Global market research firm, Mintel has outlined seven trends which it expects to impact consumer markets in 2021 centred around consumer behavior, market shifts, and opportunities to act on in the next 12 months.

Commenting on how the trends were developed, Mintel Trends director for Asia Pacific, Matthew Crabbe said the company is uniquely suited to predict the future of consumer behaviour and what that means for brands.

“Last year we released our 2030 Global Consumer Trends, developed as a living, growing prediction model that will adapt with the unforeseen. Our new 2021 forecasts remain embedded within our system of Mintel’s 7 Trend Drivers and their supporting pillars. They take into account the changes accelerated by the pandemic and attempt to encapsulate the better future that consumers, aspire to, and towards which brands can build their own strategic visions.”

  1. Health Undefined

Consumers are in search of a wellbeing experience built around a sense of uncertainty as to when life will shift to more balanced routines, which is driving demand for comfort and structure. The opportunity for brands exists in not simply selling a wellbeing product or service but also reminding consumers of the value in their own internal curiosity and the power of trying something new.

2. Collective Empowerment

The collective mentality of the pandemic motivated a community-focused consumer mindset.  The rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and the Global Climate Strike show how people are gathering to clamour for positive change. There is an opportunity for brands to take a lead in addressing these issues, and they may risk being seen as a hindrance if they fail to do so.

3. Priority Shift

As consumers face economic uncertainty and contradictory feelings of vulnerability and resilience, they are taking a step back, monitoring their spending more closely and avoiding excess consumption. Consumers are seeking not only affordability and convenience, but also safety, protection, and durability of goods. Brands should take advantage of this to become agents of positive change and to prove that they offer good value and tangible results.

4. Coming Together

Covid-19 revitalised the concept of community, with consumers craving human connection and interaction more than ever. A widespread understanding that belonging is critical to combat loneliness offers brands the chance to celebrate consumer identities and offer novel ways to support each other.

5. Virtual Lives

The role digital entertainment plays is of particular importance. The fast-growing popularity of gaming and esports offers opportunities for brands, either via collaborations to create collectible in-game items, by creating their own games, or pairing products to go with gaming sessions.

6. Sustainable Spaces

With access to more information, consumers are demanding greater transparency, including how brands plan to tackle sustainability challenges. Brands have an opportunity to proactively innovate products and services that help them deal with everyday living—from a focus on localism and supporting communities to nudging consumers towards incrementally better habits.

7. Digital Dilemmas

While technology is meant to improve life, it is worth taking a step back to assess how consumers feel about the technology they use. Ecommerce and online transactions have the potential to become, and remain, the norm so brands are encouraged to innovate digital capabilities and bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds to offer a more consistent experience.