Consumers are becoming more mindful in what they buy as they seek to combat some of the negative effects consumerism is having on the world. The Conscious Consumer is a key trend for 2019, with animal welfare being at the forefront of many consumers’ purchasing decisions.
This is most clearly seen in the rise of Veganism, which is increasingly being adopted by a wide range of people. They range from the health-conscious to those concerned with animal welfare to those who see how the environment is negatively affected by industrial meat production. Social media has brought veganism to the forefront of consumers’ minds. It is for everyone and has become cool, endorsed by celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Miley Cyrus and Chinese pop singer Long Kuan. It is no longer seen as a choice for life with total eradication of animal-based products with today’s Conscious Consumers having a more flexible approach to their consumption and choosing to be vegan—or flexitarian—for one meal, one or two days a week.
Though this is true for developed economies, in emerging markets there is a deep-rooted perception of meat as good nutrition and a sign of prosperity. But even in these developing regions, in countries such as China, Indonesia and India, young, urban, middle- and high-income consumers are also advocates of the new Conscious Consumerism trend.
Animal welfare concerns will evolve further and extend to other industries beyond food, beauty and fashion, to home care, home furnishings, pet food and so on. The meaning of responsible business is shifting, demanding companies improve minimum animal welfare standards even for regular products.
The Conscious Consumer is here to stay. In the short, medium and long-term, mindful consumption, whether full-time or part-time, looks set to rise. Conscious Consumers are influential, and the trend will spread to others. Furthermore, rising consumer affluence and awareness will boost demand for higher welfare, premium products. Investing in animal welfare is consequently a key tool for adding value in today’s highly competitive business environments.
For more insights into changing consumer values and priorities and their impact and how they are disrupting businesses globally download the Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2019 white paper.