Comfort and Uncertainty – Consumer TrendSights Analysis, 2023

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Comfort and Uncertainty – Consumer TrendSights Report Overview

The comfort and uncertainty mega-trend recognizes that consumers value safety, tradition, simplicity, and reassurance due to rising stress and uncertainty in their lives and the world around them.  This is linked to a resurgence in old-fashioned craft traditions, all things local, and general caution towards change, in turn driving a greater preference for familiar brands and products that consumers know and trust.

The comfort and uncertainty consumer trendsights research report will help to identify interesting new and emerging concepts, products, and ideas on offer in retail, food service, online spaces, and beyond. It will also help to understand how new concepts and ideas fit into – or challenge – current consumer trends.

Key Trend Drivers •         Macroeconomic Pressures

•         Back To Basics

•         Need for Consistency

•         Sense of Community.

 Key Sectors •         Packaged Food

•         Pet Products

•         Babies’ and Children’s Products

•         Household Care

•         Personal Care

•         Alcoholic Drinks

•         Non-Alcoholic Drinks

•         Others

 Key Innovation Segments •         Trust & Transparency

•         Social Media’s Impact on Consumer Attitudes

•         Hybrid Working Lifestyles

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Key Consumers in the Comfort & Uncertainty

To ensure consumer-brand trust, manufacturers, retailers, and food service providers need to close the gap in the uncertainty of product knowledge and offer emotional engagement through online communities. Product offerings include communicating clear information on-pack, providing reassurance through third-party approval, and launching initiatives to bring local communities together.

When it comes to how consumers build trust and confidence in products and services, it is clear that Generation Z and Millennials value third-party recommendations, reviews, and endorsements more than Generation X and Boomers. Younger consumers typically have a greater online presence and so have greater exposure to tips, reviews, and new product launch announcements. This allows access to a larger pool of information that enables consumers to make more informed yet complex purchasing decisions.

Key Trend Drivers in the Comfort & Uncertainty Market

The key trend drivers are macroeconomic pressures, back to basics, the need for consistency, and a sense of community.

Macroeconomic pressures- Consumers face unprecedented economic upheaval regarding the cost-of-living crisis brought about by high energy prices, supply chain disruptions, geopolitical pressure such as the Ukraine war, and general resource shortages. This is driving people to seek more reliable and familiar products with an emphasis on supporting local communities and businesses while also spending more time at home to save money.

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Key Sectors Overview in Comfort & Uncertainty Market

The key sectors in the comfort and uncertainty market are packaged food, pet products, babies and children’s products, household care, personal care, alcoholic drinks, and non-alcoholic drinks among others.

Relevance in Packaged Food: The packaged food industry is highly influenced by comfort & uncertainty, as consumers are questioning the authenticity of brand messaging. According to a GlobalData survey, over half of consumers globally strongly/somewhat agree that knowing what food and drinks are healthy for them to eat is confusing. This demonstrates the issue of the validity of on-pack claims and whether consumers can trust them. In addition, authenticity & heritage are highly significant to packaged food products as this trend plays an influential role in consumer decision-making.

Relevance of Trends by Sector

Relevance of Trends by Sector

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Key Factors Affecting Comfort & Uncertainty

The key factors affecting comfort & uncertainty are trust & transparency, social media’s impact on consumer attitudes, and hybrid working lifestyles among others.

The need for trust & transparency: Trust and transparency are key to safety, reassurance, and reliability factors in a product. Brands that fail to offer access to information about factors such as ingredient and nutritional content, supply chains and sourcing, and production methods are likely to lose out to those brands willing to disclose such details and even educate the consumer. Most consumers trust the information that brands share, and brands can reinforce this through professional certifications, which are influential to over half of consumers globally. That said, a significant population of consumers agree that they worry about product safety, which suggests that although consumers believe the claims that brands make, the key challenge is providing a sufficient level of information to reassure the consumer.

Key Innovation in Comfort & Uncertainty

The Comfort & Uncertainty Consumer TrendSights Analysis report covers innovations in risk aversion, sterilized society, authenticity & heritage, simplicity, localism, trust & transparency/personal interconnections, cocooning, and retrophilia/anchoring.

Innovation in Risk Aversion: Brands are highlighting ways to avoid or mitigate negative outcomes to secure consumer trust. For instance, the Pampers baby-dry newborn product of P&G in UAE. According to the brand, the baby product contains aloe vera extract and lotion to protect dry skin. The nappy also has an S-curve design to minimize friction. This approach to be skin-friendly would pique the interest of parents who are actively avoiding products that show adverse effects such as irritation and redness. This shows the brand’s understanding of how a majority of consumers in the UAE are always/often influenced by how familiar, trustworthy, or risk-free the product/service feels.

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  • Since the pandemic, the world’s socioeconomic structures have evolved, creating disruption and uncertainty in consumers’ lives. In response they are seeking control through cautious purchasing, favoring familiar brands.
  • Consumers face unprecedented economic upheaval regarding the cost-of-living crisis. This is driving people to seek more reliable and familiar products with an emphasis on supporting local communities and businesses while also spending more time at home to save money.

Reasons to Buy

  • Consider emerging opportunities and threats in the fast-moving consumer goods market and gain insight into potential future consumer behavior.
  • Identify interesting new and emerging concepts, products, and ideas on offer in retail, food service, online spaces, and beyond.
  • Understand how new concepts and ideas fit into – or challenge – current consumer trends.
  • Gain insight and inspiration for innovation programs and new product development.

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Table of Contents

TrendSights Analysis 2023: Comfort & Uncertainty

Trend Snapshot

Trend Analysis

• What?

• Why?

• How?

• Who?

Take-outs and Implications

• What Next?

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