Consumption in 2016 will be an interesting blend of established and new trends, with counter-trends challenging ways of living and buying, according to Daphne Kasriel-Alexander, consumer trends consultant for Euromonitor International.
Speaking on the Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2016, Kasriel-Alexander listed over-connected shoppers, agnostic shoppers, changemakers, buying time, shopping for control, challenging ageing, gender blurring, mental wellbeing, greener food and spending singles as the trends to watch this year. Of the top 10, C&I Week examined three that could impact the convenience channel in 2016.
- Kasriel-Alexander identified agnostic (or contradictory) shoppers as being interested in innovation around value and as consumers that show increased willingness to flip between products and suppliers.
- Consumers are increasingly suffering “discount fatigue”. According to Kasriel-Alexander, the growth in the market share of discounters seems to be slowing and shoppers are increasingly demanding a greater choice of food products such as premium perishables. In response to this both discounters and mid-market supermarket chains are continuing to upscale their offerings.
- Kasriel-Alexander pointed to research by the University of Sterling’s Management School which found UK shoppers spend twice as long scanning supermarket aisles as they did ten years ago because they want to find the best deals.
- Creating a better world or trying to change things for the better is now a more mainstream priority for consumers and this is being reflected in the rise of ‘responsible brands’.
- Demonstrating the rise of changemakers are moves towards donating on a smaller, more personal level such as through crowdfunding.
- Customers are now also expecting social commentary by brands. An example of this is the success of Hero Condoms, where for every condom sold in Australia and New Zealand, one condom is donated to a developing country.
- 2016 is predicted to see concerns around food waste come to the fore fast food becomes healthier.
- Food waste is also firmly off the menu in 2016 thanks to the impact of social media. A local example of this is independent grocery chain Harris Farm and its Imperfect Picks campaign which promotes the consumption of ‘imperfect’ fruits and vegetables.
- There is also a growing emphasis on locally grown food and its provenance, and farmers markets which have become a global phenomenon.
- Fast food operators are also responding to demands from customers who want healthier options. Burger giant McDonald’s has acknowledged the importance of responding to customer concerns by reducing the level of antibotics in its chicken and introducing cage free eggs.