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Mintel: Trends Provide Bigger Opportunity On Closer Examination

Market research firm Mintel has released its 2014 analysis of consumer trends in the United States, which established tendencies but suggests that careful consideration can produce opportunities beyond the obvious. For example, one trend Mintel identifies as continuing on a growth path is wellness, but the consumer trend is broad based and includes a large proportion of consumers who believe maintaining a clean home is a good way to remain healthy.

In fact, 88% of consumers agree with that idea, so while a range of products already associated with the trend can continue gaining from disease prevention, including everything from juice to health monitoring devices, many additional segments can get a lift if properly positioned, including floor cleaning devices.

The Mintel study points to more interest in global culture, including international cuisines. In part, the company noted, this is a cyclical reaction to the recent deep interest in things local. However, Mintel also notes local food and other products tied to local communities still are popular. The dual and, it would seem, dueling trends appear to exist in conflict. However, the company noted that the conflict is resolved by a deeper analysis. Consumers who have taken an interest in local products and are more curious about international items are not driven simply by geography. Rather, it is an interest in authenticity and heritage that drives today’s consumers. A superficial tie to a place is less likely to grab consumer interest than is consistency with a tradition.

Consumers remain concerned with finances as well. The recession is one basis of that consideration, but a new wrinkle has become more prevalent as an aging population faces retirement and associated medical costs in its own right and in the case of aging parents, and even grandparents, given longer life spans. The concern is further inflamed by political confusion, as almost half of consumers told Mintel that the Affordable Healthcare Act would raise their health insurance costs while just a hair over 40% say it is a positive development.

Politics aside, Mintel noted that the aging population has produced a lot of consumers with a life-wellness philosophy that has determined them to start fighting the years from the outset, providing a particular opportunity. Mintel noted that 34% of consumers surveyed told the market research firm that anti aging should be employed at the first sign that time is taking a toll on appearance.