PREVIEW: Key Insights And Cases About The Top 10 Global Consumer Trends In Asia-Pacific

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

On 18 January 2019, Euromonitor will launch its latest annual report on Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2019, revealing this year’s emerging trends that provide insights into consumers’ changing values and explores how their behaviour is disrupting business globally. Here’s a preview of the report:


Age Agnostics: Japan Is Home To The World’s Oldest Population

Age Agnostics consumers don’t hold with conforming of demographic expectations. There is a new kind of mature consumers—a diverse group who enjoy the same things as their younger counterparts and want to continue to be themselves for as long as possible.

Almost every country in the world is showing growth in the number and the proportion of older persons relative to the general population. Japan is the oldest country in the world: the local population is decreasing, with almost all age groups (except the 65+) set to experience steep declines in the period through to 2030. By 2030, the old-age dependency ratio in Japan will reach 53.6 percent.

“Population ageing is a truly global trend and businesses that can respond, adapt and innovate accordingly can expect to thrive and prosper.  The need to mitigate against a shrinking labour force also spurs technology innovations and product developments aimed at the senior consumer,” comments Lan Ha, Population Senior Consultant at Euromonitor International.


Everyone’s An Expert!: China Presents The Highest Proportion Of Internet Users And Online Shoppers

Everyone’s an Expert expresses the switch in power between retailer and consumer. Rather than be seduced by brands’ marketing, consumers look to each other for advice on what to buy and where, and how to get the best product for their money. China is a trailblazer for this trend, as the country with the highest proportion of internet users and online shoppers.

“As consumers continue to explore, discover and leverage the vast amount of resources, information and shops online, the amount they spend online continues to increase.  The highly saturated marketplace across all consumer goods means that consumers have always relied on peers’ advice when it comes to shopping”, comments Alison Angus, head of Lifestyle at Euromonitor International.


I Want It Now!: Asians Turn To Super Apps To Improve Efficiency In Their Lifestyles

Consumers are as busy as ever. They are beginning to expect more from companies and want products and services delivered as quickly and simply as possible.

This trend is particularly strong in societies with a high rate of development and urbanisation—in 2017, about 53.7 percent of Chinese respondents were willing to spend money to save time, while over 60 percent of Indian respondents shared the same sentiment.

For some consumers, an efficient lifestyle entails reducing the number of apps they juggle. Consumers in East Asia are turning to “super apps,” such as WeChat, Line and Go-Jek, which enable users to access messenger, mobile payment, games, rideshare and food delivery, and many other services.

Michelle Evans, Industry Manager, Digital Consumer, Euromonitor, comments about the rise of super apps: “East Asia recently emerged as the mobile internet hub of the world, with over 1.1 billion mobile internet subscriptions registered in China alone. Emerging from the widespread adoption of mobile technology in Eastern markets are super apps: a multi-functional mobile app that takes all aspects of a consumer’s life and combines it into a single platform.”

Go-Jek began as a motorbike ride-share company in Indonesia, but its expansion into other services quickly resulted in 30 million downloads, and it is most popular among those aged 35–64 years. Its upcoming expansion into Singapore puts it head-to-head against native super app Grab.

“A major implication of super apps is that companies are no longer directly competing within their own industry for customers. Due to emerging tech players that better streamline services, consumers have come to expect more. They are no longer judging a company on their last great experience, but instead, comparing their experience to the whole consumer ecosystem,” concludes Evans.


Finding My JOMO: India Presents The Highest Increase In Leisure And Recreation Expenditure

The Fear Of Missing Out has given place to the re-appropriation of self-time. In The Joy Of Missing Out, consumers want to be more intentional with their time, to set their own boundaries and be more selective in their activities.

“Over-reliance on the internet is a becoming a source of stress globally, more so in emerging markets than in developed. To disconnect, consumers are choosing to temporarily move away more often from phones and to focus on real-life experiences. We expect consumer expenditure on recreational and cultural services to grow strongly, especially in markets where digital stress levels are highest,” comments Gina Westbrook, head of lifestyle at Euromonitor International.

For example, India, where 40 percent of consumers agree that internet usage adds stress to their lives, will present the highest increase in leisure and recreation expenditure between 2018 and 2030.

“Looking for ways to cut down on social media usage, app and e-mail notifications does not mean complete disconnection. Rather, consumers are looking to set boundaries, to carve out some mental space and time to focus on activities they enjoy. Travel experiences help consumers with their social media diet, learning to limit online usage and to find their own way to enjoy present moments in real life activities”, comments Wouter Geerts, Research Analyst at Euromonitor International.

For example, the Oberoi hotel chain in India is offering the opportunity to consumers to completely disconnect, offering so-called Digital Detox packages. And in Bangalore, the Oberoi offers overnight stays to locals willing to completely disconnect from everything for 24 hours, without the stress of planning and long travelling.


How will these trends affect the F&B industry in 2019? Watch this space to find out!