Hygge is a Danish word that roughly translates to a feeling of comfort and coziness.
It's also becoming a word used to help sell a wide variety of products and services.
According to multiple sources, hygge (pronounced "hoo-gah") is the biggest Danish cultural export since Legos.
Key quote from the Guardian article The Hygge Conspiracy:
This year’s most overhyped trend is a wholesome Danish concept of cosiness, used to sell everything from fluffy socks to vegan shepherd’s pie.
The article also points out hygge defies literal translation and is very hard for the non-Danish to pronounce properly. They also say a closer translation is "a feeling of calm togetherness and the enjoyment of simple pleasures, perhaps illuminated by the gentle flicker of candlelight."
Whatever it is and however you pronounce it, its' coming to America.
J. Walter Thompson Intelligence's article Comfort Consumerism nicely covers this trend. Key quote:
As consumers’ lives become more hectic, they are looking for relaxation and emotional support. Hygge is the latest lifestyle phenomenon to recognize people’s need for comfort.
And of course you can't achieve hygge unless you have a bunch of hygge inducing consumer goods:
It wraps in not just good feelings and spending time with family, but also accouterments from candles to blankets to mugs of hot chocolate.
The article highlights the U.K. company HyggeBox, which uses the tagline “Danish coziness delivered.” They provide monthly subscription boxes filled with goodies, such as tea lights and woolen socks, which vary depending on the season.
Hygge is part of a broader set of trends around the complexities of modern times leading people to seek or at least yearn for a simpler, gentler life. These include the mindfulness movement, the tiny house movement, the simplicity movement, yoga ... the list goes on and on.
If you want to get a jump on this trend, order one of the many recently released - or soon to be released - books on hygge.
Expect to see an expansion in the number of hygge branded products in the near future.
***Update*** An alert reader tells us there's a coworking space in Charlotte, NC name Hygge and they've just opened their 2nd location.