With downside risks dominating the global economy, low-income consumers have been gaining attention. Comprised of 290 million households, the Bottom of the Pyramid should be an attractive market for the consumer goods sector, but it has often been overlooked. Our focus on New Consumerism also continued into the second quarter, with an exploration of the reach of the sharing economy. Food trends were also under the spotlight, with growing consumer acceptance of “non-perfect” food and the desire to cut food waste.
Here are some of the quarter’s most read content on Passport Consumers:
Update on our Top 10 Global Consumer Trends For 2016: Greener Food
As highlighted in my recent Top 10 global consumer trends for 2016 report, the trend seeing more consumers eating greener – striving to cut food waste in and beyond the home, sidestepping unhealthy food and overeating and being keener on more natural, local and seasonal food is thriving. Even fast food is getting greener. Part of the picture is the growing consumer acceptance of ‘non-perfect’ produce, consumer interest in transparency throughout the production process and an accompanying story that makes them feel good about their consumption choices too.
The Conspicuous Foodie
The Conspicuous Foodie is one of the three types of Can’t Cook Gourmets – they are the consumers who wear their gourmet status like a badge, and primarily want others to know about their food, home prepared or eaten out. Food has developed into a marker of identity and hipsterdom for many, especially among younger consumers in developed markets, with a rash of bloggers and social media enthusiasts keen to post photos of their food – homemade or purchased – to impress their friends.
This trend has impacted on both at home and out of home eating, with Conspicuous Foodies keen to present their own cooking in the best light – which requires careful management of the kitchen/dining environment, flatware and presentation on the plate – and also keen to publicise their presence in the hippest of eating locations.
The New Consumerism: The Sharing Economy Extends its Reach
The sharing economy is one of the eight trends which we see as combining to create The New Consumerism. The New Consumerism sees today’s consumers reassessing their priorities and increasingly asking themselves what they truly value: Why own something that I only use sporadically? Why accumulate more belongings when I could be out experiencing life? Why pay for space I don’t use?
Doing Business at the Bottom of the Pyramid
The global bottom of the pyramid is a sizeable market with over 290 million households, but it remains largely overlooked and underserved. Serving consumers at the bottom of the pyramid can be a smart strategic move for a company to establish a new and substantial consumer base. It can also have far-reaching socio-economic impacts, including eradicating poverty and reducing income inequality, which will ultimately help to improve the business environment and expand the middle class. As well as uncovering the size and future potential of the low-income consumer market, this new strategy briefing highlights the most effective strategies to achieve profits selling to low-income consumers while also making positive socio-economic impacts.
Emerging Market Households: Higher Education Driving Consumption
Better-educated heads of households are propelling rising consumption in some of the world’s most dynamic emerging markets. In countries such as China, Vietnam and Nigeria, a new middle class is able to afford university education, a market that is booming on the back of surging demand. The growing number of university-educated homes is creating better-skilled workers, many of whom are IT-literate and bilingual, thereby improving domestic business environments and enhancing the knowledge economy. However, rising levels of income inequality in emerging markets mean that education is creating a bigger gap between those with earning opportunities and those without.
Household Heads with Higher Education and Education Expenditure in Emerging Countries: 2010-2030
Source: Euromonitor International from national statistics/Eurostat/UN/OECD
Note: US$ in constant 2015 terms; figures over 2016-2030 are forecast