2016 European Consumer Trends

5 Consumer Trends set to influence Europe in 2016.

The Marketing Institute recently invited Mintel’s Richard Cope to present their research findings on European Consumer Trends for 2016. It was a really interesting presentation with lots of insights as to future needs and wants of consumers and how our environment is evolving. In particular there’s some  really useful information for  brands looking towards new product developments, retailers looking to remain relevant to their customer base and for tourism offerings who want to stay ahead of the competition – read on to see how! 


“Shortages will make water an increasingly precious and politically charged commodity, encouraging innovation in sourcing, recycling and manufacturing”.

2016 – droughts will impact on crop shortages and food prices around the globe. The rise of droughts in developed areas such as California for example whom produces 80% of the worlds almonds! California needs to reduce its water consumption by 20% by 2020. This will see the rise of concentrated and innovative water free products. Almonds Pic Mintel MII 16Bottled water is becoming more controversial and waterless beauty products are an area which will see growth. He gave the example of dry shampoo and waterless car washes and the quirky “Pits and Bits” Waterless Wash Kits to demonstrate the point.

Waterless Beauty Mintel MII 16


“Beacons can flourish in retail and leisure by making consumers feel in the know and ahead of the game”.

beacon mile MII 16

Beacon based marketing is consumer controlled in that they need to turn on bluetooth to receive the localised marketing messages or offers. It is early stage but the Netherlands are leading the way with this in Amsterdam with their beacon mile. The research indicates that consumers are more likely to give information to the retailers they like if the promotions are relevant to their specific wants and needs.

There are a lot of ways this technology can be used in retail and tourism and this is an area that is starting to see increased investment by brands and additional beacon technology offerings. See some other applications below.

Lottr Mintel MII 16

Kidwatch MII Mintel 16


“ Fears surrounding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will cause consumers and brands to react by favouring purer and more natural products”.

TTIP Mintel MII 16

There is a concern that the TTIP will lessen regulations in favour of US multinationals and cause consumers to move towards natural, craft, local foods and products.

Within Ireland and the UK consumers are put off by the high cost of organic but consumers are buying more artisan products than they were 12 months ago. There are more craft products available to consumers such as coffees, sauces, condiments and more alternatives are being now being offered.

Going Artisan Mintel MII 16With WHO research indicating a link to processed meats and cancer there is the suggestion that processed meat will become the new tobacco and consumers will be seeking out alternative protein sources.

year of the pulse 2016 Mintel MII 162016 has been hailed as the year of the pulse!  Algae, seaweed and other alternative protein snacks are being promoted and more alternative sweeteners too. Monk Fruit anyone?

Pure multipurpose products will also start to feature.

White Rabbit Mintel MII 16.PNG


“Space and time are at a premium, becoming new currencies in their own right and creating new marketplaces”.

Time Space Continuum

  • Millenials renting rather than owning and not just in relation to a home.
  • Non-ownership, transience and sharing or borrowing becoming much more prevalent to circumvent consumerism.
  • 3 generation households, grandparents, parents and kids are on the rise.


car boot delivery MII 16

What does it mean?

With an aging population, those who offer home delivery will grow their business. More and more services are coming to your home. Zuper in Austria offering two hour delivery of supermarket products. Amazon in Italy offering one hour delivery. There were so many examples of this trend it deserves to be taken serious notice of. Space Saving products, Concentrates etc. Flexible Homes – Moveable walls as displayed below. Ikea Moveable Wall Mintel MII 16

Pressure on space is growing. Soeul has the highest urban density in the world and product /service innovations to deal with that include compartmentalised dining experiences giving you space outside the home.


“Virtual and augmented reality technologies enter our homes and businesses to entertain, trial and train.

Oculus Rift VR headset Mintel MII 16

Virtual Reality offers the biggest commercial opportunity. The strongest interest is around gaming but immersive empathy can be used for educational purposes. The vrse.com documentary Waves of Grace made in conjunction with the UN powerfully tells the story of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. VR can offer Virtual Lessons and new ways to learn, browse, advertise and even house hunt!! Sherry Fitzgerald recently announced their use of Samsung VR headsets to facilitate early viewings for a new as yet unbuilt housing development in Lucan – allowing potential customers the opportunity to experience the proportions of the rooms, views etc in order to facilitate property purchases off plan!

Hope you’ve found that interesting and insightful. It’s been a challenge to try to incorporate all of the opportunities into a succinct post. If you get the chance to hear Richard Cope of Mintel speak on this topic I’d strongly encourage you to attend, it’s a fascinating presentation and has a lot more detail than I’ve outlined above.

If you want to ensure your marketing campaigns are incorporating the latest consumer insights please do get in touch with us in Optimise Marketing. We’d be delighted to hear from you by phone on 087 2043486 or email to hello at optimisemarketing.ie.


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