In a fast-paced, ever-changing world, the consumer goods industry remains at the forefront of innovation. As technology advances and consumer preferences evolve, businesses in this sector must stay ahead of the curve to remain competitive and relevant.
In this article, we will explore the five top consumer trends shaping the industry, based on the latest market research findings.
1. Sustainable Practices and Ethical Sourcing
As environmental concerns continue to gain prominence, consumers are becoming more conscious of their impact on the planet. This shift in consumer behavior has led to a rise in the demand for sustainable and eco-friendly products. In response, a wide array of forward-thinking consumer goods companies are implementing sustainable practices and adopting ethical sourcing strategies—from Tesla and Starbucks to Unilever and Patagonia.
Of course, companies are not just acting from a sense of moral responsibility alone. Supporting sustainability can also help generate brand loyalty among consumers, according to research from GlobalData.
“There is a correlation between consumers’ level of brand loyalty and a brand’s commitment to ethical and sustainability matters,” explains the GlobalData report Impact of Ethics and Sustainability on Brand Loyalty – Consumer Survey Insights. “Ethics and sustainability influence consumers’ purchasing decisions, so brands who support these matters will gain a good reputation from consumers.”
However, inflationary pressures and the rising cost of living may weaken brand loyalty as consumers are further incentivized to switch to cheaper alternatives.
2. Digital Transformation and E-commerce Dominance
The digital age has reshaped how consumers shop, as the demand for greater convenience and flexibility reaches new heights.
The consumer goods industry has witnessed a massive surge in e-commerce platforms and digital marketplaces. The rise of online grocery shopping exemplifies this influential consumer trend. Online grocery sales in the U.S. nearly tripled in 2020, but sales were also strong in 2021 and 2022 as many consumers continued pandemic-era habits and prioritized convenience, according to the report Online Grocery Shopping: United States by Freedonia Focus Reports.
Grocery shopping will continue to become increasingly digital. “The future of online grocery will feature new technologies like drone and autonomous vehicle delivery, automated warehouses, intelligent voice ordering, virtual reality shopping environments, and better monitoring of product quality and stock,” Freedonia Focus Reports predicts.
Companies that successfully embrace digital transformation are well-positioned to capitalize on this growing trend.
3. Health and Wellness Revolution
In recent years, health and wellness has become paramount for consumers seeking to lead a balanced lifestyle. This trend has given rise to an increased demand for products that cater to individual well-being and address specific health concerns.
“Declining public health is serving as a wake-up call for global consumers,” GlobalData explains in the report Health and Wellness TrendSights Analysis 2022. “With interest in pursuing healthier lifestyles and maximizing quality of life on the increase, health considerations exert growing influence on the choices of the general population.”
The importance of wellness is impacting a broad range of product categories, including beauty, pet products, food and beverage, and household care. Buzzwords such as plant-based, free-from, organic, clean, natural, non-GMO, vegan, allergen-free, low sugar, whole grain, superfood, and probiotic are all used to attract health-conscious consumers.
4. Personalization and Customization
Consumers today seek products that align with their unique tastes and preferences. This growing desire for personalized experiences has paved the way for customization in the consumer goods industry, and the use of artificial intelligence will only accelerate this trend even more.
“Brands are responding to the consumer desire for greater personalization by giving consumers a broader range of customization options across all kinds of goods and services sold online,” states Euromonitor International in the report Top Five Digital Consumer Trends 2023. “This enhanced level of personalization has been made possible by artificial intelligence and other technologies that have made it easier for brands to offer custom options on demand.”
A recent example of personalization is Samsung’s Bespoke Home lineup of kitchen appliances, which includes a refrigerator with panels that can be customized with original designs, artwork, or photos. For the product launch, Samsung partnered with artist Matt Jacobson to create generative art prints made with computer algorithms to create one-of-a-kind images for customers.
Euromonitor International notes that customization may not benefit every brand, but it “is a sound strategy for many.”
5. Rise of Influencer Marketing
With the advent of social media, influencer marketing has become a game-changer in the consumer goods industry. Brands are increasingly collaborating with popular influencers to reach broader audiences and build trust among consumers.
Although a popular marketing strategy, relying on influencers can sometimes backfire; take, for example, Bud Light’s partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, which contributed to a 28.4% drop in sales volume for Bud Light amid a social media backlash from conservatives.
In the big picture, though, influencer marketing will remain a powerful force that will continue to expand. The global influencer marketing market is expected to reach $91 billion by 2030, rising at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.7%, according to a report by Market Research Future.
Additional Research on Consumer Trends
To get more detailed data and insights, explore our collection of consumer goods market research sourced from hundreds of leading research firms. These reports provide authoritative and up-to-date information on consumer goods market trends, market sizing, analysis, and statistics.
About the Author: Sarah Schmidt is a Managing Editor at MarketResearch.com, a leading provider of global market intelligence products and services.