A fairly momentous shift has surfaced in our lifestyle survey data this year; family time and parenting obligations are losing ground, as consumers need greater “me time” for the pursuit of nurturing the self, rather than always living with (and living for) others.
The 37% share of respondents who prioritised the self in Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey 2019 increased to 42% in 2023
Source: Euromonitor International
This movement in consumers’ priorities is also visible in sales numbers, especially in long-term forecasts for categories focused on the wellness trend, and will continue to be a primary driver for home products, especially those centred around mood enhancement.
“I’ve cared for everyone else for years…now I need to care for me”
Greater time spent at home has also meant prolonged time in close proximity to others – many households in various countries that had removed walls to create open living spaces, and encourage air flow and natural light, have been forced to buy room dividers for better noise management and the pursuit of personal privacy.
The needs of self-care are complex and sometimes contradictory, fomenting dissatisfaction with the home and life activity as it is now.
We care more for our homes, and we want our homes to care more for us too
The self-care trend had been driving growth in health, nutrition, personal care, and beauty for some time before the emergence of the pandemic, and more recently also in home product choices (affecting home care, home and garden and pet care).
Consumers have ongoing appreciation of nature in the home environment
Source: Euromonitor International
Predicted growth rates for home product categories linked to wellness are all higher than their host industries. The poster child for this is consumers’ ongoing appreciation of nature in the home environment; indoor plants is set to record nearly four percentage points faster growth than gardening over the forecast period.
The other side of the coin is that consumers have become extremely attuned to chemicals they allow in the home, exacerbated by pandemic overexposure, rising allergy awareness and social media’s ability to scale boycotts. The list of ingredients considered “pro-health” and the list considered “toxic” are both growing, driving premium inclusion and sometimes exclusion in the market.
One live topic in cookware is the role of PFAS in non-stick coatings – this is a substance that has been a large part of the journey to non-stick low fat frying technology, but which has subsequently been linked to strong medical health concerns. PFAS is experiencing a near stampede of brands and retailers seeking to distance themselves; the industry reaction is far outstripping the data available for the scale of the problem, and this creates a poignant and relevant example of how serious this can be, and how quickly ingredient, additive or treatment exclusion can build.
Of all the opportunities emerging, mood enhancement looks the most potent
Studying the rise of self-care in the home, Euromonitor International has been analysing the framework for wellness and identifying need states that determine how this trend is evolving, and how value can be anticipated and realised by brands and retailers active in this space.
Ingredients perceived as harmless is an entry requirement for wellness, but the most interesting consistent development is how many sectors are independently creating solutions for mood enhancement as the premium top-of-range offering. This is now emerging in home products, but this has mature examples from more established wellness industries such as nutrition and supplements.
This is proving to be no momentary blip - it is instead a deeper shift in consumers’ psychology and life priorities, and the relationship they have with their homes is being explored and rearticulated.
Read our report Self-Care at Home for further analysis on wellness within home products driving growth, premium propositions, and emotive consumer engagement.