What S New Pussycat Trends For 2018

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Whats new pussycat? Trends for 2018
12th October 2017

By Karen Pickwick

Mintel yesterday (Wednesday) revealed the key consumer trends set to hit Europe next year.

Packaging with green credentials will become ever-more important to consumers, who will also demand greater insight into manufacturing processes and ingredients.
                
Looking ahead to 2018, Mintel’s senior trend consultant, Richard Cope, and manager of trends EMEA, Catherine Cottney, explore the key consumer trends set to shake up the market, including implications for both consumers and brands.
                
SEA CHANGE
                
Richard said: “In the coming year, lobbying campaigns will make consumers more aware of ocean plastic and its impact on wildlife and their own health, while politics will focus European consumer attention on marine conservation. More and more brands will offer education and leadership with clean, safe and sustainable products, as they seek to highlight, and safeguard, the purity and future supply of their ocean ingredients.
            
“While plastics won’t be wholly demonised, intensified eco-lobbying will produce more recyclable products, as well as incentives and initiatives to encourage sustainable behaviour. We may well see social stigmatisation of plastic cups and cling film, more pioneering brands innovating with soluble pod packaging and more retailers dispensing with it completely.”

DATA PROTECTION

Hacks and data disclosure legislation will create a new breed of consumers, who will hold on tight to their data and demand something in return before sharing it.

“The data consumers are generating is escalating, but it’s creating vulnerabilities, as high-profile hacks have shown,” Richard said. “In response, consumers will protect themselves with software and behaviours learned from the more streetwise, private approach of younger generations.

“At the same time, governments are providing protection, with the UK seeking to emulate the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation, which from May 2018 will compel all businesses to seek consumer consent, disclose tracking and offer the right to be forgotten, when it comes to data disclosure. This effectively reboots the digital settings of the brand-consumer relationship and from now on brands will need to proffer economically or personally compelling incentives for consumers to resume sharing their information with them.

“As data creation grows in new forms – whether it is biometrics, geolocation apps or the Internet of Things (IoT) – more trusted outsider brands will enter the protection market.

“Looking ahead, newly-empowered consumers will benefit as brands solicit them. While discounting for data schemes will mainstream, we’ll also see more creative data-sharing initiatives that help consumers to save time and better monitor their health or their utilities spending. Wearable devices and smart TVs present major opportunities here, but companies will need to incentivise consumers to raise their ownership levels as less than one in 10 Spanish (9%), Italian (7%), French (6%) and German consumers (6%) own a smartwatch.”
          
CLAMOUR FOR TRUTH
                
In a world of ‘post-truth politics’ and unsubstantiated media, consumers are looking for brands to court them with transparency, simplicity and evidence, according to Mintel.

Trends manager Catherine Cottney said: “Consumer distrust in governments and media is spreading to companies, and so is the clamour for truth and transparency in ingredients and behind-the-scenes processes. More and more companies will take an ‘open kitchen’ approach and use their packaging, portals and premises to practise truth and transparency.”

Consumers are utilising the tools at their disposal to keep an eye on what companies are doing, with Mintel research indicating that at least half of Polish (60%), German (54%) and French (50%) consumers agreeing that the increased ability of consumers to communicate and find information, for instance via social media and the internet, is forcing companies to be more transparent.

“Quantified and qualified facts will be in high demand and consumers will expect greater transparency as standard, whether this is related to manufacturing processes or how efficacious a product is.

“In terms of marketing, there will be a push for greater authenticity; consumers are set to see behind-the-scenes revealed through creative campaigns that put employees to the fore and capitalise on their years of expertise. With consumers more able to question and query the actions of brands, radical transparency will be the watchword for 2018 as they try and show they can be relied upon as trustworthy.”