Emerging, Thriving or Dying: The Industry Landscape in 2015

Business.com / Starting a Business / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Which industries are emerging, thriving or dying in 2015? We take a look at the industry landscape in our most recent infographic.

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The circle of life doesn’t just apply to living beings, but our businesses too. 

As technology develops at the speed of light, wants and needs change, and our social and economic environments shift, so do the needs of the marketplace. This couldn’t be truer in 2015, as new industries are emerging with promise and antiquated ones are sent to pasture.

Which industries in particular are emerging, thriving or dying? We take a look.


When examining the industries that stand to play a big part of the economy in the upcoming months and years, there are few surprises. Technology fuels the innovation that stands to change the way we live our everyday lives, and in this instance, the sustenance we need to do so.

Food E-commerce 

Thanks to companies like BlueApron, Instacart and Postmates, eating and cooking great food has never been more convenient or better tasting.  Services like BlueApron deliver fresh ingredients and recipes to your door, while Instacart and Postmates deliver groceries or food from your favorite restaurant—all with the quick tap of an app.

The space saw a five-year quarterly high of $688 million in Q3 of 2014, and over the past four quarters, companies in the food delivery space have raised $1.56 billion.

Precision Agriculture

Farmers are similarly turning to technology to help them increase productivity and revenue with the help of automation software.

Precision agriculture revenue has grown 5.3 percent annually over the past five years to $1.5 billion in 2014, and is forecasted to continue growing at 6.6 percent over the next four years.

Related Article: 14 Simple Solutions for Tracking Your Industry's Trends


The legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado has created for a massive spike in taxable sales. As other states like Alaska, DC and Oregon have recently legalized pot, the industry will continue to grow in the coming years.

According to Colorado.gov, 1,416 medical businesses and 833 retail establishments are licensed in Colorado by the end of 2014. There was a 30% industry growth in licensed premises in 2014, and retailers sold $386 million of medical marijuana and $313 million for recreational purposes, totaling $700 million.

The total cannabis industry will become a $18-20 billion sector in the next 5-6 years.

3D Printing

3D printing will see a revenue growth of 87.7%, hitting $13.4 billion in 2018.


These industries have proved themselves as heavy-hitting money makers.

Solar Power

Solar power revenues grew more than any other industry between 2009-2014. According to Statista, in 2009, the industry had a revenue of about $35 million in the U.S., and by 2014, it was at a whopping $492 million. 

Yoga and Pilates

Om shanti! The yoga and pilates industry has taken the fitness industry by storm, growing steadily from 2007-2012 and seeing a 7.7 percent annual return rate. In 2014, the industry took home $7 billion.


As it turns out, turning everyday tasks and actions into a game can lead to big money. The industry is currently projected to reach $10.02 billion by 2020, with a forecasted CAGR of 68.4 percent from 2013-2018.

Medical Devices

Thanks to the aging population of baby boomers, rising income, increased health awareness and expansion of medical insurance coverage, the device industry will see a 5% CAGR from 2013-2020 with global sales reaching $514 billion by 2020.

Related Article: 5 Emerging Business Trends You Should Know About


It's time to say goodbye to some of the relics of yesteryear, most of which won't surprise you.

Cigarettes and Tobacco

The number of traditional cigarettes sold in the U.S. has been on a constant decline since 2004, dropping 29.6 percent in the 11 year period. We can thank increased regulation and growing health consciousness for the decrease.

Body Armor Manufacturing

Body armor manufacturing’s prime customer is the U.S. military, and thanks to the slow withdrawal of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the industry has seen a falling annualized rate of 9.5% between 2009 and 2014.

DVD, Game, and Video Rental

Because of on-demand platforms like Netflix and Hulu, video rental industry revenue eroded to less than 30.0% of its peak revenue of $12.9 billion back in 2004. Redbox closed over 500 rental kiosk locations last year and will officially left Canada on March 5.

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