Mintel points to key consumer trends shaping retail, including wellness and convenience.
This October, Global Research firm Mintel pointed to six key consumer trends impacting industries and markets around the world and identified how they will play out in the years to come.
In 2019 and beyond, the global consumer landscape will evolve like never before, driven by themes of privacy, individuality, wellness, convenience and connectivity:
Total Wellbeing: Consumers are treating their bodies like an ecosystem and seeking solutions that complement their personal health and evolving needs.
Challenge Accepted: A growing momentum to take on new challenges is driving consumers to reach new heights and uncover new passions.
Rethink Plastic: While not inherently bad, the throwaway use of plastic is driving consumers to review their own behaviors to prevent plastic pollution.
On Display: Consumers and brands are becoming more aware that they have a digital persona to nurture and grow, creating tension as everyone fights for attention and nobody is safe from scrutiny.
Social Isolation: Constant digital connectivity, where physical interactions are replaced with digital updates, can increase feelings of loneliness, social isolation and depression, creating a demand for products and services that help consumers learn to disconnect.
Redefining Adulthood: The concept of what it means to be an adult has changed beyond recognition and consumers are adapting to lives that don’t fit the mold.
Here, the global Mintel Trends analyst team explores how these trends are set to shake up markets around the world, including implications for both consumers and brands.
“In 2019 and beyond, growing consumer curiosity with the microbiome shows no signs of abating. From gut-friendly fermented foods to probiotic skincare, consumers will demand products that balance and boost the natural bacteria found in and on the body.”
“Consumers are looking externally to their surroundings and internally towards their physical and mental wellbeing, expecting holistic approaches to wellness. Across the globe consumers are increasingly seeking personalization and in the UK, as many as 42% of British consumers are interested in a personalized diet based on their genes/DNA. Developments in health monitoring, such as skin sensors or ingestible capsules, will satisfy consumers’ demand for this personalized approach, while also building on scientific research in these emerging fields.”
“As appetites for adventure grow, consumers are becoming more willing than ever to expand their comfort zones, push themselves to the limit with new experiences and use social media to compete with and offer inspiration to their peers.”
“Social media inspiration is blurring the line between reality and #lifegoals, opening consumers up to a whole new world. In fact, a third (32%) of Canadian consumers who have attended a live event say they learn about live events from social media. It may be fueling a love of adventure, but social media is not without its pitfalls and in the years to come, companies and brands should proceed with caution.”
“When it comes to recycling, well-meaning consumers are desperate to do the right thing but often simply don’t know how or where to start. As consumers continue to challenge brands over the perils of plastic waste, the development of recyclable products and packaging that are convenient for consumers to separate will be critical. But equally as important will be creating incentives and initiatives; in China, 58% of Mintropolitans* are willing to pay more for ethical brands.”
“In 2019 and beyond, expect to see more sponsored ‘reverse’ vending machines and bring-your-own-mug schemes. But it takes more than any one individual or brand to save the world; the future will be about working together. Companies and organizations should look to partner in order to create or crowdsource ideas that will make innovative and disruptive changes, such as the development of biodegradable materials, the search to enhance the recyclability of plastic or the cultivation of a better waste management system.”
“Consumers and brands have come to accept and nurture their digital personas, perfectly curating their online identities. But even among the most carefully crafted feeds, one misguided post can lead to intense scrutiny and public backlash. In the U.S., 16% of Hispanic social media users have boycotted brands based on things they learned on social media.”
“Now more than ever, it’s crucial for companies and brands to have social media strategies in place and to train employees about company morals and etiquette, so that when (not if) they are faced with a sensitive issue, they know how to handle it in a timely way. While it is important to balance the cycle of ‘negative exposure’ by sharing good, positive stories, it’s equally important to promote critical thinking and dissent. This will help brands align with consumers’ defiant side and break through their filter bubbles.”
“Technology can make the world a lonely place. Consumers increasingly live their lives through smartphone screens and, although connected electronically, they are becoming isolated from each other both physically and emotionally. It seems there are countless reasons why consumers may feel they never need to leave their homes, with 34% of Brazilian Millennials (aged 19-35) saying they prefer to contact companies/brands online rather than in-store or over the phone. And smart home technology and delivery services make it easier than ever for consumers to feel they have everything they need under their own roof.”
“Facilitating connections and creating unique spaces where communities can be built is the next stage in cultivating customer loyalty. Brands who position their physical and virtual ‘space’ as places for consumers to meet while also eating, shopping or taking part in a leisure activity will lead to a boost in not only engagement, but revenue.”
“With experiences over material things being a key priority for consumers, companies need to focus on campaigns and opportunities that focus on making life memorable. Taking a technology-first approach could be the answer, as more and more consumers are commonly relying on technology to manage their everyday ‘adult’ tasks. In fact, a third (33%) of U.S. consumers agree they would rather interact with people online than in-person.”
“Despite more convenience and opportunity, the challenges of adulthood have not disappeared. Those looking to capitalize on this will serve as a resource for these hurdles by making responsibilities feel more manageable and even fun (sometimes). Flexibility is the name of the game. With a growing remote workforce, consumers’ daily lives are fluid and brands have to adapt to lifestyles no longer defined by 9-5 work cultures.”
*Mintropolitans are broadly defined by Mintel as those who represent a significant, sophisticated consuming group (aged 20-49) who pursue quality of life rather than just wealth, are well educated, and are the potential trendsetters.