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Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2021: Expert Opinions and in Action Case Studies

June 2021

This report looks at the top10 global consumer trends Euromonitor International has identified as set to have the most impact on business in 2021. It explores the changing consumer values and behaviour driving the trends, the impact on business, examples of company responses and the future outlook for each trend.

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Key Findings

Build Back Better

Consumers demand that companies care beyond revenue, and they no longer perceive businesses as profit-driven entities. Protecting the health and interest of society and the planet is the new expectation, following Coronavirus (COVID-19), in order to Build Back Better. Companies should help reshape the world in a more sustainable way, leading a shift from a volume- to a value-driven economy and turning the tide on social inequity and environmental damage.

Craving Convenience

Consumers are craving the convenience of the pre-pandemic world, longing for the ease taken for granted before daily habits were upended. Businesses are under pressure to rapidly adapt their operations to develop a resilient customer experience while maintaining convenience. Companies must preserve the swift and seamless shopping journey across all channels.

Outdoor Oasis

Health threats, indoor meeting and mobility restrictions and the rise of remote working results in consumers turning to an Outdoor Oasis for leisure and recreation. Some are even considering moving from densely-populated cities to rural areas. Businesses incorporated advanced health measures and moved events outside, allowing consumers to reconnect out of the home more safely. Companies should pivot their product development strategy to encompass the tranquillity of rural living in urban environments to better satisfy city scrapers

Phygital Reality

Digital tools allow consumers to stay connected while at home and re-enter the outside world safely as economies reopen. Phygital Reality is a hybrid of physical and virtual worlds where consumers can seamlessly live, work, shop and play both in-person and online. Businesses can integrate virtual processes into their physical spaces to give consumers who prefer to stay at home the comfort to venture out instead. Delivering virtually-enabled at-home experiences remains imperative to drive e-commerce sales and gather data.

Playing with Time

Consumers are now both able and forced to be more creative with their time in order to get everything done. Businesses should provide solutions that address the consumer desire to maximise time, offering increased flexibility, especially with products and services that can be accessed from or near the home.

Restless and Rebellious

Consumers are fed up. Distrust in leadership has become the norm. Bias and misinformation are causing a crisis of confidence. Having suffered, put others first and gone without, these self-care aficionados are now rebelling, placing their own needs and wants first. Companies can cater to the Restless and Rebellious via more precise marketing on social media and gaming, where they can give consumers a voice and pressure social giants to take on misinformation.

Safety Obsessed

Safety Obsessed is the new wellness movement. The fear of infection and increased health awareness drive demand for hygiene products and push consumers towards contactless solutions to avoid exposure. Companies should implement enhanced safety measures and innovations that target concerns to reassure consumers.

Shaken and Stirred

The global pandemic reconfigured daily lives, testing mental resilience, restricting experiences and provoking economic shocks. Consumers have a new understanding of themselves and their place in the world in pursuit of a more fulfilled, balanced and self-improved life. Businesses must provide products and services that support resiliency for mental wellbeing and to help Shaken and Stirred consumers weather adverse circumstances to gain trust.

Thoughtful Thrifters

Consumers are cautious and frugal. Discretionary spending is declining due to the uncertain economic environment. Thoughtful Thrifters are prioritising value-added and health-conscious products and services. Companies should pivot towards value for money propositions, offering affordable options without sacrificing quality. Premium attributes should be reinforced with a new empathetic story and have a strong tie-in with health and wellness, self-care or mental wellbeing.

Workplaces in New Spaces

Out of office took a new meaning in 2020. Workplaces in New Spaces had a rippling effect on consumer life, from clothing choices to technology spend to eating habits and beyond. Consumers are searching for new ways to define the beginning and end of their workdays, as they struggle to manage their time. Businesses must support work-life balance, productivity and communication needs. Understanding the benefits and challenges of working remotely allows companies to bring the best of the office into the home.

Introduction

Scope
Top 10 Global Consumer Trends in brief (1)
Top 10 Global Consumer Trends in brief (2)
Top 10 Global Consumer Trends in brief (3)

Building Back Better

Industry context for Build Back Better: Sustainability
Industry context for Build Back Better: Packaging
Build Back Better in action: Giki Zero Pro/Giki (UK)
Build Back Better in action: Klimatbutiken / Felix/ Orkla Foods (Sweden)
Build Back Better in action: Leaders on Purpose (UK/Global)
Build Back Better in action: Rethink+/Dow India (US/India)
Build Back Better in action: Tech for Good/Mastercard (US/LA)
Build Back Better in action: Lab-grown salmon/Wildtype (US)

Craving Convenience

Industry context for Craving Convenience: Retailing
Industry context for Craving Convenience: Foodservice
Craving Convenience in action: citizenM (UK/Global)
Craving Convenience in action: goPuff (US)
Craving Convenience in action: ManiMe (US)
Craving Convenience in action: 7-Eleven (Japan)
Craving Convenience in action: ShopLive/Currys PC World (UK)
Craving Convenience in action: Tala Coffee Roasters (US)

Outdoor Oasis

Industry context for Outdoor Oasis: Cities
Industry context for Outdoor Oasis: Travel
Outdoor Oasis in action: Bike lanes in Bogotá (Colombia)
Outdoor Oasis in action: Outdoor dining/Mediamatic (Netherlands)
Outdoor Oasis in action: Heatmaps/ Suunto (Finland)
Outdoor Oasis in action: Lmnts Yoga and Fitness Studio  (Canada)
Outdoor Oasis in action: SM Cinemas (Philippines)
Outdoor Oasis in action: Outdoor education/Rice University (US)
Outdoor Oasis in action: Vilnius City Opera (Lithuania)

Phygital Reality

Industry context for Phygital Reality: Digital Consumer
Industry context for Phygital Reality: Fashion
Storefront bets on VR to recreate the high street feeling
Phygital Reality in action: Asics (Japan/South Africa)
Phygital Reality in action: Open spaces/Burberry (UK/China)
Phygital Reality in action: Encircled (Canada)
Phygital Reality in action: Fortnite/Epic Games (US/Global)
Phygital Reality in action: Perso/ L'Oréal  (France/Global)
Phygital Reality in action: Zeekit (Israel, US/Global)

Playing with Time

Industry context for Playing With Time: Consumer lifestyles
Industry context for Playing With Time: Beverages
Playing With Time in action: Apple Fitness +/Apple (US/Global)
Playing With Time in action: Check COVID-19/HaloDoc (Indonesia)
Playing With Time in action: Cosi Delivery (Belgium)
Playing With Time in action: Sweetgreen Outpost (US)
Playing With Time in action: Curbside pick-up/Best Buy (US)
Playing With Time in action: Daybridge (UK)
Playing With Time in action: Flight to Nowhere/Starlux (Taiwan)

Restless and Rebellious

Industry context for Restless and Rebellious: Alcoholic drinks
Industry context for Restless and Rebellious: Toys and games
Restless and Rebellious in action: Terveystalo (Finland)
Restless and Rebellious in action: Hermès (France/China)
Restless and Rebellious in action: Mountain Dew/PepsiCo (US)
Restless and Rebellious in action: Pernod Ricard (France/US)
Restless and Rebellious in action: Illegal raves (UK/Global)
Restless and Rebellious in action: Walmart (US/Chile)

Safety Obsessed

Industry context for Safety Obsessed: Health and beauty
Industry context for Safety Obsessed: Home care
S afety Obsessed in action: Bike2Box (Poland)
S afety Obsessed in action: QR codes/P ayPal (US/Global)
S afety Obsessed in action: Self-sterilised AC/Haier (China)
S afety Obsessed in action: Safe Queue/Enclave Group (US)
S afety Obsessed in action: T rack&Connect / Danone (F rance /Global )
S afety Obsessed in action: Hand tracking software/ Ultraleap (UK)

Shaken and Stirred

Industry context for Shaken and Stirred: Consumer health
Industry context for Shaken and Stirred: Food and nutrition

Shaken and Stirred

Shaken and Stirred in action: Migrant workers/Apna (India)
Shaken and Stirred in action: General Mills (US/Global)
Shaken and Stirred in action: Panion (Sweden)
Shaken and Stirred in action: Skillshare (US)
Shaken and Stirred in action: Tangerine (Germany)
Shaken and Stirred in action: Digital therapy services/Woebot (US)

Thoughtful Thrifters

Industry context for Thoughtful Thrifters: Consumer finance
Industry context for Thoughtful Thrifters: Income and expenditure
Thoughtful Thrifters in action: Buy now pay later/Atome (Singapore)
Thoughtful Thrifters in action: Flex Dollar/PiggyVest (Nigeria)
Thoughtful Thrifters in action: iPhone SE/Apple Inc (US/Global)
Thoughtful Thrifters in action: Picnic (Netherlands)
Thoughtful Thrifters in action: Sou Sócia /Marisa (Brazil)
Thoughtful Thrifters in action : Wells Farm/ Kyowon Wells (South Korea)

Workplaces in New Spaces

Industry context for Workplaces in New Spaces: Business dynamics
Industry context for Workplaces in New Spaces: Home and garden
Workplaces in New Spaces: GoBe Robots (Denmark)
Workplaces in New Spaces in action: Remo (US/Global)
Workplaces in New Spaces in action: Rove Hotels/ Emaar  (UAE)
Workplaces in New Spaces: SnackNation / Caroo (US)
Workplaces in New Spaces: Very Good Box (France)

Conclusion

Three key areas of focus for corporate strategy planning
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