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Where Are They Now? Back to Basics for Status

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At the beginning of the year, our expert analysts explored the Top 10 Global Consumer Trends that would have the biggest impact on consumer behaviour in 2019. Today, we are looking back at one trend in particular, “Back to Basics for Status”, to learn how it is playing out. 

Back to basics for status can be summarised as the desire for authenticity as a social marker. Consumers want basic, no-frills but high-quality products that convey a sense of social status through their associated positive impact on the planet. With the growing Instagram culture, consumers want the products they buy to say something about themselves. In 2019, a range of companies have continued to come up with simple products or services which tap into this trend.  

Agripolis is a French urban farming company which is currently working on the largest urban rooftop farm anywhere in the world, set to open in Paris by early 2020. The 14,000 square meter urban farm will produce up to a tonne of fruit and vegetables per day in high season and is driven by consumer demand for locally sourced food with less air miles. 

Nespresso has come under scrutiny in recent years for the single-use nature of its pods, which can often only be recycled by the company themselves rather than municipal recycling plants. In 2019, the company worked with Swedish bicycle manufacturer Vélosophy to make a bicycle from 300 recycled Nespresso coffee pods. Only 1,000 of the premium-priced bicycles have been produced, targeting consumers willing to spend more for a unique product with social benefits. 

Unilever-owned Pure Leaf tea, which further expanded its range in 2019 to include more iced-tea variants, is an example of a brand which appeals to the Back to Basics for Status trend. Priced at the high end of the tea market, the teas are of single-origin, appealing to the desire for unique products, as well as organic, appealing to consumer desire to make a positive contribution to the world around them through their purchases. 

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