Euromonitor International, UK, launched the Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2019, which reveals this year’s emerging trends.
- Age agnostic. Boundaries of old age are shifting. As people live longer and take better care of themselves, older consumers feel and want to be treated as younger.
- Back to basics for status. Shoppers are searching for authentic products and experiences, moving away from overt materialism to simplicity as well as from generic to higher-quality products.
- Conscious consumer. What used to be the domain of ethically-positioned, niche producers is now being embraced by conventional companies through higher welfare products.
- Digitally together. As consumers’ digital capabilities and comfort using new technologies grows, so will the potential of what can be created or experienced together, but remotely.
- Everyone’s an expert. Whereas previously shoppers relied on a certain brand or information source, now companies must constantly innovate to entice more inquisitive shoppers.
- Finding my JOMO. The Fear Of Missing Out has now given place to the Joy Of Missing Out. Consumers want to protect their mental well-being, disconnect from technology and prioritize what they truly want and enjoy doing.
- I can look after myself. As people become more self-sufficient, they take preventative measures against illness, unhappiness and discomfort without consulting a professional.
- A plastic-free world. The push for a plastic waste-free society has gained momentum, creating a virtuous circle where businesses gain by improving sustainability.
- I want it now! Consumers seek instant gratification and frictionless experiences that mesh with their lifestyles, allowing them to dedicate more time to their professional or social lives.
- Loner living. More people – especially older consumers – across the world break the stigma of living alone and embrace their independent lifestyles.
Consumers are rejecting the mass-produced and generic, and favoring products positioned as simplified and of better quality, with an implied level of status. In the food and beverage industries, the trend is leading to an increased consumption of local ingredients and craft drinks.
“Spirits from micro-distilleries are increasingly favored for their taste innovation and experimentation, favoring of local ingredients, hand-crafted image and solid grounding in a location and origin. The alcoholic drinks industry is largely lifestyle-driven, and craft spirits is another manifestation of this, implying a certain social status and set of values for those who choose to buy craft,” says Gina Westbrook, director of consumer trends.
Animal welfare is at the focus of the conscious consumer. Product features such as free-range and grass-fed/pasture-raised increasingly influence purchasing decisions of consumers. Furthermore, milk alternative and meat substitute sales continue to grow.
“The conscious consumer is here to stay. The free and liberal lifestyle that is gaining traction among modern consumers today will see more and more conscious consumers adopting a flexible approach to veganism. This eliminates the weight of labels and allows individuals to find their own ways of embracing a more plant-based diet and to choose more plant-derived products,” says Alison Angus, head of lifestyles.
Nearly 63% of global packaging across food, beverage and pet food, among others, is currently made from plastic. As consumers become increasingly sensitive to issues of plastic waste, the proportion of those willing to pay more for packaged food and fresh food that is environmentally conscious or eco-friendly continues to increase.
“It is important not [to] overlook plastic’s valuable contributions. Rather than a wholesale ‘plastic-free’ goal, perhaps a ‘plastic waste-free’ world should be the goal. By adopting a circular economy approach and harnessing the current spotlight on plastic as a way to progress development. Optimized waste management infrastructures and a greater consumer understanding of plastic handling post-use is also necessary,” says Rosemarie Downey, head of packaging.