retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Marketing Daily reports on a new trends analysis published by Mintel, in which it looks at the issues that it believes will influence “product development and marketing strategies in 2011.”

One of the major shifts, the study suggests, will be a switch to overt - as opposed to covert - marketing of formulation changes that are made because of obesity and nutrition issues, though Mintel notes that “ overt marketing of formulation changes will continue to depend on the ingredient and the geographic region.”

The study predicts that because more than four out of 10 consumers believe that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contributes to the nation’s obesity epidemic, it is likely that HFCS-free will become a major labeling attribute for many manufacturers.

Among the other trends likely to be seen in the coming year, according to Mintel:

• Marketing professional, or professional-strength products to amateurs for at-home usage.

• Simplicity will rule. The easier to understand and prepare, the better.

• “Econo-chic.” Luxury will be in demand again, but only in selected categories, as people look for affordable treats that will make up for other cutbacks and appeal to their aspirational desires.

• Instant gratification. People will continue to look for magic foods, beverages, pills, creams or whatever...as long as they think that these items will have an immediate impact on their physical, spiritual or economic well-being.

• Sustainability...as long as it doesn’t cost more. People want to be green, but they don’t want to spend a lot of green getting there.
KC's View:
When you look at all these trends, what they all seem to have in common is a belief in the consumer desire for authenticity ... or at least the perception of authenticity (which, if you can fake it, can be a powerful marketing weapon).

But I think you also could say that they reflect a continuing willingness on the part of the consumer to kid him or herself. Self-delusion (which is sort of the same as faked authenticity) is a pervasive trait in 2010 America. People want to kid themselves that they need professional products even if they are rank amateurs, they want simple solutions to complex problems, they want instant gratification even if they know in their hearts it cannot last, and they want to claim to be environmentally minded even if they’re not willing to sacrifice to get there.