Consumer Need States and Mindful Mindsets Across Fmcg

October 2022

As we move into a more atomised world of diverging lifestyle patterns, fragmenting use occasions and blurring categories, consumers are increasingly primed to focus on the desired outcome or intention of their consumption, with nuance and mindfulness, and are beginning their purchase and consumption journeys working back from this point. Need states frameworks give brand owners a powerful means of segmenting and targeting this modern consumer behaviour.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key findings

Culture of optimisation

A culture of self-improvement has increasingly come to the fore, particularly amongst younger adult generations, promulgating the concept of “life hacking” and cementing a belief in the collective power of marginal gains, contributing to the resonance of need states positioning. Consumers are eschewing unfocused consumption for consumption’s sake and instead are seeing product and substance use as part of a holistic, intentional whole directed at achieving a series of goals, often in pursuit of a unified broader end.

Controlling the clock

Notwithstanding the enforced disruption of the pandemic period, in recent decades lifestyles have tended towards greater complexity and a faster pace. For some, this has resulted in a sense of rootlessness and stress, and a resultant desire to manage daily routines, energy fluctuations and mood transitions in a more nuanced and fluid way than legacy occasions and substances are capable of doing. This has led to an enhanced salience for the increased subtly and outcome targeting of need states propositions.

Stability from within

We inhabit a world with heightening levels of geopolitical, economic and environmental instability, with the lives of individuals stripped of the certainties related to employment and housing which had characterised previous generations. With society seemingly unwilling or unable to impose stability from without, consumers are more intent on providing stability from within, and engaging in meaningful and outcome-orientated consumption mediated by need states is one element in that strategic approach

Search for natural actives

Traditionally, the range of substances accessible to the average consumer has been rather limited in many major markets, meaning that the means of addressing ubiquitous lifestyle issues have been crude, with several of the same substances delivered in relatively narrow clusters of formats being used to managed multiple needs. Modern consumers are more conversant with the properties and effects of a wider range of natural actives, which they are seeking out to improve the sensitivity of their own issue management.


What are need states and why do they matter?
Drivers of need state mindset amongst consumers …
How need states are manifesting across industries
“Traditional” claims-making expanding into more diverse need state signalling
The map and the territory of need states
Need state trajectories
Framing need states as the nexus of short-term and long-term drivers
The multidimensional drivers of need states
Link between need states and ingredients
Emerging ingredient areas
How brands use formulation to deliver a need states proposition
Key challenges in need state positioning
Regulatory restrictions
Need state positioning is writing cheques that the product itself must be able to cash
Creating clear blue water (or differentiating from the other clear blue water)
The opportunities and challenges of sizing need state economies
Potential approaches to measuring outcome-based opportunities
Redistributing cannabis consumption by need state
Need states offer promise and peril for consumer health companies
Consumer health: By popular format, need state and ingredients
Lifestyle-orientated supplements driving both near-term and long-term growth
Nature Made Wellblends leans into the interconnected nature of need states
Kao Corp’s Refine line integrates need states under a healthy ageing banner
Introduction to need states in beauty and personal care
Beauty and personal care: By popular format, need state and ingredients
Impact of need states on beauty and personal care
Givaudan’s MoodScentz aims to harness need states in fragrances
Mood sets out to persuade the consumer, body and soul
Need states propositions gain momentum in packaged food
Packaged food: By popular format, need state and ingredients
Impact of need states on packaged food
Lifeway launches a trio of adaptogenic cultured oat milks
Nuccy combines ashwagandha with nut butter – a first in the UK
Introduction to need states in soft drinks
Soft drinks: By popular format, need state and ingredients
Impact of need states on soft drinks
Kirin Namacha Lifeplus Immune Assist and Gogo-no-Kocha Milk Tea Plus (Japan)
Little Saints Plant Magic Mocktails (US)
Introduction to need states in cannabis
Cannabis: By popular format, need state and ingredients
Impact of need states on cannabis
Curaleaf’s Plant Precision aims to simplify and build consumer confidence
Weekenders seeking to guide consumers to their choice of feeling


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