Customers have redefined notions of value and are placing different demands on the products they buy, a study has argued.
Non-essential items will bear the brunt of this austerity, with 65% of Americans trimming their outlay on discretionary purchases, down from the 81% doing the same 12 months ago.
Home and family, saving for the future and the environment are now among the major priorities in the lives of many individuals, while luxury has diminished rapidly in significance.
The fact that around 47% of US consumers and 40% of their Japanese peers continue to distrust big business could be a further reflection of this return to basic values.
An interest in eco-friendly goods and services was a characteristic of all the markets covered, but the cost of buying organic food or fair trade clothing has also become more important.
Preferences for private label products have remained consistent across the globe in the past year, over 60% of Americans have more regularly opted for own-label goods in the last 12 months, with Japanese customers on 49% and Europeans on 45%.
As consumers everywhere have discovered that switching offers substantial cost benefits, it is predicted store brands will prevail at the expense of premium alternatives – for the short term at least.
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