While it wasn’t quite the summer we expected, at least from a weather perspective, it’s never too early to look ahead.
The average person is absorbing more information about climate change than ever before – whether it’s via news channels, social media, or highlighted product credentials, we are more aware of the impact that our choices have on the environment beyond our immediate surroundings than ever before.
There has been a growing number of brands that provide less-packaging options for delivery, with younger generations also demonstrating an interest in supporting smaller, local brands. In response to the demand for brands with a back story, there has been a rise in companies or platforms that curate a collection of sustainable suppliers to create subscription services or gift boxes celebrating multiple brands such as Authentic House and Borough Box.
Brands will be expected to become more transparent with their supply chains as well as demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity internally and externally, from their senior appointments to the faces of campaigns. The Project Earth initiative by Selfridges has been particularly well received by the industry and customers alike.
Where possible, shoppers are likely to continue looking for high-quality yet sustainable and socially responsible brands and retailers when it comes to their food and drink.
The rise of companies pivoting to at home delivery options during the pandemic are also set to stay on the scene as the evenings begin to draw in once again, particularly when it comes to stocking up the drinks trolley. Brands like Lockdown Liquor and NIO Cocktails have shown how canned and other RTD formats for premium cocktails’ popularity continues to grow with newer options including picante and revitalised 90s favourite, lychee martinis, now more readily available on offer with a simple click of ‘add to cart’.
Social media continues to play a role in turning a dish or product into a sell-out sensation – 44% of young people have cooked a recipe that was going viral on social media.[i] While Little Moons already had their five minutes of viral fame earlier this year, we’re excited to see what will be the next ‘feta pasta’!
It’s unsurprising that 67% of consumers consider the use of sustainable materials an important factor when it comes to making a purchase.[ii] Therefore, as we see product or collection launches across multiple industries, we’re likely to see more companies deliberately highlight those credentials. Particularly within sportswear, we can expect to see an active move to reduce plastic in performance materials, as seen by Lululemon, utilising biodegradable alternatives to nylon and polyester.
In and out of the gym, “positive palettes” are set to sweep clothing stores with vibrant, energetic colours and patterns (including animal print) – inspiring a much-needed sense of optimism. While millennial pink, fades into seasons past, purple is set to be the fastest growing colour for the upcoming winter wardrobe.[iii]
While the popularity of the most scrollable options of content such as Instagram Stories and TikTok continues to grow, from a campaign perspective, it has never been more important to utilise video content. Creating ephemeral or “snackable” content is key to engaging consumers with video proving to be the most attention grabbing.
Beyond the social media post itself, we’re now seeing more brands dip their toe into the world of gaming and virtual reality. Fast-tracked perhaps as a result of the pandemic, several fashion brands including the likes of Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton debuted collections with futuristic options to sit front row or try on their latest designs through a VR lens which we can expect to see utilised by other brands.
We are also starting to see more social content platforms begin to double as shopping channels which should see a shift in content creation, ensuring that it’s not only visually appealing but also shoppable.
[i] As published in YPulse’s ‘The 10 biggest food trends Gen Z and Millennials are interested in’, April 2021
[ii] McKinsey & Company Market Research, 2021
[iii] As published in WGSN’s ‘Collective Review: Women’s Colour A/W 21-22’ report, March 2021