GLOBAL – Protecting the health and interest of society and the planet is the new expectation that consumers have for companies in order to build back a better world post covid-19, according to a recently released report on Top 10 global consumer trends for 2021 by Euromonitor International.

The global market research company notes that in the new age, consumers demand that companies care beyond revenue, and they no longer perceive businesses as profit-driven entities.

As a result, more is required of them than just meeting demand for products, and with the pandemic, expectations on them to reshape the world in a more sustainable way have just gone up a notch higher.

Moving to a post-covid environment, concerns about plastic use, climate change, and food waste have come back even as consumers seek to be part of a better world.

Before Covid-19, 64.3% of consumers were concerned about plastic use, 61.0% were worried about climate change, and 59.7% cared about food waste.

These concerns may have been pushed back in favour of efforts towards tackling the pandemic. Euromonitor however notes that the pandemic-driven spike in social initiatives will not eclipse environmental awareness.

The research company expects consumers to continue seeking brands that help make the world cleaner, healthier, more resilient and equitable.

Consumers expect brands to act with purpose beyond the pandemic, with some protective measures like more flexibility in the workplace perceived as the new normal, according to Euromonitor.

In alignment with this purpose, 14 senior executives from Danone, Philips, L’Oréal and Mastercard, amongst others, signed an open letter in August 2020, with the for-benefit organisation Leaders on Purpose proposing an economic roadmap to Build Back Better.

A craving for convenience

Additionally, as 2021 progresses, consumers are expected to put greater focus on convenience in their consumption behaviors.

This demand is created by a longing for the ease taken for granted before daily habits were upended.

As a result, companies are under pressure to preserve the swift and seamless shopping journey across all channels.

In line with this trend, companies have been significantly upgrading their e-commerce capabilities to provide consumers with the convenience of buying from the comfort of their homes.

All companies ranging from consumer-packaged goods giants Nestle and Unilever to retail companies such as Target have invested billions in e-commerce with above-average success.

For instance, e-commerce was one of the highest double digit growth driver both for Nestle and Unilever in the full year results 2020 and in the recently released Q1 results.

Restaurant chain Bloomin’ Brands Inc recently reported that it grew its digital ordering 147% over last year, further underscoring the importance that consumers are placing on convenience.

In a nutshell, resilience and adaptability are the driving forces behind the top global consumer trends in 2021, according to Euromonitor.

 “Despite the hardships faced in 2020, consumers have not given up. They continue to find their voice and push forward to advocate for a better tomorrow,” Euromonitor notes.

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