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Mintel Maps Out Consumer Trends for 2009

Posted: December 30, 2008

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What it means for businesses: Manufacturers will respond with products that suit people’s specific needs and lifestyles. “Those companies that give consumers precisely what they want or give them the freedom to customize their purchases will do well. Companies that fail to do this will see consumers walk away,” says Holleran. In addition, baby boomers will be of particular interest to businesses. Companies will move beyond traditional old-age products and services to ones that embrace the active, healthy lifestyles of many older consumers.

2. Simplify and purify

Faced with fast-paced modern life, many people will want convenience and simplicity. As people take control of their everyday lives, they will also demand that companies communicate with them honestly and openly. From understandable ingredients to clear company practices, consumers will want complete transparency when it comes to the products they buy. Old-fashioned skills such as cooking at home, sewing and gardening will become increasingly popular. As an added benefit, these home-based activities will also help people stretch their budgets further.

What it means for businesses: As consumers look for more authentic, easy-to-understand products, companies will market their brands in a simpler, more direct way. Fresh, clean and pure will become essential values as manufacturers focus on clear ingredient labels and product positioning. “Simplicity and convenience are the ultimate goals. Brands that can communicate what they really stand for and show how they can make life easier will earn consumers’ trust and loyalty,” says Holleran. Additionally, with people cocooning in their homes to save money, companies will create better products for dining, relaxing and entertaining at home.

3. Rebuilding trust