2015 Consumer Trends: Cause-conscious and Genetically Modified

Today’s consumers are socially conscious, electronically proficient and inherently multi-tasking. They want the most for their money, but are willing to pay for convenience and efficiency. Where will this lead product developers? The following overview provides some answers.


According to Euromonitor International, consumption in 2015 is increasingly being driven by the heart. Consumers are making choices based on their positive impact on the world and community. The “sharing economy” and “can-do” attitudes of millennials also are thriving. Consumers continue to favor convenience, for which they are prepared to pay. Brands are catering to this trend through sharper online and offline shopping combinations; i.e., the blending of online and “real world” lifestyles is moving into a more unified phase.

Predictive and Multidimensional

Datamonitor Consumer also outlined six key trends expected to gain traction in 2015. “Smarter” skin care, was one, including predictive skin care devices using diagnostics to preempt skin conditions and promote long-term skin health. Also on the list were photo-ready cosmetics for photo occasions and selfies, and “hair-ceuticals and beyond,” to provide more granular beauty “cures” for a wider range of concerns in new categories.

“Perfumes plus,” i.e., fragrances with added anti-aging, primer, skin illumination, etc., functions, was named, as well as “bi-directional products”—those combining nutricosmetics with cosmeceuticals for inside and outside solutions. Lastly, DNA customization is expected to drive growth by providing consumers with products tailored to their DNA.

Unspoken ‘Beauty’

Another source, Diagonal Reports, highlighted the fact that wellness has become a synonym for beauty. Consumers believe skin appearance can be improved by reducing stress or increasing energy, and they have embraced wellness as the prism through which they now understand beauty. This is reflected in marketing terms such as energy and de-stressing, which resonate with consumers. Interestingly, beauty can now be discussed, delivered and bought without the actual word beauty ever being used—and there is no confusion in the minds of consumers.

This “wellness as beauty” mind-set has been 100% driven by changes in consumer behavior. Until recently, it was only the regime for consumers in developed markets. Social media popularized the wellness discourse around the globe and now, consumers in less developed markets are just as likely to take the “wellness as cosmetic” approach for their beauty needs. These millions of new consumers are critical to the future of the beauty industry and come with different skin and hair care traditions and rituals. A striking example is in China, where acupuncture is widely used for beauty.

The Perfect Match

Canadean predicts skin care personalized in the lab to each individual could be worth $12.2 billion. While many brands have offered tailored solutions for specific skin types, this is moving to a new level. A survey of U.K. consumers found that 45% of adults were interested in this level of customization and would even travel to specialized labs for it. Of those interested, 54% said they would give blood, skin and hair samples, 51% would provide DNA swabs, and 52% would attend a dermatologist consultation. They also were prepared to wait up to one month for their product, and 59% were prepared to pay a premium.

Veronika Zhupanova, Canadean analyst noted that new technologies could enable customization to whole a new level—factors such as allergies, genetic predisposition, nutrition, climate and sun exposure are all individual needs, perfect for tailoring.

Editor’s note: To read these full market reports, see GCI magazine or visit www.GCImagazine.com.

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