Trends that are here to stay
It has been said by many that it takes 90 days to change a behaviour. Most of us have changed our behaviours in lots of ways since the start of the pandemic. Gradually as COVID-19 vaccination rates have increased and society has opened up again we have started getting back to our old ways, but some recent behavioural trends are predicted to be long lasting.
Economic, business and consumer landscape expected to be transformed
In their July report “The World Beyond the Pandemic”, Euromonitor list a number of forces shaping how we will live our lives post COVID19 including shifts in consumer values technology changes and environmental challenges.
Source: Euromonitor, The World Beyond the Pandemic
Consumer lifestyles are expected to be homocentric and digitalised, with a greater focus on wellbeing and social and environmental responsibility. According to Euromonitor 74% of consumers globally use technology to improve their day to day life and 57% feel that they can make a difference with their choices.
We have now entered an era of new opportunities and challenges. Technological advances and a changed mindset among consumers and business leaders are key factors providing a great platform for future developments. Among the challenges are e.g. the digital divide between countries that the COVID19 has exposed and also the fact that the post pandemic recovery will be uneven across markets.
Source: FMCG Gurus, Understanding consumers one year on
The key findings from FMCG Gurus’ tracking of consumer views during the pandemic are:
• Addressing mental wellbeing will be a high priority for consumers in 2021 and beyond, as the wider implications of the virus become more apparent.
• Wholesomeness will govern eating and drinking habits – with a focus on back to basics and realness and authenticity from a nutritional perspective.
• Guiltfree and conveniently nutritious will be important angles of positioning with the food and drink market.
• Products deemed to be green and clean and with shortened supply chains will encourage trade up in a recessionary environment.
• Consumers will expect brands to be more responsive, transparent, and value orientated than ever before.
Sustainability and brand purpose to the fore
Researchers Kantar point out opportunities ahead for sustainability and brand purpose after a more than a year of turmoil. In 2020, much of the world was in a state of suspended animation and seemed to be holding its breath. A year on, the two topics Impacts of COVID19 and Sustainability remain high on the agenda, but some important developments have taken place.
The coronavirus accelerated many trends that were already present. Kantar say “it prompted some review of lifestyles and values. COVID19 provided a vast behaviour change experiment in living, working, cooking, education, shopping, entertainment, socialising, exercise and more. Some of this will ebb away, associated with bad times and constraint. But other things will stick: spending time with our significant people/loved ones; considering our purchases; planning and self-sufficiency; and improved hygiene.”
The resurgence of nature became an early meme during the pandemic and concern about environmental issues remain important in large parts of the world. According to Kantar, brands that innovated to meet the change have prospered hugely. Everyday brands had a role as emblems of normality and reliability.
For consumers it has become increasingly important to understand brands’ authentic purposes. Kantar highlight that if brands want to matter to their customers, they will need to take into account the wider public requirements that people now have of them.