Trade and Economic News from Euromonitor: Top Consumer Trends of 2012

TOP 10 CONSUMER TRENDS FOR 2012: City Living Reigns.  In 2012, Euromonitor International forecasts that there will be 3.7 billion urban residents worldwide. The number of urban dwellers globally will continue to increase, both in ‘traditional’ megacities such as New York but also in new hubs such as Chongqing and Guadalajara. Meanwhile, a whole mass of new arrivals to cities, often falling into the so-called ‘bottom of the urban pyramid’ category, may have less disposable income but aspire to a higher consumption that will extend to more space and health cover.

World's Fastest Growing Cities: 2012 and 2030

City dwellers make up a rich tapestry of consumer types increasingly sophisticated, demanding, connected and interested in new brand offerings and experiences. Everything from tastes in cuisine and culture to shopping preferences and technology-driven real-world meet ups and interactions are broader. This allows for an often buzzing brand creativity responding to busy city consumer needs in food service, fresh and packaged foods, clothing and the arts. 2012 megacities are hubs of new and established ethnic groups and culture, older people with trend-sensitive lifestyles, students, highly skilled and low income migrant workers, consumers on city breaks, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) consumers and cross-generational households.  Below is the complete list of 10.

Top 10 Consumer Trends of 2012:  Consumer identity is expressed in more complex ways than through consumption alone. Today, identity also encompasses weight, online status, green thrift, and attitudes to reality culture – even in emerging markets. Here are 10 consumer trends of 2012.

  1. City Living Reigns: Swelling masses of urbanites with lifestyles to suit – style, tech and convenience-savvy – soak up new cultural influences that are blending with fresh brand experience-led approaches.
  2. Consumer Vigilantes Speak up: On and offline protest is in the spotlight, pressurising brands towards greater accountability and genuine innovative responses to these engaged consumers.
  3. DIY Life: Consumers are revelling in their ability to track and control their health, identity, communication and buying habits.
  4. Emerging Market Shoppers: Enjoying spending and coming to a place near you!  In 2012, throngs of emerging market shoppers around the world are aspiring to more consumption. They are now enjoying malls and chain stores with shopping centres now also attractive to the less well-off.

    Real Annual Disposable Income in BRIC Countries: 2010-2015

  5. Green Thrift: While frugality is celebrating all the tech-led innovations at its disposal, its marriage with sustainability is thriving.
  6. Reality Culture and Consumers: Scripted reality or celebrities living the dream – consumers are gripped, sharing views and being moved to change their purchasing behaviour.
  7. Smartphone Universe:  Displacing computers worldwide, and in 2012, smartphones are reaching out to the lower end of the mass market so expect apps to reflect this.
  8. Tech Lifestyles Vs. Slow Living and the Best of Both:  Some consumers are embracing an ‘always-on’ lifestyle while others are trying to disengage.
  9. Youth – Future Imperfect: Young consumers are facing up to a different, less predictable reality in terms of purchasing aspirations, work, living set-ups and role models.
  10. Weight as a hot topic:  Are we what we eat? More consumers, health experts and government bodies seem to think so although many heavier consumers are in denial. What are consumers doing to stay healthy?
Each of the above is expanded upon further in the linked article above… so check it out!
You can also view a video produced by Euromonitor, that highlights 5 important consumer trends within the emerging markets in 2012.

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