Top global consumer trends for 2020

Well-being, inclusiveness, sustainability, and value are just some of the core drivers of consumer behavior that will shape global markets this year and this decade, according to leading global market research and consulting services.

According to Mintel, well-being­seeking physical and mental wellness­is one of these emerging key trends for this decade.

“Consumers are seeking holistic solutions that move away from instant results. Looking good is important to many consumers, but considerations of longer term physical, mental, and emotional health benefits are growing,” it said in a new report.

“Greater awareness of environmental factors is creating demand for products that preemptively guard against these concerns. As stress becomes more and more recognised as a key health concern, the emphasis is on brands and organisations to help consumers deal with the causes. Finally, technology in fitness is creating opportunities as people look to maintain health in smaller spaces, while also connecting with others,” the research further stated

Mintel added that in 2020, consumer expectations will focus on, among others,
convenient, non-obtrusive wellness solutions in the home, from water-filtering and water-saving showerheads to noiseless filtration fans; and beauty and personal care products that move away from improving or changing appearance and toward internal and external well-being.

Also anticipated to gain popularity are products touting mental health benefits, while alcohol consumption among young people will continue to decline, with functional drinks rapidly increasing in popularity.

On mental well-being, Euromonitor International adds: “Products positioned for mood enhancement, relaxation, stress- and anxiety-relief and boosting brain function are increasingly prevalent across a range of industries from soft drinks to cosmetics. The modern consumer, worried about worrying, is no longer basing a purchasing decision on what product or ingredient they want or when they want to consume it, but rather the specific outcome they will get and how it will make them feel.”

Another major development in the consumer market is inclusiveness. Euromonitor explained, “Brands are catering to individuals with physical or mental disabilities, unlocking the potential for an Inclusive for All business model. Companies are reframing their products and services to be more accessible to everyone, representing individuals beyond the mainstream and helping to reduce prejudice around diversity and differences. From fashion to toys, games, foodservice and interior design, brands are responding to a societal push for change. Businesses are making steps towards authenticity and inclusion, putting disability at the core of new product developments.”

Sustainability, meanwhile, continues to transform consumer habits. According to Deloitte, “Whatever level of awareness they have now, it is highly likely that consumers in the next decade will live more sustainably whether they want to or not.”

It continued: “Consumers are becoming more active participants in the creation of a more sustainable economy and increasingly aware of the broad sustainability challenge facing the world. Over the next 10 years, more consumers will have incorporated sustainable behavior into their lives, whether that means routinely recycling or looking for sustainable products.”

Mintel also predicts that as consumers move away from unsustainable consumption they will move toward finding greater value and benefits for investments and purchases.

“Consumers will distance themselves from fast-paced lifestyles and excess consumption toward slower, minimal consumerism that emphasises durability, protection, and functionality,” said Mintel. For instance it predicts the diminution of fast fashion as consumers demand longevity from their purchases.

Deloitte agreed, saying, “Consumers of 2020 wil continue to hunt for better value, but they will also expect their values to be embedded in what they buy­whether this is around healthier food and products, sustainability, or any number of personal interests.”

“There is no question that the challenges over the next ten years will be immense. Consumers are not only changing, but changing rapidly. However, companies that make themselves part of the change process, that remain agile and attentive to all their stakeholders, are more likely to remain relevant and interesting to consumers­and positively differentiated in the marketplace,” concluded Deloitte.

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