Key Trends for 2018 – Bord Bia

Alan Walsh, Consumer & Market Insight, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board

Stylus’ 2018 Look Ahead Reports highlight some of the key trends in consumer lifestyle, food, beverage & hospitality, and media & marketing that will shape 2018.

Consumer Lifestyle: Extreme Economy

2018 will see the beginning of the Extreme Economy, where consumers will begin to place value on brands that enable them to lead a high octane, thrill-seeking, and intense lifestyle. Consumers will be attracted to brands that help spark a sense of danger and risk, perhaps best highlighted by Australian surf brand Ozmosis, who have begun to offer consumers discounts for displaying their injuries.

Further to this, Stylus expect growth in health and fitness festivals like Virgin Sport, which has been labelled the ‘Coachella of Sport’. Virgin aims to marry the variety of sport with the spirit of community-based fitness, and are aiming to create a valuable community across the world. Endurance is becoming aspirational, highlighted by the fact that China will hold over 800 marathon in 2018, up from 22 in 2011. The overall health and fitness trend has become very important for consumers in affluent parts of China and in other Asian countries.

Food, Beverage & Hospitality: Culinary Cognition

Consumers are beginning to look at the biological workings of their body at a deeper level. Culinary Cognition is the next wave of clean eating and is a trend for the more intelligent and educated consumer. Brain & ‘mood-food’ will become top of mind for consumers looking to boost brain performance, physical performance, and emotional elasticity. The “brain-gut axis” will become a widespread consumer concern in 2018. Brands should focus on the message that a healthier gut will lead to better performance.

Media & Marketing: Marketing Moonshots

Moonshots are about moving past marketing with a purpose and tackling seismic cultural & social issues, not by incremental steps, but with big, bold and radical action. Sustainable outdoor apparel company Patagonia have pioneered this with their anti-Black Friday  stance, giving away profits made on the day in an effort to reshape values around hyper-consumerism.

Brandless is an online supermarket, where all products are priced at $3. Brandless are aiming to highlight what they perceive to be the “brand tax”, i.e. the hidden costs consumers pay when purchasing the average brand. The Brandless approach is rooted in authenticity and transparency, with their ultimate goal according to the company’s CEO Tina Sharkey, of “Reimagining brands & branding and what it means to be a brand in today’s world.”

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