Mintel has identified the macro consumer trends which will be drivers in 2021 and beyond, as consumers ‘redefine their priorities’ following a year of ‘global shutdowns, recessionary conditions [and] environmental and political shifts’ during the pandemic.

Here are some of the key consumer trends Mintel believes businesses should plan for this year and beyond:

Health undefined

With holistic wellbeing in sharper focus, consumers are seeking brands which can help achieve their personalized wellness goals – with mood and stress high on their list of priorities. With ‘home being the centre of wellbeing for years to come’ Mintel says ‘convenient, seamless solutions’ which enable consumers to not only maintain but measure healthy lifestyles will be ‘highly sought after’. AI-based services will provide instant access to wellness information and support. Mintel predicts that advancements in health tech ‘could make healthcare more accessible for the underserved consumer groups’.

Sustainable spaces

Consumer consciousness of sustainability issues will ‘evolve beyond recycling and carbon emissions into a more holistic, longer-term view’. Part of this, hyper-localism will continue to remain key as communities support their local economies. The climate crisis will become ‘impossible to ignore’ beyond 2021. “Consumers will seek climate-resilient tech solutions from brands that allow them to be self-sufficient while cooperating with brands locally to reduce waste and build more equitable, ethical economies.”

Collective empowerment

Consumer voices are set to become louder, as they back brands aligned to the causes which they believe in. They will continue to call upon regulators and businesses themselves to bring about ‘truly systematic changes, responding to community needs with a sense of urgency’. Brands will be expected to be ‘agents of positive change for the benefit of the underserved and disadvantaged’.

Coming together

Mintel cites ‘collective trauma’ driven by COVID-19 as a theme which will continue to impact behaviour over the coming 12 months. Brands which can ‘bring people together, whether digitally or not, to help them overcome the mental stresses of the pandemic’ will benefit from increased consumer loyalty. The ‘loss of normality’ will push individuals to find new ways of celebrating values and brands ‘would do well to create initiatives that connect with consumer identities and promote feelings of belonging and unity’.