiscal year runs from April 1 to March 31.

Geographic reference: India
Year: FY 2017 and FY 2020 projected
Market size: Rs 700 billion and Rs 1.8 trillion respectively
Sources: ZeeBiz WebTeam, “E-Retail Market Size to Surge 250% in the Next 3 Years,” ZeeBusiness, February 19, 2018 available online here; “Unorganized and Organized Retail: A Global Comparison,” Reurbanist, August 22, 2012 available online here; Surojit Gupta, “Govt Will Not Change Fiscal Year for Now,” The Times of India, September 25, 2017 available online here.
Image source: geralt, “e-commerce-shopping-basket-shopping-402822,” Pixabay, July 27, 2014 available online here.

Food Fortification Ingredients

Fortified foods, cereal and milkFortified foods, such as iodized salt and vitamin-D fortified milk, originally addressed nutrient deficiencies in the general public. Some countries currently mandate the addition of folic acid to enriched flour to reduce the risk of neural tube birth defects. Most food fortification is voluntary but regulated by government entities in countries where the food is sold along with the European Food Safety Authority and the World Health Organization. The United States, for example, does not allow the fortification of fresh produce, meat, poultry or fish products. European countries do not allow fortification of unprocessed foods. Fortification of snack foods is also discouraged.

Food fortification ingredients include vitamins, minerals, probiotics, prebiotics, carbohydrates, proteins and amino acids. These added ingredients can be found in a wide variety of foods from juices, bread, and cereals to infant formula and pet food. Fortification indicates the addition of nutrients at levels higher than those naturally occurring in the food.

Today’s market size shows the value of food fortification ingredients in 2016 and 2025. The figure for 2025 is projected. The food fortification market is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 14.5% between 2017 and 2025 as consumers increasingly look for foods that provide additional health benefits beyond basic nutrition, such as omega-3 fortified foods for heart health and probiotics for digestive health.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2016 and 2025 projected
Market size: $30.50 billion and $100.84 billion respectively
Sources: “2017 Global Food Fortification Ingredients – Market Size, Market Share, Application Analysis, Growth Trends, Key Players and Competitive Strategies (2015-2025) –,” Business Wire press release, February 23, 2018 available online here; “Food Fortification in Today’s World,” International Food Information Council Foundation, June 20, 2014, last updated December 29, 2015 available online here; “Food Fortification Ingredients Market Report 2017-2027,” Visiongain, June 15, 2017 available online here.
Image source: skeeze, “cereal-spoonful-strawberry-spoon-556786,” Pixabay, December 9, 2014 available online here.