Brand ethics and personal wellbeing, this is what consumers are keeping in front of mind when buying products, according to Mintel’s global consumer trends report for 2023.
Consumers around the world are emerging from the pandemic eager to refocus on themselves after spending the past two years putting their own needs on the back burner to prioritise public health and safety.
As part of the ‘new normal’, consumers are ready to make some inward changes, and to help encourage new routines, brands can lean on trial periods to make it easier for consumers to begin to act on the idea that they do not need to be the same person they were in the past.
One supplements brand taking this approach is Hey Nutrition, which is encouraging consumers to try its Ashwagandha products with a 60-day money back guarantee.
“Consumers want to quickly move forward and make up for lost time, diving into their preferred pursuits with gusto, seeking personalised products and services that match their skill level,” Mintel’s report explained.
“At the same time, consumers will look for wats to become more resilient to change as they prepare for the uncertainties of the future. Demand for mental health and wellness-focused products will grow as consumers look to understand their blind spots and actively work to overcome them.”
Power to the People
This trend is all about putting the consumer at the centre of innovations and enabling them to become the co-creator of products to allow them to feel creative, prioritised, and part of the brand’s community.
Popular social platforms like TikTok prioritise self-expression, driving consumers to develop and showcase their creativity. Now brands are harnessing this creative spirit by inviting outside perspectives into their product development processes. To showcase their commitment to collaboration, many brands are emphasising creative positions within their organisation that are filled (even if symbolically) by celebrities, influencers, kids, or everyday product users.
“For consumers, a new era of social signalling will emerge as they feel more intertwined with the ethics of the brands in which they’re invested. What people wear, eat and drive won’t just signal status, but will be a detailed account of their attitudes and beliefs,” said Mintel.
The third trend comes because of consumers moving from crisis to crisis in recent years and therefore feeling stretch in many directions while also being bombarded with media stories and digital content.
“The pandemic, rising cost of living, energy crisis, geopolitical unrest and the climate crisis have all taken their toll on consumers and will continue to do so, causing fatigue and a sense of being overwhelmed.
“Consumers will find meaning, solace, and a restored sense of purpose in reconnecting with their surroundings, their communities and themselves.
“While mental health led the wellness trajectory, particularly after the pandemic, moving forward, consumers will want to discover more about how to protect heir minds and bodies, developing a curiosity for spiritual and ritual practices as emerging wellness solutions that are the horizon.”
The demand for convenient options and interactive experiences will only continue to grow, meaning that technology will continue to play a vital and influential part in consumer experiences.
With so much global uncertainty, Mintel’s analysts noted there will be a greater movement to protect local resources and boost local business. This is a hangover from the pandemic, but also a reflection of consumers’ changing attitude towards what’s important to them.
“While taking inspiration from local favourites is still popular, brands are increasingly linking localism with sustainability and transparency. Many consumers associate local products with more sustainable practices, leading to retailers cultivating that connection by playing up the shorter distances their local produce must travel,” continued the report.
“Alongside that, brands are being more transparent about where and how their products are made by letting consumers look behind the scenes via livestreams, social media posts, and QR codes. ‘Local’ increasingly means ‘beneficial to the local community’.”
Over the next two years, consumers will respond instinctively to home-grown innovators and brands that stamp their authenticity on the items they sell. With this in mind, Mintel said both international and local brands could benefit from collaborating with local artists or coming up with schemes to support the specific needs and behaviours of local communities.
“To do this authentically, brands will need to let local communities and creators not only participate in, but also take charge of projects.”
As the impact of global warming will increasingly be felt, more consumers will be scrutinising whether global brands take their local commitments seriously. This is relevant with supplements such as botanicals which are traditionally grown elsewhere in the world.