Euromonitor Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2019

By Jenny Eagle contact

- Last updated on GMT

2019 will be a year of change. With increased purchasing power, empowered consumers are pushing brands to embrace their values. Connected consumers are finding the joy in disconnecting. Older consumers want to feel and be treated as younger, says Euromonitor.

According to Euromonitor Internationals’ report; ‘Top 10 Global Consumer Trends​ 2019’, by Alison Angus, head, Lifestyles Research, and Gina Westbrook, director, Consumer Trends, Euromonitor, the world feels out of control as we move into 2019. 

Unprecedented change

2019 trends with the most impact.

1.      Age agnostic

2.      Back to basics for status

3.      Conscious consumer

4.      Digitally together

5.      Everyone’s an expert

6.      Finding my JOMO

7.      I can look after myself

8.      I want a plastic free world

9.      I want it now

10.    Loner living

There is much political upheaval in developed markets and fast, totally unprecedented change in developing economies. ‘Taking back control’ has been the catchphrase for major political movements as people want more agency and self-determination​,” the authors predict. 

Many of our 2019 Global Consumer Trends are about taking back control and asserting ourselves. In the face of turmoil and uncertainty, we feel more powerful when we can go back to basics and eat an egg laid by our own hen, or actively choose to find solace away from digital demands without junking them completely​. 

We want to get that thing or service seamlessly and easily. We want to make a difference to the world by buying more thoughtfully. We want to look after ourselves and sidestep the experts, by taking up the reins of knowledge ourselves and driving the consumer conversation more than ever.​” 

For example, the desire for a plastic-free world is largely consumer-led and will gain further momentum in 2019 and beyond.

As the conversation moves on, understanding of plastics’ various uses in modern society will increase, and the emphasis will be placed on responsible use. Increased consumer understanding will also help to police so-called ‘greenwashing’, to expose false eco-friendly claims. 

Seaweed pods

While plastic alternatives, such as seaweed water pods instead of plastic water bottles, will continue to be developed, the wave of corporate pledges on recycling / recyclability is also a positive step.

Plastic has never been such a talking point of consumer concern and is set to be an even bigger consumer focus in 2019​,” said Rosemarie Downey, industry, manager, packaging, Euromonitor International.

The durability of plastic packaging, noted among its strengths, is being scrutinised because of plastic’s polluting presence. Notable NGO and legislative initiatives targeting plastic have pushed plastic high up the public agenda​. 

Some retailers are making plastic-free commitments and brands are pledging to go further on re-use, recycled and recyclable packaging​.”

However, Downey added, it is important not overlook plastic’s valuable contributions. It’s used in medicine, construction and transportation. There are also inherent protective and resource-efficient benefits afforded by plastic in preventing food waste.

Rather than a wholesale ‘plastic-free’ target, perhaps a ‘plastic waste-free’ world should be the goal​,” said Downey.

By adopting a circular economy approach and harness the current spotlight on plastic as a way to progress development. Brands designing out surplus and ensuring plastic recovery and re-use, is a start.

Optimised waste management infrastructures and a greater consumer understanding of plastic handling post-use is also necessary.​” 

Euromonitor’s Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2019 are; 

1. Age agnostics

Age Agnostics don’t hold with conforming to demographic expectations - everyone connects. The key to winning and retaining loyalty and trust is to develop products and services that are universally accessible even while designed with older people in mind. Baby boomers have more in common with the values and priorities of millennials and younger generations than many realise, and it is this inclusive mindset that needs to be better understood and catered for in the future. Universal and welcoming, it is about taking care of oneself and focusing on prevention and enjoyment of life. Balancing mental, spiritual and physical is the priority here.

2. Back to Basics for Status

Back to Basics for Status consumers are searching for authentic, differentiated products and experiences which allow them to express their individuality. Consumers in developed economies are re-evaluating their spending habits, moving away from overt materialism to simplicity, authenticity and individuality. As emerging economies develop further, the same pattern is likely to emerge, with consumers tiring of generic products and starting to place more value on higher quality, unique and differentiated offerings, which convey a certain level of status.

3. Conscious Consumer

Today’s Conscious Consumer is flexible and chooses for the moment. What used to be the domain of ethically-positioned niche producers is now being embraced by conventional companies through higher welfare alternatives of existing products. Conscious Consumers are influential, and the trend will spread to others. Animal welfare concerns will evolve further and extend to other industries beyond food, beauty and fashion, to home care, home furnishings, pet food and so on. The meaning of responsible business is shifting, demanding companies improve minimum animal welfare standards even for regular products.

4. Digitally together

The growing ubiquity of high-speed internet, particularly the acceleration of mobile internet, is driving live interactive experiences online and facilitating collaboration on large files instantly. From dating to education, we have grown to expect more authentic, life-like interactions online. As our technological capabilities and comfort using them grow, so will the range of things we can do Digitally Together. Our growing comfort with sharing our friends, location and activities online will only lead to the development of new ways to engage. As our technological capabilities and comfort using them grows, so will the potential of what can be created or experienced together, remotely.

5. Everyone’s an Expert

Everyone’s an Expert expresses the switch in power between retailer and consumer. Previously shoppers relied on a certain brand or information source to get what they wanted, now companies must constantly innovate, drive prices down and streamline and aestheticise their offerings to entice shoppers. At the root of the Everyone’s an Expert trend is the almost compulsive need for digital consumers to absorb and share information. As internet retailing continues to increase globally, all industries will have to adapt to consumers’ new demands to stay relevant.

6. Finding my JOMO

The fear of missing out has now given place to the re-appropriation of self-time as people find joy in missing out. To protect their mental wellbeing, Finding My JOMO consumers want to be more intentional with their time, to set their own boundaries and be more selective in their activities. Globally, millennials feel the need for this re-empowerment more strongly than other generations. Planned disconnection provides them with time to reflect and to act freely, focusing on what they really want and enjoy doing. And in developing markets, reliance on the internet may be the origin of higher stress levels, especially when being connected is so linked to essential services.

7. I can look after myself

The focus of I Can Look After Myself is the preventative, consumable measures against illness, unhappiness and discomfort that people can take without having to consult a professional. They make use of apps and personalisation services to create a product uniquely for them without the need to constantly engage with social media and brand marketing. Being able to ‘look after yourself’ is seen as a luxury that allows people to be more versatile and expand their possibilities. Dictating, designing and personalising your life allows you to be more flexible.

8. I want a plastic free world

The push for a plastic-waste-free society has gained momentum over the past 12 months, and in 2019, I Want a Plastic-free World will grow further. The durability of plastic packaging is being scrutinised because of plastic’s polluting presence, post-consumer use, as waste in the global environment. Consumers will increasingly use their wallets to protest the irresponsible use of plastic, which could, in turn, create a virtuous circle where industry, from food and beverages to beauty and personal care manufacturers and beyond, stand to gain by improving sustainability

9. I want it now

Efficiency-driven lifestyles transcend instant gratification. I Want it Now! consumers seek frictionless experiences that mesh with their lifestyles, allowing them to dedicate more time to their professional or social lives. Central to this concern is the management of user data and a company’s access to this data. The public’s trust toward this access and how it will be used will ultimately determine the longevity of this trend.

10.  Loner living

Globally, the number of single-person households will outpace the growth of all other household sizes, and baby boomers are expected to comprise a large share of this growth. While baby boomers may have been well known for the high rate of divorce among their cohort, many of those in the younger generations have rejected marriage and cohabitation altogether. They are setting the stage for a trend that is bound to outdate their generation. People across the world are bucking the stigma of living alone and embracing their independent lifestyles and enjoying Loner Living. The Pew Research Center estimates that by the time today’s US young adults turn 50, 25% of them will have been single their whole life.

Related topics: Emerging Markets, Markets

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