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The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) recently announced its top 10 trends, compiled as the result of various NMI research sources.
According to NMI President Maryellen Molyneaux, "Consumer desire for control is the overriding theme across all of our 2007 trends. Consumers express their desire for control across their health, lifestyle, finance and other critical issues, while at the same time they want new innovative products, more information and show increasingly fragmented behavior.
The Age of the Individual. The Age of the Individual is exploding in reaction to mass marketing and a declining trust in the traditional authorities of church, government and the corporation, driving a culture of consumer-generated content, products and services that are "made just for me." Consumer customization spans everything from personalized beverages with programmable bottles, Puma's custom-designed sneakers, to Toyota's successfully customizable Scion. This trend for greater authority and self-discovery is also witnessed in the health decision making process, with an emergence of "independent attitudes" driving greater polarization of health and wellness at both ends of the spectrum, while increases in "condition specific" supplements reflect further expansion in the "made for me" culture.
Seize the Moment. From the rental of couture handbags and luxury car timeshares to "pop up" retail events, consumers increasingly respond to the temporary in a culture that is less permanent and forever on the move. For the health and wellness category, this means faster product lifecycles as consumers demand greater innovation and exhibit a greater willingness to try new products regardless of brand. This decline in brand loyalty is witnessed across categories, including the beverage category, as consumers seek the thrill of discovery of new products, new flavors and innovative packaging concepts. In addition, these "forever on the move" consumers will drive new innovation in healthy convenience.
A Deeper Values Experience. The retail and brand "New Luxury" explosion that made consumers expect an extremely high level of experience at every touch point is now evolving beyond the physical and emotional dimensions to the experience of fundamental core values. From luxury hybrid cars to couture dresses made from organic and sustainable fabrics, it is not enough to have it all -- we also want to feel better about what we have. This is reflected in the growth of Ecotourism (which is outpacing the travel industry), cause marketing programs exploding as sourcing, materials, trade practices and social causes become a part of the consumer brand experience, as well as the growing popularity in organic products, along with the willingness to pay the 20% premium.
Back to the Future. In response to decades of over-massification, consumers are embracing back-to-the-future simplicity, authenticity, hand-crafted and a belief that quality is better than quantity. Consumers are gravitating to smaller footprint retail environments, including a resurgence of "high street" shopping for one-of-a-kind offerings including "artsinal" and handmade goods. Products with legible labels, simplified ingredients and reassuring packaging are also experiencing success. Nowhere is the back-to-the-future movement more apparent than the explosive growth of consumer brands perceived to be "small and authentic."