Let’s take a fresh look at 2023. With increasing prices, staff shortages and market uncertainty, what can we expect in retail? Here are our learnings from innovation research from leading brands we worked with in 2022 like HEMA, Schweppes, Heineken, BOL.com & FrieslandCampina:
1. Affordable ánd premium. Goodbye mass-market.
We expect a year of extremes. Private labels will boom due to inflation, ánd craft premium brands will rise given the interest in local, craft, innovative brands that fit with our personal identity. Mass-market household brands might need to step-it up. Price-wise they are caught in the middle, and they lack innovation & storytelling to stay relevant with Gen Z.
2. Swiss-knife sustainability. You'll need to have it all.
Sustainability alone is not enough; your products need to be of good quality, have strong branding & be convenient. With the inflation, we’ve become more critical of what we buy. We expect consumers to trade-off less and simply look for a good ánd sustainable product.
3. Simplicity is back. Let's go back to basics.
In 2023 we expect a rise in 'grandma-proof' products: simple, non-processed, single-ingredients. Consumers have become overwhelmed by options and are being misled by marketing tricks. We expect a move to natural, easy-to-understand products. No more vagueness, marketing gimmicks or weird flavours - be concrete, real and simple.
4. Embrace your flaws. New sources of brand trust.
We expect brands to win that focus on transparency and authenticity. We have seen an increase in criticism towards large brands and corporations that hide their flaws: unfair wages, sustainable malpractices and big management bonuses. We expect brands to focus on progress over perfection; being more upfront and open. To show their progress, goals and paths - in order to create more genuine trust.
5. A mindful ánd fast lifestyle. Less polarisation in energy.
As a remainder of the pandemic we operate on two energy levels (1) slow and mindful, think “country-living” and “bread baking”; and (2) quick, effortless, on-the-go. In 2023 we expect this polarisation to blend more. We expect more innovations that are mindful yet efficient. Think more home-cooking yet with a meal box with pre selected and fresh ingredients, or complex breakfast solutions - made easy.