Mintel’s global consumer trends report for 2023 reveals that ethics and mental wellbeing remain the two main concerns of consumers. Indeed, in a context of global uncertainty and a series of crisis, consumers tend to refocus on what really matters to them.

Centred around seven core drivers of consumer behaviour - identity, rights, surroundings, experiences, technology, wellbeing and value - the five key trends identified by Mintel are:

Me Mentality. According to Mintel, in 2023, consumers will be eager to re-focus on themselves. For instance, Mintel highlights that 44% of US Gen Zs agree that finding ways to celebrate themselves has become more important to them now than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

In recent years, consumers have had a community mindset, putting their own needs on the back burner to prioritise public health and safety. People are now emerging from the pandemic eager to re-focus on themselves,” highlights Simon Moriarty, Director of Mintel Trends, EMEA.

Power to the People. According to Mintel, brands need to adapt to a new model of consumer as co-creator. Consumers are investing, co-creating and voting for change. Popular social platforms like TikTok prioritise self-expression, driving consumers to develop and showcase their creativity across beauty, home and food. Responding to this demand requires brands to listen and react while keeping market innovation a priority.

Hyper Fatigue. The pandemic, rising cost of living, energy crisis, geopolitical unrest and the climate crisis have all taken their toll on consumers and will continue to do so, causing fatigue and a sense of being overwhelmed. As a consequence, according to Mintel, consumers will try to cut through the noise and connect with what matters to them. “Consumers will find meaning and solace in reconnecting with their surroundings, their communities and themselves,” says Simon Moriarty.

International Localism. Buying local will be a way consumers can protect themselves financially, environmentally and psychologically, and feel that they are giving back.

With so much global uncertainty there will be a greater movement to protect local resources and boost local business. This is a hangover from the pandemic, but also a reflection of consumers’ changing attitudes towards what’s important to them,” explains Simon Moriarty.

Intentional Spending. In a tough economic environment, consumers want to make smart financial choices without sacrificing their quality of life. Mintel highlights that 45% of US consumers who buy select personal care products say they have chosen an alternative product/brand due to price increases in the last year. According to the market research firm, factors like flexibility, durability and sustainability will play increasingly important roles in consumers’ value equation.

Expect a stronger focus on durability, flexibility and timelessness as consumers seek to buy less and own products that last longer and serve multiple purposes. As the market becomes further saturated with added-value claims, consumers will grow more sceptical and discerning. In the next five years, expect to see purpose-driven brands emerge with innovations that address long-term challenges faced by the industries, nations, and communities in which they are a part,” concluded Simon Moriarty.

Mintel’s 2023 Global Consumer Trends are available for free download here.