May 2021 - At the dawn of the return to a normal life, the product offer needs to be worked through in line with the consumer expectations.
To do so, we start by looking in the rearview mirror and analyze the changes in behavior that the pandemic has induced.
The multiple lockdowns and restrictions of movement have led us to consider our free time differently: with bars closed and cultural activities on hold, ‘escape to nature’ becomes almost the only leisure activity we could do. For a lot of us, this was a reconnection to the very simple things. Not only by admiring the beautiful flowering season or the colorful autumn palette but also in a wider way, like gardening or practicing outdoor activities. We discovered hidden touristic gems on our own neighborhood and realized that we don’t need to travel the world to see and experience interesting things. The reconnection with nature has made us more aware of environmental issues and climate change. The urgency of turning things around is more pressing than ever.
In the same way, we rediscovered an appreciation for our homes. This became our sanctuary, a cherished place that we wanted to be as cozy as possible. Many of us have spent time and energy reorganizing the space, bought some piece of furniture or redecorated the walls. Bringing more plants in-house, either in the form of additional decoration or some homegrown herbs in the kitchen completed our cocoon.
It’s inside this protective lair that we have spent our time, alone or with the family.
Food and cooking received a lot of attention as the rediscovery of those ‘little things’ can also happen via our taste buds. With more time on our hands, people started for instance baking more. Baking your own bread and pastries not only provides pride, but also sensory satisfaction when the sweet scents of baking spread over the house and when the fresh crusts release its flavors in your mouth.
The desire of being more self-sufficient and the search for the real taste has led people to start growing vegetables and fruits for their own consumption.
This is to search for authenticity and the pleasure of seeing nature do its work but also because of the conscious or unconscious fear of what comes from outside the perimeter of our sanctuary.
During these difficult and uncertain times, many of us began to look for ways to find inner calm: meditation, yoga, or a jog in the woods. Listen to the body, slow down and enjoy the simple and natural things.
Physical and mental health have never been so important in our lives.
So, while the pandemic brought a lot of gloom, and some of us even lost some loved ones, let’s also appreciate the little things that we relearned by this. A lot of people will cherish this and will hang on to those. In this new way of living, we will make conscious consumption choices to lead a simpler but better life.
In the next post: ‘Make the perfect imperfect’, we will see how these drivers will impact consumer expectations in terms of products and colours.