A Brief View of Consumer Trends for 2020 and Beyond

We have looked at consumer mega trend reports for 2020 and beyond that were published by Euromonitor, Mintel, and Synergy. Here are our key take-outs.

Consumers are taking a more holistic approach to wellness. They are looking for products with specific functional benefits. They are buying to obtain a specific outcome (e.g. anxiety relief) as opposed to buying specific ingredients. Furthermore, there is a need for bespoke solutions that enhances life and provides long-term health growth. There is a stronger emphasis on prioritising mental health which is becoming less and less stigmatised. As a result, consumers are engaging in mindfulness and finding relaxation and stress relief in natural ways as opposed to e.g. alcohol and cigarettes. This has resulted in strong growth in non-alcoholic spirt products. Consumers are also moving towards plant-based nutrition with many consumers adopting a flexitarian lifestyle by cutting out meat and steering towards clean labels, positive nutrition, and complete nutrition meal replacements and supplements.

Consumers are reducing waste. Consumers are changing their behaviour to move towards a waste-free future. Recycling is no longer enough – many consumers are re-using, repairing and sharing or renting products as well as buying second-hand. The sharing economy has moved beyond economic benefits to social and environmental benefits. Consumers are spending mindfully and buying better – changing their spending habits today to result in a better future tomorrow.

In an adjacent trend, there is a demand for longevity – consumers are buying fewer but higher quality, more durable and functional products, which has resulted in growth in the luxury goods market.

A persistent trend is that consumers are valuing local businesses and products and take pride in buying local as they desire to be more authentic and individualistic. Companies are pushed to provide goods that are tailored to local preferences.

Consumers are putting more pressure on brands and companies to be more inclusive and ethical. There is a call for companies to prioritise people and planet over profit. There is an increase in lack of trust in brands. Brands and companies must support and stand for causes that their consumers believe in. As consumers take a more fluid approach to their identity, brands must speak more to inclusivity and authenticity while providing tailored offerings. Companies must look beyond the functional to emotional benefits for their consumers.

Experience is still a big driver for consumers, and they are taking a more holistic approach. Brands that have a point of differentiation can build a strong connection with their consumers. As consumers experience more and more stress and uncertainty, brands that offer support through experience and escapism are also appreciated. Consumers want to be enriched in a way that matters to them. Consumers are seeking comfort and security which drives a need for nostalgia. Brand creativity is valued as consumers engage with craft and artisanal products, cross-category innovations and novel food attributes. In terms of messaging and communication, consumers are more likely to engage with quick and concise multisensory messaging that provides instant gratification.

As consumer-pull business models are often more successful than market-push, it is vital that companies take consumer needs to heart albeit through innovation or consumer engagement.

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