As attention turns to potential increases in interest rates, and the recovery becomes more established, the feel-good factor amongst consumers seems to remain elusive in many advanced economies.
Return to strong(ish) growth
Economic growth is certainly more robust, but still could not be described as “strong” in many economies. In 2014, five of the 40 advanced economies for which we have data, saw economic growth of 3% or more, compared to 28 economies in 2007. In 13 of these 40 countries, total GDP remained lower in 2014 than it had been in 2007.
Advanced Economies with Falls in Real GDP 2007-2014
Source: Euromonitor International from national statistics/Eurostat/OECD/UN/IMF
Continue reading "Consumers in Advanced Economies Remain Unsure of Better Times Ahead" »
Proximity mobile payments continue to garner the most attention as the technology of the future from the payments industry. Consumers, though, still express concern over security and don't have the incentive to adopt mobile as a new payment habit. Starbucks is the current market leader in mobile payments apps integrated with loyalty programs. This video makes the case for integrating mobile into payments and loyalty strategies for a wider base of retailers and service providers. Watch for complete insights.
Continue reading "Making the Case for In-Person Mobile Payments" »
Analyst Insight by Thidathip Tawichai - Consumer Appliances Analyst
The Department of Justice in the US filed an antitrust suit to block the sale of General Electric Co (GE) to Electrolux AB in early July 2015. The authority argued that a combination of the two appliance businesses would reduce competition and options for consumers. It found that the acquisition would create a duopoly in built-in hobs and ovens, with only Whirlpool Corp and Electrolux in the market for both categories. This would be bad news for Electrolux, since the main purpose of acquiring General Electric is to expand volume share in the US market, in addition to gaining resources synergies. We will therefore have to wait and see how GE and Electrolux will now react to this decision – whether they drop the deal altogether or offer to divest the categories that are causing the antitrust issues.
Electrolux AB’s Sales Volume Breakdown in Major Appliances Before and After Acquiring General Electric
Source: Euromonitor International
Continue reading "GE-Electrolux Deal Blocked by Justice Department" »
Analyst Insight by Lauren Bandy - Senior Nutrition Analyst
Sugar is caught in a bitter PR storm. With a new guideline from the WHO recommending that we halve our intake of free sugars and national newspapers running headlines such as “sugar is the new tobacco” and “is sugar toxic?”, consumers are becoming increasingly aware that the sweet stuff might be something that’s best limited. A number of authorities, including those in Mexico and the city of Berkley in California, have implemented taxes on soft drinks in an effort to reduce sugar consumption and help curb rising rates of diabetes; a 2015 study published in the scientific journal Circulation estimates that sugary soft drinks kill 184,000 adults every year. Throughout the debate, the food industry has remained resolute, arguing that the scientific evidence is not conclusive and that while the industry is committed to reducing the prevalence of non-communicable disease, food alone is not to blame and that the causes of diet-related diseases are multifactorial. Mars, however, has pulled itself free of this media relations quagmire and recently announced its support for the new recommendation. It seems likely that other companies will soon stop “hiding behind science”, as Mars so boldly put it, and follow suit in an effort to be seen as more reasonable.
Continue reading "Mars Makes a Tactical Retreat from Sugar Debate by Accepting New WHO Recommendation" »
The second quarter of 2015 saw much global attention focused on the eurozone and the Greek crisis. The Chinese economy continues to slow, whilst the US has recovered from its weak start to the year – although the recovery is not yet strong enough for interest rates to be hiked. The oil price recovered somewhat, but remains at low levels, hurting oil exporters. Concerns about productivity growth are present in a wide range of countries from the UK to China to the USA. Nevertheless, consumer confidence increased in the second quarter (over the first) in 28 of the 49 countries that we track. With global risks remaining elevated, our readers continue to be interested in a range of themes across both economies and consumers.
Here are some of the quarter’s most read content on Economies and Consumers:
Continue reading "The Best of Q2 on Economies and Consumers" »
Cigarette volumes declined in 2014 across all regions except for Asia-Pacific, which was sustained only by China. By excluding China from the global outlook, cigarettes declined by 2.5 percent. The Russian market is a particular cause of concern for tobacco manufacturers with prospects of future tax increases, control measures and economic instability.
Continue reading "A Recap of the Cigarettes Market in 2014" »
Analyst Insight by Daphne Kasriel-Alexander - Consumer Trends Consultant
Food is the new rock ’n’ roll – this much has now become a banal truism. And it’s street food that is really rocking now. From farmers’ markets to food trucks, from Portland, Oregon to Mönchen-Gladbach via London and Seoul, eating take-away portable snacks freshly cooked on a stall or a truck is where most current trends and interesting fusions are happening. Or, as a reviewer of recent food truck movie ‘Chef’ says: “Out with Eat Pray Love, in with Eat Eat Eat”.
What is street food and where did it emerge?
- Street food had its origins in fast food for working men. The bunnychow, a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry, which originated in South Africa in the 1940s, allowed Indian workers to eat home-cooked curries on the job. Fish and chips wrapped in newspaper, were the original fast food for British working class families. The most basic street food is the sandwich, variations of bread plus filling, from burgers in New York to croque Monsieur in Paris, sabich in Tel Aviv to doner in Istanbul, a bánh mì in Saigon, a hotdog in Reykjavik and currywurst in Berlin. According to the MY3 Streetfood channel on YouTube, roasted palm sprouts are the oldest authentic street food in India, and a South Indian steamed rice cake called idli is “a very healthy Indian Fast Food”. Italy gave us the pizza and Japan added the yakisoba pan (a fried-noodle sandwich). Sicilians brought the muffaletta to America, and India added the vada pav, a potato fritter in a bun – almost as delicious as another British workers’ classic, the chip butty;
Continue reading "Q&A: The Resurgence of ‘Street Food’" »
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As education standards in emerging regions continue to rise and hourly wages remain low compared to developed markets, competition for employment is becoming increasingly global. In addition to this, technological advances in automation are eliminating the need for human labour in certain sectors. This podcast examines the effect of these employment trends on the global economy. Listen for complete insights.
Continue reading "The Impact of Automation and Offshoring on Global Employment" »
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Digital representations of the real world hold the key to many promising technologies and all the major mobile software players believe that these maps are the core of our digital future. Forecasts estimate that by 2020 75% of all cars will be built with web-enabled hardware on board, indicating the importance of maps in just one of many consumer sectors. Listen to the podcast for complete insights.
Continue reading "Digital Trends - July 2015: Digital Mapping" »