Mintel Reveal Some Interesting UK Consumer Trends 2014 Predictions

I attended Mintel Reveals UK Consumer Trends 2014 Predictions presented by Richard Cope Senior Trends Consultant at Mintel yesterday and found it very interesting. Having reviewed all the work from their various category presentations and so forth, Mintel believes the trends of the year ahead fit into four distinct buckets:

  • Internationalism on the Agenda

  • Club Tropicalia

  • A Private Function

  • Healthy Fuels

Internationalism on the Agenda 

Focused on the offerings of other Countries.

So although we are a proud nation, this year will be more about looking at the Wider World and seeing other Countries more positively. The rest of the World is going to receive more attention this year for a number of reasons, to name a few;

  • Brazil hosting the World Cup,

  • Russia hosting the Winter Olympics

  • Scotland’s Independence debate

  • Simpler visa process for the Chinese

Such events will provide us with more insight into other cultures and enable us to get closer to people of different backgrounds. As a result people will continue to crave authenticity of products, services, food…from abroad.

This already largely being the case as 54% of Brits say that they’re “just as interested in buying authentic products (e.g. French Brie, Parma Ham from other Countries) as from Britain”. 1 in 8 people are born abroad and 12% of Brit's already celebrate various cultural festivals.

50% of Britain’s agree with the statement that “being British is now as much about embracing different cultures as it is to sticking to British traditions”, compared to 20% who disagree. However, the above events (amongst others) will accelerate this position.

Club Tropicalia

Brazil are the hosts of the World Cup 2014 (like you didn't already know), so it's all about Brit's falling in love with Brazil, intrigued by the ‘tantalising unfamiliarity”. We have so much to learn about the Country as well as many a myth to squash. As a result of the focus on Brazil, native brands can benefit from exporting. Maximising on the opportunity to truly showcase on the World stage and make other native brands as Globally popular as Havaiana's. Tying in again with the notion that people crave authenticity. Examples of goods/services to push in the UK Market may be;

  • Brazilian Wines, Beers, Rums… Of Brit’s 50% of wine drinkers, 42% of beer, 40% of spirit drinkers agree with the statement ‘I like to drink drinks from different Countries’.

  • Brazilian Fruit and Cuisine.

  • Brazilian Fashion

  • Brazilian Beauty Products e.g. Emporio body store, which is in fact a L'oreal brand in the Brazilan market, but could also quite easily work the other way.

A Private Function 

All about Technology and Connectivity, maintaining customer security with data protection, while consumers also try to manage their own privacy.

From a technological front there are a number of expected product launches this year and the propelling of some products into mainstream focus, for example;

  • Google glasses – with the possibility of incorporating ‘pay per gaze’ offerings and payments, which may for example be based on the measurement of the level of emotional response identified by pupil dilation.

  • Microsoft/Google/Apple smart watches.

  • Smart diapers, which will have a sensor to detect the health of a baby based on their urine.

  • Wearable solar panels (e.g. on backpacks) for charging our ever-growing number of devices.

  • Yoga suits that will give feedback on whether you’re doing the moves correctly.

  • Monitoring of consumers entering stores, so Companies can then follow up with us about products/offers at a later date.

  • People will be tagging their products a lot more generally as well.

Healthy Fuels 

The craze with all things healthy.

People want healthier products; more fruits, green smoothies, low sugar goods… 41% of UK Consumers say that ‘it’s worth paying more for added benefits’. There is also a increasing sense of “Factory Fear” of being unaware of what we’re consuming e.g additives and this risk of allergies, product recalls…

In December the EU will be passing caffeine legislation. So if a product contains more than 150mg of caffeine per litre (mg/l) Companies will have to label it high caffeine content and provide additional labelling where necessary for warning signs for pregnant ladies.

Things such as this will impact on the food and drink market and lead to more competition in the natural food and drink product arena.

On a more light-hearted note, there is truly a soul mate for everyone, even if it is based on your intestinal intolerances... check it out! (If you're gluten free I guess... if you're even single... okay maybe don't bother...)

To access the full Thought Piece, please download here

Presenter: Richard Cope - Senior Trends Consultant ( / @richard_mintel)